Regulators and Industry Experts Address Key Trends and Challenges at Fifth Annual RegEd Compliance Alliance Conference
Financial services compliance, licensing and registration, and operations professionals assembled at the fifth annual RegEd Compliance Alliance (RCA) conference to share best practices, build critical knowledge across a range of topics, and engage with regulators and industry experts. The event was held April 18-20 in Charleston, SC and was attended by more than 150 representatives from financial services firms, regulatory agencies, consultancies, and law firms. The conference focused on issues and topics of critical concern for the attendees, including:
- The DOL Fiduciary Rule and its potential impact on the industry: The recently issued rulemaking expands the definition of “fiduciary” to include individuals who provide retirement investment advice to investors in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and other investment accounts not covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), requiring that investment advice be offered solely based on the best interest of the client. The rule will impact the retirement advice industry and change the manner in which advisors provide retirement recommendations to their clients and get paid for such advice. Significant compliance implications are expected in, among other areas, conflicts of interest disclosures, fee- vs. commission-based models, variable annuities and IRA sales, as well as potential customer account repapering requirements based on business decisions made by the firm.
- Managing Conflicts of Interest: FINRA’s 2016 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter cited firm culture and effective conflicts of interest management as key areas of focus for 2016, and was followed by a February targeted exam letter that confirmed the attention of the regulator on the issue of “cultural values” and conflicts management. Efficiently managing conflicts of interest requires compliance professionals to understand and implement best practices for tracking, monitoring, and disclosing conflicts of interest, including outside business activities, gifts and entertainment, and political contributions. Firms must also establish rigorous internal controls for effective resolution of conflicts and risk mitigation.
- Cybersecurity: Identified as a top criminal priority by the FBI, preventing cyber intrusions is at the forefront of consumer protection and security concerns in the financial services industry. Compliance and IT professionals must have the latest information related to issues of cybersecurity resources, compliance, risk analysis, policies and procedures, pitfalls, response plans, and best practices to help protect the organization and consumers from cyber threats.
Commenting on RCA 2016, John Schobel, RegEd Chief Executive Officer said, “It was wonderful to have our clients gather in beautiful historic Charleston to spend time with the RegEd team and hear from industry experts and regulators, who shared their insights and practical guidance.” Schobel continued, “Equipped with new knowledge and best practices, conference participants are better prepared to tackle their most pressing challenges in today’s demanding business and regulatory environment.”
During the conference RegEd announced the expansion of RegEd SCORE® to include SCORE Rep Dashboard, which enables firms to provide registered representatives with a clear, consolidated view of individual compliance requirements. With SCORE Rep Dashboard firms can streamline compliance for the firm’s registered population, improve frontline defense against non-compliance exposure, and demonstrate a culture of compliance and commitment to consumer protection.
RegEd is a leading provider of compliance technology solutions with relationships with more than 400 enterprise clients, including 80% of the top 25 broker-dealers and top 25 insurance companies. Established in 1994 by former regulators, the company is a recognized industry authority and has created the standard of excellence for rule-based and content-driven compliance automation for insurance companies, investment advisors and broker-dealers. RegEd solutions drive new levels of operational efficiency and enable firms to cost-effectively comply with regulations and mitigate risk.