The Financial Planning Coalition is celebrating the announcement of the final language for the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule as an example of regulation done right.
In comments made Monday evening on a conference call with the media, Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, the CFP Board managing director of public policy and communications, said the DOL’s willingness to consider the recommendations of the financial industry led to an ideal outcome.
“We believe this carefully balances the need of consumer protection while providing access to advice,” Mohrman-Gillis said. “The rule maintains the core principles of the fiduciary standard but the DOL made important changes to address some practical concerns.”
The Financial Planning Coalition consists of the CFP Board, the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, all fiduciary advocates.
As proposed, the rule will allow most financial advisors to continue providing services to clients with little disruption in their businesses, Mohrman-Gillis said.
Three advisors joining her on the call agreed. Ray Ferrera, chairman and CEO of ProVise Management Group, a hybrid firm in Clearwater, Fla., said that the standards don’t make it more difficult to advise small retirement plans, and that they wouldn’t force small firms out of business.
“Many have opposed the rules saying it’s too costly to comply and that they would force small firms out of business, but based on our experience we don’t share those views,” Ferrara said. “Under the rule, we’re likely to incur some costs for implementing the best interest contract, but we don’t believe there will be significant upfront costs.”
Ferrara, a former chair of the CFP Board's board of directors, said that adhering to the fiduciary standard has not prevented Provise from selling commission-based products.
Chris Draughon, director of financial planning for First Coast Wealth Advisors, a hybrid firm in St. Augustine, Fla., says that the rule won’t impact his ability to offer commission-based products.
“We don’t anticipate any material change to the pricing of our sevices or the level of service that we provide to our clients,” Draughon said.