The New Best Interest Standard for Annuity Sales: An Overview of Revisions to the NAIC’s Model Regulation #275

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In February 2020, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) approved revisions to its Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (#275). The revised regulation requires that all annuity recommendations by producers and insurers meet a “best interest” standard.

Under the new model regulation, insurance producers and carriers may not place their financial interests ahead of the consumer’s interest when recommending an annuity product. Furthermore, insurers are required to establish and maintain a system to supervise producer recommendations, so the insurance needs and financial objectives of consumers are addressed effectively. The new model also prohibits an insurer from issuing an annuity product to a consumer unless the insurer has a reasonable basis to believe the annuity would address the consumer’s insurance needs and financial objectives effectively.

The NAIC’s new best interest standard uses the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent Regulation Best Interest as a model. For the past 10 years, insurance regulators have used a “suitability” standard, similar to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA), to regulate annuities sales. The best-interest standard on sales and recommendations of annuity products by insurance producers is a higher standard than the 2010 model regulation’s suitability requirements, but it does not reach the level of a fiduciary duty.

A producer would be deemed to have acted in the consumer’s best interest if the producer meets the obligations of care, disclosure, conflict of interest, and documentation that are detailed in the model regulation. Insurance companies are required to supervise producer compliance with this rule and to maintain compensation systems that will not undermine the best interest of clients.

Like the 2010 model regulation, the new model regulation requires that producers be trained in its requirements. For producers new to selling annuities, the new model calls for a four-hour training course. For veteran producers who were trained under the old model regulation, the new model regulation allows for a one-hour update course, although the regulation makes this option available only for the first six months after their state adopts the new rule (states may vary this time period).

The new model regulation applies only to the recommendation or sale of an annuity. It also provides for various exemptions from its requirements, such as exemptions for certain group annuities. The model also provides a safe harbor for sales and recommendations made in compliance with “comparable standards,” for example, those that comply with applicable SEC or FINRA securities requirements for broker-dealers and registered investment advisers.

The NAIC recommends that states amend their annuity sales regulations in response to the new model regulation. The NAIC’s 2010 Model Regulation was adopted by 45 states and the District of Colombia in the wake of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Previous projections suggested that half the states could adopt the model regulation in some form by the end of 2020,  but may be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Important Note

This following content summarizes and highlights key revisions made to the NAIC’s model regulation #275—it is not the complete version of the model regulation itself. Please see the full text of the revised and complete model regulation here. Additional information on Model Regulation #275 is available here.

Best Interest Obligation: Reasonable Diligence, Care, and Skill

Under the NAIC’s revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (#275), producers must now “exercise reasonable diligence, care, and skill” when recommending an annuity and shall act in the best interest of the consumer, under the circumstances known at the time the recommendation is made, without placing the producer’s or the insurer’s financial interest ahead of the consumer’s interest.

A producer’s obligations regarding care, disclosure, conflict of interest, and documentation include making appropriate recommendations that consider the consumer’s financial situation, insurance needs, and financial objectives, and reasonable efforts must be made to obtain consumer profile information from the consumer before making a recommendation.

Thus, a producer must be familiar with the annuity options available. Of those annuities the producer is authorized and licensed to sell, the producer must have a reasonable basis to believe the consumer would benefit from certain features of the annuity, such as annuitization, death or living benefit, or other insurance-related features. The producer must also be able to communicate the basis of the recommendation.

Consumer profile information; characteristics of the insurer; and product costs, rates, benefits, and features are generally relevant factors in determining whether an annuity addresses a consumer’s financial situation, insurance needs, and financial objectives. While each factor’s importance may vary depending on a consumer’s circumstances, each factor may not be considered in isolation.

Producers must make an effort to gather customer profile information to determine whether a recommendation addresses the consumer’s financial situation, insurance needs, and financial objectives, including age, income, assets and liabilities, financial experience, objectives, time horizon, use of the annuity, liquidity needs, risk tolerance, and tax status.

When exchanging or replacing an annuity, a producer must consider the whole transaction, factoring in surrender charges, commencement of a new surrender period, loss of existing benefits, increased fees, and other exchanges or replacements made within the previous five years. The new product must substantially benefit the consumer in comparison to the replaced product for its duration.

