Stroock Special Bulletin
"A SECond Opinion on DOL Fiduciary?"
Securities Regulator Enters the Fray
On June 1, 2017, with a nod to recent developments generated by Department of Labor rulemaking, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton issued a call for public comments from retail investors (and others) on standards of conduct on investment advisers and broker-dealers. This development follows directly on the heels of Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta's letter in the Wall Street Journal on May 23 indicating that the Department of Labor's highly controversial "investment advice fiduciary" rule (“Fiduciary Rule”) would become applicable, as scheduled, June 9, 2017.
Both Secretary Acosta's letter and the contemporaneously released Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-02 indicate that although the Fiduciary Rule would become applicable as scheduled, the Department of Labor would continue to further study the efficacy of the Fiduciary Rule, and its potential impacts including under a Request for Information .
This Stroock Special Bulletin provides an update on developments. The Fiduciary Rule is technically "effective," but not yet "applicable" – a distinction that has proven to be important in the political and legal order of battle amongst proponents and those with significant qualms about the Fiduciary Rule.