On Fiduciary Issues, ICI Prefers Law to Regs
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

On Fiduciary Issues, ICI Prefers Law to Regs

When it comes to fiduciary issues, Paul Schott Stevens still prefers law to regulation.

Paul Schott Stevens
Investment Company Institute
President, Chief Executive Officer
The Investment Company Institute (ICI) CEO shares that sentiment this morning in his opening remarks for the mutual fund industry trade group's special conference, "Assessing the DOL Fiduciary Rule: Policy and Practical Challenges", at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C.

Stevens says that he still thinks that fiduciary questions should be addressed by Congress and applied to all advisors and accounts, not addressed by regulation through contracts and litigation and only applied to certain advisors and accounts.

Stevens also repeats past warnings that the reg "could cost investors billions" if they end up deprived of access to investment advice. He also reiterates ICI's support for loads.

"We still feel that commission-based advice has served millions of investors very well," Stevens says. "Commission-based advice should still have a place."

Going forward, Stevens urges the DoL to keep an open mind as they watch the industry implement the reg.

"We're entering a new world as part of a grand experiment," Stevens says. "Approach this experiment in an honest and as objective a fashion as possible ... Have the courage to modify the new regime if it's not working ..."

"None of us, not even the DoL, knows exactly how this experiment is going to play out," Stevens adds.

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