Disclosures

The model regulation requires specific disclosures of the customer relationship between the producer and consumer, the products the producer is authorized or licensed to sell, and the producer’s compensation. The model regulation requires the use of a disclosure form (“Insurance Agent [Producer] Disclosure for Annuities”)signed by both the producer and customer; an example is provided as an appendix.

Customer relationship: Before making a recommendation or selling an annuity, a producer must disclose in writing the scope and terms of the relationship with the consumer and the producer’s role in the transaction.

Products: The producer must state which products the producer is licensed and authorized to sell (fixed, fixed-indexed, and variable annuities; life insurance; mutual funds; stocks and bonds; and certificates of deposit).

Insurers: The producer must provide a statement describing the insurers for which the producer is authorized, contracted, appointed, or otherwise able to sell insurance products by indicating one insurer, from two or more insurers, or from two or more insurers although primarily contracted with one insurer.

Compensation: The producer must also describe the sources and types of cash and non-cash compensation received, including whether the producer is to be compensated for the sale of a recommended annuity by commission as part of a premium or other remuneration received from the insurer, intermediary or other producer or by a fee as a result of a contract for advice or consulting services; and a notice of the consumer’s right to request additional information regarding cash compensation. Upon request, the producer must disclose a reasonable estimate of the amount of cash compensation to be received, which may be stated as a range of amounts or percentages; and whether it’s a one-time or multiple occurrence amount, and if a multiple occurrence amount, the frequency and amount, which may be stated as a range of amounts or percentages.

Conflicts of Interest: A producer shall identify and avoid or reasonably manage and disclose material conflicts of interest, including material conflicts of interest related to an ownership interest.

Documentation: At the time of recommendation or sale, a producer must document any recommendation and its basis in writing. Should a customer refuse to provide consumer profile information, the producer must obtain a statement signed by the consumer that documents the customer’s refusal and the customer’s understanding of the implications of not providing consumer profile information. The model regulation provides a sample form (“Consumer Refusal to Provide Information”) as an appendix. Furthermore, a producer must obtain a statement signed by the consumer acknowledging that the annuity transaction is not recommended if a customer decides to buy an annuity that is not recommended by the producer.

Application of best interest: Any requirement that applies to one producer must apply to each producer who was involved in the recommendation and has received direct compensation as a result, regardless of consumer contact. Providing marketing or educational materials, product wholesaling or other back office product support, and general supervision of a producer do not, in and of themselves, constitute material control or influence.

Transactions not based on a recommendation: A producer shall have no obligation to a consumer if no recommendation is made, if a recommendation was made and was later found to have been based on materially inaccurate information provided by the consumer, if a consumer refuses to provide relevant consumer profile information and the annuity transaction is not recommended. If a consumer decides to purchase an annuity transaction that is not based on a recommendation, a disclosure must be made in writing and signed by both the producer and consumer. The model regulation provides a sample form (“Consumer Decision to Purchase an Annuity NOT Based on a Recommendation”) as an appendix.

Reasonable basis: Except as described under transactions not based on a recommendation, an insurer may not issue a recommended annuity unless there is a reasonable basis to believe it would effectively address a consumer’s financial situation, insurance needs, and financial objectives, based on the consumer’s consumer profile information.

Supervision System

An insurer must establish and maintain a supervision system that is reasonably designed to achieve the insurer’s and its producers’ compliance with model regulation #275, including:

Review

The insurer shall establish and maintain procedures for the review of each annuity recommendation prior to issuance that are designed to ensure that there is a reasonable basis to determine that the recommended annuity would effectively address the particular consumer’s financial situation, insurance needs and financial objectives.

Non-compliance detection

The insurer shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures to detect recommendations that are not in compliance, including confirmation of the consumer’s profile information, systematic customer surveys, producer and consumer interviews, confirmation letters, producer statements or attestations, and internal monitoring. The insurer shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures to identify and address suspicious consumer refusals to provide consumer profile information.

Verification

The insurer shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures to assess, prior to or upon issuance or delivery of an annuity, whether a producer has provided to the consumer the required information.

