Putting Clients First: RIIA® and The Fiduciary Rule

The Fiduciary Rule is one of the symptoms of what RIIA describes as “The Three DisruptionsSM.” The primary cause behind the disruptions is demographics in general and the retiring Boomers in particular.

While the Fiduciary Rule affects RIIA members in differing ways, the following seems broadly shared –

(i) by broadening the scope of fiduciary conduct, the Fiduciary Rule disrupts nearly forty years of experience we have with the application of ERISA’s definition of investment adviser,

(ii) the Fiduciary Rule is complicated

- by broadening the scope of fiduciary conduct,

- by carving out exceptions to the application of the Fiduciary Rule,

- by providing Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (“PTE”), with conditions to apply to certain circumstances where the Fiduciary Rule will otherwise apply, and

- by revising several long standing PTEs to conform to the Fiduciary Rule.

RIIA has tools to help advisors document a client-interest driven process of making planning decisions. RIIA’s Procedural Prudence Map, used by advisors who have qualified as Retirement Management Analysts, is an example of best practice. It offers a process for making decisions that start with the client.

RIIA’s tools are of value to advisors under a fiduciary regime as well as to advisors under a suitability regime. To this end, RIIA will work with members to provide what advisors, broker-dealers and others will need to navigate the new regulatory landscape.

Using the history of the Department of Labor’s Interpretive Bulletin 96-1 and the fate of the independent software providers that initially sprung from it, one can wonder if the same fate awaits the pure-play Fiduciary Rule services providers. We will discuss this and related issues during our Summer Conference. Come join the conversation. Click here to register to attend.


Francois Gadenne
Co-Founder, Chairman & Executive Director

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