A never ending series of new regulatory and compliance mandates means that the broker-dealer community is continually having to adapt to change. In response, it’s investing in enterprise software that can handle large volumes of data, and integrate with “data as a service” solutions.
While it was the need to satisfy regulators’ demands for transparency that initially spurred the mutual fund industry to upgrade its back office technology and IT systems, the best data management utilities are now prized for their ability to provide real-time insight and analytics, and speed up decision making. Read more
Congress still on the “outs” with DOL pick ─ who, in turn, has undisclosed Nanny Baggage to resolve. Meanwhile, Donald still has commitment issues …
If you thought this was going to be a political piece, sorry to dismay but it is not. This is the actual update from the past few days of our lives. Politics aside, the viewing audience has been kept on their seats in deft fixation on the outcome. The cost to the industry of the seesaw of the last four airings of this melodrama has to be in the Billions of dollars. The winners? The lawyers and consultants. The losers, the Investors. Read more
The SEC, as part of their initiative around the new liquidity rule, has given the green light for funds to implement Swing Pricing. For those not familiar with the Swing Pricing concept, basically it allows a fund to bump up or down their end of day NAV to help cover their increased transactional costs when market volatility causes higher than normal purchases or redemptions. It will be voluntary for a fund company if they want to implement Swing Pricing. Funds are prohibited from implementing it until November 19, 2018, in order to give those funds that do not have experience with Swing Pricing time to implement needed system changes. Swing Pricing is popular in Europe and those funds with a presence in Europe would perhaps have an advantage in being able to implement earlier than other funds, hence the delayed date.
Whatever happens to the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, the mutual fund industry is moving into a “fiduciary era.” For one thing, investment advisors hope to capitalize on investors’ heightened awareness of the role of a fiduciary. For another, the backlog of regulatory change that must be implemented is large and there are many processes in place that were implemented with time to market not efficiency of execution that need to be addressed.
Besides demanding ever-greater levels of transparency, regulators are also beginning to turn their attention to RegTech, to ensure investment firms have the systems to manage compliance workloads. As we look ahead to a future dominated by financial technology, it’s becoming clear that when it comes to data management, only the fittest will survive. Read more
Friday’s bill on the House floor to delay the DOL fiduciary rule may result in a 24-month delay of pending arduous legislation. The largest providers of services to investors in our industry set sail for the April 10th destination months ago. In our blog just after the election we noted that anything less than immediate clear guidance would allow for structural and maybe irreversible changes to go forward in our industry. I am not aware of any large platform that has a ‘Plan B’ whereby a coordinated roll-back exists.
The deadlines outlined in the initial rule were so tight that the companies affected only had time to prepare a “plan to comply.” I believe the DOL’s rule will be delayed, but this will actually increase the expense of doing business for the industry. Read more
In light of the upcoming DOL Rule, the SEC recently issued guidance to funds on disclosure issues and certain procedural requirements with offering variations in fund sales loads and new share classes. The SEC IM Guidance Update appears to be an attempt by the SEC to not only provide needed guidance to funds, but to also to alleviate for SEC staff what could become an avalanche of new filings. Read more
The burning issue for the mutual fund industry is whether the Trump administration will curtail or rescind the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. The nomination of Andrew Puzder for Labor Secretary, who is anti-regulation, could mean changes to the fiduciary rule as it currently stands. While it’s meant to remedy conflicts of interest in the provision of commission-based retirement products, opponents fear it could lead to advisors to abandon mass-market clients. Read more
Today’s news declaring Andy Puzder as Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary does not bode well for the short-term prospect of moving the date of the DOL Fiduciary Rule. For the past several weeks, the consensus in our industry was that the date could be moved by the incoming Secretary. The caveat is that the incoming Labor Secretary’s ability to move the date hinges on his/her confirmation by the legislature in a timely manner. Read more
The new DOL Fiduciary rule has barely gone into effect, and it is already starting to shake things up. One of the first changes we are starting to see is a new set of mutual fund share classes. American Funds and Franklin Templeton have already announced new share classes to help advisors deal with the new fiduciary rule. Rest assured, there will be more.
These new share classes are what some are calling “stripped down” share classes as they carry no sales load, no 12b-1 fees and no sub-TA fees. Bare bones. Absolutely no compensation from the fund to the distributor. It is up to the distributor to figure out how to charge their clients and in turn compensate the advisor.
The Money Market reforms promulgated by the SEC became effective October 14, 2016. The implications of the reforms go deep and wide, both with the mutual funds that offer money market funds, but also for the firms that offer money market funds on their platforms. One segment of firms particularly hard hit by the reforms is banks. Bank trust accounts receive untold cash items every day, from everything from dividends to rental income. There are just too many of these small transactions to invest individually in mid or long term investments. Banks have used money market funds as sweep vehicles for many years to park this constant flow of cash receipts until ready to invest in longer term investments. Money market funds have been a convenient vehicle to park cash and earn interest while still being considered similar to cash, as the funds always maintained a one dollar per share value. Read more
Ignites recently published an article “Shops Zero In on Fund Pricing Risk Management” about a Deloitte survey that examined what Fund shops are spending time on — keeping their folks up at night. A breakout star this year is business continuity planning (BCP) of their key third party service providers. This topic is near and dear to Delta Data, given we thrive on being an integral part of our client’s execution of their business model. Our view on this subject is to embrace transparency for our clients to understand how we approach the critical need of service delivery. More importantly, we have some thoughts on how to best execute the oversight of the supply chain of services our clients have come to rely on to execute their business. Read more
The last several years have demonstrated an ongoing focus on transparency driven by guidance and rules from the governing bodies of the mutual fund industry. To date, most transparency initiatives have focused on Dealer to consumer transparency (404a and 408b2) and Dealer to Fund transparency that support a myriad of requirements from “Distribution in Guise” prospectus rule compliance including Rule 22c-2. The Department of Labor proposal reveals a new requirement on the horizon for increasing dealer transparency into the DOL’s fee and fiduciary requirements. So why has this become of interest to the DOL now? To understand this drive requires looking at the dealer infrastructure. Read more