Sales incentives

The insurer shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures to identify and eliminate any sales contests, sales quotas, bonuses, and non-cash compensation that are based on the sales of specific annuities within limited periods of time. The insurer is not required to make its compensation system incentive-neutral with those of other carriers that may have different system. (But differences between carriers are still subject to the rule that prohibits placing the producer’s or insurer’s interests ahead of the consumer’s.)

Effectiveness of supervision program

The insurer shall annually provide a written report to senior management, including to the senior manager responsible for audit functions, which details a review, with appropriate testing, reasonably designed to determine the effectiveness of the supervision system, exceptions found, and any corrective action recommended or taken.

Safe Harbor

Recommendations and sales of annuities made by registered broker-dealers, investment advisers, or a plan fiduciary in compliance with business rules, controls, and procedures that conform to a comparable standard, such as the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, shall satisfy the requirements under this regulation as long as the insurer monitors the relevant conduct of the financial professional or the entity responsible for supervising the financial professional.

Compliance Mitigation, Penalties, Enforcement

Insurers are responsible for compliance with this regulation. If a violation occurs, the commissioner may order an insurer or agency to take reasonably appropriate corrective action for any consumer harmed by an insurer’s failure to comply or that of a producer or contracted agent for the insurer. Appropriate penalties and sanctions may apply as well. Applicable penalties for a violation may be reduced or eliminated if corrective action is taken for the consumer is taken promptly and if the violation is not part of a pattern or practice.

Recordkeeping

Insurers, general agents, independent agencies, and producers must maintain records of information collected from the consumer; disclosures made to the consumer, including summaries of oral disclosures; and other information used in making the recommendations that were the basis for insurance transactions. Each state will specify the required number of years after the annuity transaction is completed that records are to be kept.

Producer Training

A producer who has completed an annuity training course approved by the department of insurance prior to the effective date of the amended regulation must complete either a new four-credit training course approved by the department of insurance or an additional one-time, one-credit training course approved by the department of insurance and offered by an approved education provider. The training must focus on appropriate sales practices, replacement transactions, and disclosure requirements in the amended regulation. An insurer must verify that a producer has completed the required annuity training course before allowing the producer to sell an annuity product.

RegEd offers the two courses that meet the requirements of the NAIC’s revised model regulation #275, which will be submitted for approval and continuing education (CE) credit in each state as their versions of this regulation become effective:

Recommending Annuities Under the NAIC Best Interest Standard (490)

This is the standard four-hour training course required of insurance agents before they may sell annuities. It details the standard of care agents must adhere to when recommending annuities to clients. It discusses the fact finding and analysis required to make a recommendation that is in the best interest of the client. It discusses conflicts of interests, disclosures to clients, and documentation. In addition, the course reviews the operations of different types of annuities and how they are used to meet different client needs.

Recommending Annuities Under the New NAIC Best Interest Standard—One-Hour Update Course (491)

Veteran insurance agents who previously qualified to sell annuities under their state’s version of the NAIC annuity suitability regulation may take this one-hour update course to qualify to sell annuities under the new NAIC best-interest standard. This course details the standard of care agents must adhere to when recommending annuities to clients. It discusses the fact finding and analysis required to make a recommendation that is in the best interest of the client. It discusses conflicts of interests, disclosures to clients, and documentation.

RegEd is ready to assist insurance companies manage the process of revising the standards of the Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation (#275), including tracking recommendations, managing disclosures, documentation, and other compliance obligations, supported by efficient and enabling technology and people with deep experience in the process. For more information: sales@reged.com, www.reged.com, or 800-334-8322.

About the Authors

Brandi Brown

Brandi Brown is the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at RegEd, Inc.

Margie Webber

Margie Webber is the Director, Regulatory Compliance BD/IA at RegEd, Inc.

CE Council Fall 2019 Firm Element Advisory Topics

Every year, RegEd reviews the latest guidance on CE Council Firm Element topics.  Several times a year, the CE Council, established by FINRA to oversee the continuing education rules, writes the regulatory element exams and issues guidance on what they consider appropriate FE training topics.  

Following are some highlights of new or updated topics as they appear in the recent Fall Advisory.

