The Department of Labor (DOL) has set a new standard for advisors by redefining who qualifies as a fiduciary. New objectives aim to ensure that advisors are always putting the best interests of their clients first, and reduces conflicts of interest for advisors by increasing fee disclosures.
Many believe that this fiduciary standard will increase the cost of business for advisors due to the cost to comply, and if some advisors want to continue to plan for a client’s retirement with investments, they will need to adjust their workflow.
Finding FinTech support in DOL compliance strategies
It is clear that holistic financial planning will play a key role when creating DOL compliance strategies for the impending DOL fiduciary rule for many financial services professionals. Advisors will need to deliver proof that they are providing credible advice that is in the best interest of their clients. Planning software and other FinTech tools will make this easier to accomplish and keep these records if they are needed in the future.
Cory Olson, director of global product strategy at Advicent, recently discussed the role of financial technology in the wake of the this sweeping regulation change with Bruce Love, reporter at Financial Advisor IQ. Olson sums up the effects of the rule as such, “What’s really happened is that folks that used to just have a product-centric approach to their advice have now had to take a more holistic approach to their advice – looking at the client’s risk tolerance, their full goal picture, all of their assets and accounts, to be able to provide that holistic advice in the client’s best interest. We expect the same thing will happen here in the United States.”
Click here to view the entire interview with Olson and Love on Financial Advisor IQ.
We do not believe a singular software or process can completely ensure that an advisor or organization will not be subject to investigation. Due to the complexity of the client-advisor-firm relationship, there will be situations where decisions and recommendations are made outside determined workflows that might be called into review by the Department of Labor. Advicent firmly believes that internal processes — coupled with a robust, well-positioned financial planning software — can greatly reduce the risk of noncompliance.
Incorporating FinTech, such as the Narrator product line, into a firm’s workflow empowers an easier transition to the new DOL standards. The transparency offered with the online portal gives the client access to their financial plan 24/7, bolstering their confidence in the strategy and increasing their likelihood to stick to the plan presented. In addition, clients will feel more involved and connected to the planning process while the advisor will simultaneously meet the expectations of the new regulation.
The Compliance Blueprint from Advicent
While there is no single solution to ensure DOL compliance, Advicent has created The Compliance Blueprint to empower firms and advisors with the tools to deepen client relationships through increased trust and transparency, remain profitable in the facing of changing regulation, and create a streamlined and repeatable process — all while keeping financial planning at the core.
The Compliance Blueprint is a three-part offering from Advicent which includes unique DOL-ready financial planning software functionalities, industry expertise, and consultant partnership services — all supported by decades of experience providing guidance and thought leadership to our clients through past regulatory changes.
After reviewing the new fiduciary standards, Advicent has taken three major steps in building The Compliance Blueprint to ensure success when partnering with Advicent — identifying applicable product functionalities and affirming its DOL readiness; partnering with industry experts and providing thought leadership; and announcing product updates to further enhance the Advicent offering.
The Compliance Blueprint from Advicent offers comprehensive financial planning technology that has enabled advisors to withstand changing regulation in the past, as well as identified and validated eight unique features that will assist in DOL compliance efforts; partnered with other industry leaders to provide consultation services and thought leadership; and accelerated development of new tools to assist in workflow and compliance management following the full implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule.