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Bennett Aikin
Interests: fiduciary responsibility
Recent Activity
>>>Last Thursday, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on the progress of Wall Street Reform. The hearing featured leaders from seven regulatory agencies and made headlines as Elizabeth Warren’s first chance to grill regulators... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2013 at fi360 Blog
>>>> In his most recent Fiduciary Corner column for InvestmentNews, Blaine Aikin looks at how brokers need to rethink the investment policy statement in light of FINRA's new suitability rule. An IPS serves as the business plan for a portfolio,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2013 at fi360 Blog
When was the last time you tested your disaster recovery plan (DRP)? Industry best practice is to test your DRP annually. At fi360, we conducted our most recent test last month. Business continuity planning, which includes a DRP, seeks to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2013 at fi360 Blog
In 2003, the SEC adopted Advisers Act Rule 206(4)-6, which requires registered investment advisers to adopt and implement written proxy voting policies and procedures, designed to avoid conflicts of interest that an investment adviser may encounter when voting proxies on... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2012 at fi360 Blog
>>>>By Tuesday night, we should know who will be the President for the next four years as well as the makeup of Congress going forward. While the results are sure to evoke a lot of mixed analysis, commentary, and emotions,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2012 at fi360 Blog
>>>>In his latest Fiduciary Corner column for InvestmentNews, Blaine takes a look at a recent speech by SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar for some guidance on an enforcement program that would help restore investor confidence in the integrity of financial market... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2012 at fi360 Blog
At the 23rd Annual SRI Conference held in Connecticut earlier this month, there was a breakout session titled, "Occupy Wall Street and SRI: Expanding Common Ground and Charting New Territory." The idea of the session was that both the Occupy... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2012 at fi360 Blog
>>>>Withdrawal strategy is one of those topics that we see often in the fiduciary links, but rarely with much new to say. Well, this week we've got a new study that suggests tying withdrawal rate to the IRS required minimum... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at fi360 Blog
>>>>While everyone seems to admit that all investment advisors have some conflicts of interest, only the “material” conflicts need to be disclosed, or so maintains Rex Staples in his article, “Can Advisors Have ‘Zero’ Conflicts of Interest?” His article follows... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2012 at fi360 Blog
With Practice 4.6, we have reached the end of our series spotlighting the Practices that comprise the Fiduciary Standards of Excellence for Advisors and Stewards. This last Practice ties all preceding ones together by requiring the periodic review of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2012 at fi360 Blog
>>>>In his latest InvestmentNews Fiduciary Corner column, fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin looks at the inherent problems with appointing an SRO, namely FINRA, as the oversight solution for improving adviser examinations (see also: fi360’s legislative alert opposing the bill at the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2012 at fi360 Blog
In our previous Practice post, on Practice A-4.4, we took a look at the fiduciary requirement to monitor investment management fees. Practice A-4.5 is about monitoring asset placement fees. These are the fees paid for distribution and placement of financial... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2012 at fi360 Blog
“How to choose an investment advisor.” In the course of monitoring the media for relevant articles, we come across some iteration of this headline on a nearly weekly basis. Just this past week, it was a personal finance columnist from... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2012 at fi360 Blog
Last week the Department of Labor issued further guidance about the requirements of the new 404(a)(5) participant disclosure rule. Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2012-02 provided this guidance in the form of questions and answers that is very helpful. The bulletin... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2012 at fi360 Blog
Shortly after Congress passed the Maloney Act of 1938, SEC Commissioner George Mathews met at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, before an uneasy convention of investment bankers. He was before them, as he had been the... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2012 at fi360 Blog
The first day of our 2012 conference is underway. The first thing we do at each conference (besides the first night's cocktail reception), is our annual State of fi360 and State of the Fiduciary Landscape opening remarks. Included in that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2012 at fi360 Blog
For most fiduciary practitioners who read this blog, the importance of maintaining and adhering to a sound investment policy statement is widely embraced as the guiding document from which other fiduciary responsibilities flow. At times, though, it is instructive to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2012 at fi360 Blog
The most recent focal point in the ongoing debate on what a universal fiduciary standard of care will look like and how it will be implemented centers around SIFMA’s proposed framework and the reaction to it from a group of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2012 at fi360 Blog
The key refrain from opponents of a fiduciary rule for brokers can be summarized in one sentence: “SEC, do your economic analysis, or else.” ‘Or else’ means, of course, the implied threat of a legal challenge, an area where the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2012 at fi360 Blog
In a recent 401(k) plan excessive fees case, Kraft Foods agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle participant claims that they violated ERISA in permitting excessive investment management fees in their plan. In what is often the case, they agreed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2012 at fi360 Blog
Earlier this month, the Southern District of New York U.S. district court issued what one blogger has called the “ERISA Decision of the Year.” In an era when cases typically are either dismissed or settled before the facts and law... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2012 at fi360 Blog
>>>>Last Monday, President Obama released his proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year. There is obviously a long way to go before anything becomes settled, but it is worth noting that the SEC has requested a $266 million increase to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2012 at fi360 Blog
>>>>In his latest Fiduciary Corner column for InvestmentNews, Blaine takes a look at the AICPA code of professional conduct as an aspirational guide for how financial advisors can achieve true professionalism. With central, recognized requirements to adhere to fiduciary principles,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2012 at fi360 Blog
It was only recently that we first heard of an education policy statement. But it is something we are increasingly being asked about by our members. The only documents we specifically recommend as part of the "fiduciary file" are applicable... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2012 at fi360 Blog
Tomorrow, President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union address to Congress. Beyond the expected emphasis on jobs, the economy and the military, one thing we'd like to see is a raising of the fiduciary bar for members... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2012 at fi360 Blog