Alternative Investments

  • Digital Assets: Updated for Reg. Notice 19-24: Encourages firms to keep FINRA abreast of their activities related to digital assets.
  • Cryptocurrencies: An alert to warn investors to be cautious when considering shares of companies that tout the high returns associated with cryptocurrency-related activities without the business fundamentals and transparent financials to back up such claims. (RegEd Course 912)
  • Supervision: Complex Products: FINRA Notice 12-03. Identifies characteristics that may render a product “complex” for purposes of determining if a product is subject to heightened supervisory and compliance procedures and gives examples of heightened procedures. (RegEd Course 916)

Anti-Money Laundering

  • Suspicious Activity Reporting: Updated for Reg. Notice 19-18 on red flags. (2020 AML Update course, 35AU20)

Communications   

  • FINRA Regulatory Notice 19-31 (September 19, 2019): Disclosure Innovations In Advertising And Other Communications With The Public.
  • Communications Related To Departing Registered Representatives: Updated for Reg. Notice 19-10. FINRA Provides Guidance on Customer Communications Related to Departing Registered Representatives.

Cybersecurity

  • Imposter Websites: Updated for Info Notice April 29, 2019. FINRA Provides Guidance to Firms Regarding Suspicious Activity Monitoring and Reporting Obligations. (We will add this info to our existing Cybersecurity courses 876_2 and 897)
  • FINRA Information Notice: October 2, 2019: Cybersecurity Alert: Cloud Based Email Account Takeovers.
  • Fraudulent Phishing Emails: Updated for Info Notice February 13, 2019.  FINRA Warns of Fraudulent Phishing Emails Targeting Member Firms.

Financial Responsibility Rules for Broker-Dealers

  • Capital, Margin and Segregation Requirements: New. Discusses SEC Rel. No. 34-86175. The SEC adopted capital and margin requirements for security-based swap dealers (SBSDs) and major security-based swap participants (MSBSPs), segregation requirements for SBSDs, and notification requirements with respect to segregation for SBSDs and MSBSPs. (We will update course 922, which addresses the current status of Dodd-Frank.)

Fixed Income

  • Supervision: Municipal Advisors: Updated for FINRA Reg. Notice 19-28 on Guidance Regarding Member Firms’ Supervisory Obligations When Participating in Investment-Related Activities with Municipal Clients. (Covered in the 2020 Supervision Update.)

Margin

  • Exchange Traded Notes: New. Discusses FINRA Reg. Notice 19-21 on new higher strategy-based margin requirements for ETNs and options on ETNs.

Municipal Securities

  • General: New. Discusses MSRB Reg Notice 2019-15. SEC Approves Amendments to MSRB Rules and Data Collection Related to Primary Offering Practices. (2020 Municipal Securities Update)
  • General: Advertising Rule Changes: New. Discusses amended Rule G-21 on advertising by brokers, dealers, or municipal securities dealers. (2020 Municipal Securities Update.)
  • General: Best Execution Rule: Updated to discuss MSRB Reg Notice 2019-5 amending implementation guidance on MSRB Rule G-18. (2020 Municipal Securities Update)

Obligations to Customers (New)

  • Regulation Best Interest: New. The SEC is adopting a new rule, Reg BI, establishing a standard of conduct for broker dealers and natural persons who are associated persons of a broker-dealer when they make a securities recommendation to a retail customer. Enhances the standard of conduct beyond existing suitability obligations, and aligns it with retail customers’ reasonable expectations. (Course 923, Regulation Best Interest & Form CRS)
  • Suitability: Know-Your-Customer and Suitability Obligations.  Same discussion of Rules 2090 and 2111 as contained in the last FE Advisory.

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RegEd to Host NAIC Market Regulation Webinar for Compliance, Legal and Risk Management Professionals in the Insurance Industry

Educational Webinar Delivers Insight on Current Market Regulation Initiatives

Raleigh, NC, May 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RegEd, the leading provider of compliance and risk management technology to the insurance and financial services industries will host a webinar “NAIC Update and Important Trends in Insurance Company Market Conduct” on May 30, 2019. The session will be led by Randy A. Helder, Assistant Director of Market Regulation, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Attendees will include executives and senior managers from Compliance, Legal and Risk Management across the insurance industry.

The webinar will provide attendees with insight into current NAIC Market Regulation initiatives. The evolution of the Market Regulation Handbook will be covered in detail, as well as the Market Regulation Certification. In addition, the webinar focused on the Market Conduct Annual Statement (MCAS) as a catalyst for market conduct examinations.

Merlinda Johnson, Director of Insurance Regulatory Compliance at RegEd, stated, “We are happy to host this webinar and continue our support of the NAIC. Attendees will benefit from Mr. Helder’s insight surrounding NAIC market regulation objectives and priorities.” Johnson continued, “It is vital that the insurance industry continuously engage with regulators and remain current on evolving market conduct and regulatory initiatives. By doing so, industry participants can better mitigate the risk of being subject to market conduct investigations and examinations.”

Registration for the webinar is open. Please visit here to RSVP for the event.

For more information regarding RegEd’s Enterprise Compliance Management Solutions for Insurance Companies, please call 800-334-8322 or email sales@reged.com.

About RegEd

RegEd is the market-leading provider of RegTech enterprise solutions with relationships with more than 200 enterprise clients, including 80% of the top 25 financial services firms.

Established in 2000 by former regulators, the company is recognized for continuous regulatory technology innovation with solutions hallmarked by workflow-directed processes, data integration, regulatory intelligence, automated validations, business process automation and compliance dashboards. The aggregate drives the highest levels of operational efficiency and enables our clients to cost-effectively comply with regulations and continuously mitigate risk.

Trusted by the nation’s top financial services firms, RegEd’s proven, holistic approach to RegTech meets firms where they are on the compliance and risk management continuum, scaling as their needs evolve and amplifying the value proposition delivered to clients. For more information, please visit www.reged.com.

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RegEd and IRI Announce Partnership to Deliver Training to Help Industry Professionals Comply With New York Regulation 187

The new course will inform producers of their obligations under the regulation to act in the best interest of clients when recommending annuities or life insurance transactions

Raleigh, NC, May 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RegEd, the leading provider of Compliance Education and Product Training solutions for the financial services industry, has announced a partnership with the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) to deliver a course to help meet New York Regulation 187 requirements.

The course, NY Reg 187: Suitability and Best Interest of Clients in Life Insurance and Annuity Transactions, informs producers of their obligations under New York Regulation 187 to act in the best interest of clients when recommending annuities or life insurance transactions. It discusses the process of determining suitability, the problem of conflict of interest, and disclosure to the client of the pros and cons underpinning a recommendation. The course discusses special rules related to replacement transactions and when a senior client is at risk due either to diminished capacity or financial exploitation.

“Producers must be equipped to comply with the new requirements of New York Regulation 187, and effective training in this area is critical to ensuring that the best interests of clients are being served,” commented Brandi Brown, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at RegEd. “We’re pleased to partner with IRI on this initiative to produce and deliver the course that will be the industry standard in meeting this requirement.”

RegEd delivers more than 1,250,000 CE courses and insurance certificates annually, as part of its Industry Training Platform. Firms rely on RegEd’s regulatory, compliance and education experts for their deep domain expertise and ability to consistently generate timely educational content that enables organizations to effectively adapt to changing requirements.

The course is now available on RegEd’s Industry Training Platform and targets these learning outcomes:

  • Discuss the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty and how these are related to your determination that a proposed sales transaction is suitable for your client;
  • List the situations in which Regulation 187 is applicable to recommendations of life insurance or annuity transactions;
  • Describe the types of client information you are required to collect in order to make a proper recommendation;
  • Explain what is required for a recommendation to be in the best interest of a client and how the analysis applies to both annuities and life insurance;
  • Discuss the special rules that apply to term life insurance and to in-force transaction for which new sales commissions are not paid;
  • Explain the special rules that apply to transactions in which an existing policy or contract is replaced by a new policy or contract;
  • Describe your obligations to protect senior clients in cases of diminished capacity or financial exploitation; and
  • Discuss insurer obligations both to verify that your recommendations are in your clients’ best interest and generally to supervise your adherence to the requirements of Rule 187.

RegEd representatives will be onsite at the IRI ACTION19 conference in Washington, DC, May 15-17. RegEd solution and subject matter experts will demo the new course on Friday, May 17th from 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM in the Continental Room at the Capital Hilton Hotel.

For more information on this new course or the RegEd Industry Training Platform, contact sales@reged.com.

About RegEd

RegEd is the market-leading provider of RegTech enterprise solutions with relationships with more than 200 enterprise clients, including 80% of the top 25 financial services firms.

Established in 2000 by former regulators, the company is recognized for continuous regulatory technology innovation with solutions hallmarked by workflow-directed processes, data integration, regulatory intelligence, automated validations, business process automation and compliance dashboards. The aggregate drives the highest levels of operational efficiency and enables our clients to cost-effectively comply with regulations and continuously mitigate risk.

Trusted by the nation’s top financial services firms, RegEd’s proven, holistic approach to RegTech meets firms where they are on the compliance and risk management continuum, scaling as their needs evolve and amplifying the value proposition delivered to clients. For more information, please visit www.reged.com.

About IRI

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is the leading association for the entire supply chain of insured retirement strategies, including life insurers, asset managers, and distributors such as broker-dealers, banks and marketing organizations. IRI members account for more than 95 percent of annuity assets in the U.S., include the top 10 distributors of annuities ranked by assets under management, and are represented by financial professionals serving millions of Americans. IRI champions retirement security for all through leadership in advocacy, awareness, research, and the advancement of digital solutions within a collaborative industry community.

RegEd Named CE Quality Partner by CFP Board

RegEd Named CE Quality Partner by CFP Board

RegEd has been named a “CFP Board CE Quality Partner” after successfully meeting criteria established by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board).

As a CE Quality Partner, RegEd has demonstrated a commitment to developing continuing education (“CE”) programs that meet a high set of standards outlined by CFP Board.  To achieve and maintain status as a CE Quality Partner, RegEd agreed to have a random number of self-study and live programs reviewed against a rigorous evaluation rubric developed by CFP Board’s Council on Education.  RegEd is now one of only nine CE Sponsors listed on CFP Board’s website as a CE Quality Partner, and is authorized to identify itself as such on its program materials.

A not-for-profit certifying organization, CFP Board owns the CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification marks, which it awards to individuals who meet its education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 76,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S., each of whom must complete a minimum of 30 CE hours every two years as part of the requirements for renewal of CFP® certification.

The CE Quality Partner program is part of the multi-year CE Quality Initiative that CFP Board's Board of Directors approved, with the goal of assuring that CFP® professionals have access to a variety of quality CE opportunities that are diverse in their content, format and delivery. CFP Board has implemented several phases of the initiative, focused on improvements to CE standards identified by the Council for Education to better align CFP Board with industry best practices.

“RegEd’s mission is to enable our client firms and end users to grow their business, equipped with the compliance and subject matter expertise they need to consistently meet the requirements of regulators and better serve their customers,” commented Angela Pace, Chief Operating Officer at RegEd. “Designation as a CFP Board CE Quality Partner is validation of our ability to consistently deliver the highest quality course content and education management solutions for our industry.”

About RegEd

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.

About CFP Board

The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and the federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 76,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.  For more about CFP Board, visit www.CFP.net.

RegEd Selected as Best in Class Solution for 1st Global’s Enterprise Empowerment Initiative

RegEd Selected as "Best-in-Class" Solution for 1st Global's Enterprise Empowerment Initiative

RegEd, the leading provider of enterprise Compliance Management, Licensing and Registration and Compliance Education solutions, has announced a partnership with 1st Global, an independent wealth management partner to exceptional CPA firms, to be a part of the company’s Enterprise Empowerment Initiative (EEI). 1st Global recently announced a firm-wide overhaul of its technology infrastructure and RegEd solutions will serve as a key component for the initiative and drive efficiency across a range of critical business processes.

After an extensive due diligence process, 1st Global selected RegEd to manage advertising compliance, registration renewal, firm element training, outside business activities reconciliation, personal securities account management and new advisor licensing as part of the new platform. 1st Global will also utilize RegEd SCORE® Risk Control Center, which delivers a comprehensive view into the status of compliance requirements at the company level or specific to the individual.

“1st Global’s empowerment initiative demonstrates the firm’s ongoing commitment to compliance excellence in enabling employees and partners to adapt to a changing business landscape,” commented John M. Schobel, Chief Executive Officer at RegEd. “The role that integrated technology and effective data management play in an undertaking like this cannot be overstated. We’re pleased that RegEd was selected for the breadth of our solution suite and an unmatched ability to holistically address 1st Global’s rigorous requirements.”

The EEI began to take form more than two years ago when 1st Global’s senior executive team identified the firm’s need to enable its affiliated firms and the people in its own organization to better serve their clients. Over time, the initiative has evolved into the largest investment in internal infrastructure in the company’s 24-year history.

“We are incredibly excited about the launch of the Enterprise Empowerment Initiative, which will deliver the resources and capabilities to enable the continued success of our business,” said Adam Schaub, Chief Compliance Officer for 1st Global Capital Corp. and leader of the new compliance system. “Our affiliated advisors and home office employees benefit greatly from partnering with leading providers like RegEd to ensure that 1st Global’s technology resources represent the gold standard of our industry and enable compliance and operational excellence across the organization.”

About RegEd

RegEd, Inc. 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.

About 1st Global

1st Global was founded in 1992 by CPAs who believe that accounting, tax and estate planning firms are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive wealth management services to their clients. 1st Global is a research and consulting partner that provides CPA, tax and estate planning firms with the education, technology, business-building framework and client solutions that make these firms leaders in their professions through dedicated professional client relationships built around wealth management. Around 400 firms have chosen to affiliate with 1st Global, making it one of the largest financial services partners for the tax, accounting and legal professions.

Securities are offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., which is a Member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 12750 Merit Dr., Ste. 1200 in Dallas, Texas, 214-294-5000. Investment advisory services are offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc. Additional information about 1st Global is available at www.1stGlobal.com.

RegEd Announces Partnership With IRI on Training to Help Industry Professionals Comply With the DOL Fiduciary Rule

RegEd Announces Partnership With IRI on Training to Help Industry Professionals Comply With the DOL Fiduciary Rule

RegEd, the leading provider of Compliance Education and Product Training solutions for the financial services industry, has announced a partnership with the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) to offer a series of courses for financial professionals and home office personnel as part of a new training initiative. The modules will enable firms in the securities and insurance industries to effectively train employees on the new and changed standards that have been the product of the DOL fiduciary rule.

“Firms must be equipped to prepare their employees and partners to comply with fiduciary rule requirements,” commented John M. Schobel, Chief Executive Officer at RegEd. “As the industry’s understanding of the rule continues to evolve, effective training content will be developed by subject matter experts who are continuously monitoring the regulatory landscape. We’re pleased to be a part of this initiative, which has been shaped with input from more than 800 industry professionals representing more than 100 leading firms.”

RegEd delivers more than 1,250,000 CE courses and insurance certificates annually. Firms rely on RegEd’s regulatory, compliance and education experts for their deep domain expertise and ability to consistently generate timely educational content that enables organizations to effectively prepare their employees to adapt to changing requirements.

“Training will be one of most critical parts of implementing the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule, which is the most massive regulatory change to impact the industry in decades,” said Cathy Weatherford, IRI President and CEO. “We are proud to partner with RegEd on this initiative so that we can support financial professionals and home office personnel through this process by providing them with clear, streamlined and digestible training.”

The first course in the series of training modules is fully developed and will be available in October (insurance CE credit will be applied for).  Module One provides a comprehensive overview of the DOL rule and the Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption, including the following sections: About the DOL Fiduciary Rule; Exceptions from the Rule; Being an ERISA Fiduciary; Understanding Your Fiduciary Responsibilities; The Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption; Level-Fee Advisors under the DOL Fiduciary Rule; Impact on Advisor Compensation; Recommending Rollovers under the DOL Fiduciary Rule; Impact on Client Relationships; and Special Rules for Proprietary Products and Fixed-Rate Annuity Contracts. This module is appropriate for anyone whose job is affected by the rule.

Three additional modules are also in development, including a two-part course for financial professionals who are fiduciaries under the new rule to meet the requirements of the new best interest standard, and a course focused on the responsibilities of broker-dealer and insurer home office personnel under the rule.

For more information on the DOL fiduciary rule training initiative, contact sales@reged.com.

About RegEd

RegEd, Inc. 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.

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