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Fiduciary Resource Center

Previous Webinars

Step 2 of the Fiduciary Process: Formalizing the Investment Strategy

Date recorded: October 04, 2017

Michael Muirhead, SVP, Learning & Development, Fi360

Armed with an understanding of the client’s objectives and financial situation, the second step of the fiduciary process is to build and formalize the investment strategy for the client’s portfolio. Broadly speaking, this involves establishing proper portfolio diversification and preparing an effective investment policy statement.

This session provides an overview of the prudent process an advisor should follow to arrive at a proper investment allocation strategy to best suit the needs of the investor. It is appropriate as both an introduction to fiduciary responsibility for those who are inexperienced with acting as a fiduciary and as a refresher for experienced advisors who have fiduciary training and a track record of supporting fiduciary clients. 

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Exploring the Expanding Universe of Investment Products

Date recorded: September 13, 2017

Blaine F. Aikin, Executive Chairman, Fi360

John Faustino, Chief Producty & Strategy Officer, Fi360

Both market forces and regulation are driving rapid evolution of investment products. The proliferation of new investment vehicles and fund share classes can be overwhelming.  During this webinar, we’ll discuss the factors driving new investment product creation, and how to cull the growing universe down to a manageable set from which selections can be made.

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The HSA Opportunity for Retirement Advisors

Date recorded: August 29, 2017

Presenter: Pat Jarrett, co-founder and ambassador of Health Savings Administrators
Moderator: Blaine Aikin, executive director of Fi360

As high deductible health plans have become increasingly common as an employer-provided benefit, so have health savings accounts as a tax-advantaged savings option for plan participants. For retirement plan advisors, this presents an opportunity to expand your plan services.

In this session, we look at that growing opportunity to incorporate HSA services into your overall plan service offerings. We also provide an overview of what advisors need to understand and recognize about the various types of HSA solutions that are available. Finally, we will describe the fiduciary obligations associated with recommending HSAs to clients, including meeting impartial conduct standards under the Department of Labor’s new Conflicts of Interest Rule (aka, the Fiduciary Rule). 

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Step 1 of the Fiduciary Process: Organizing the Client Engagement

Date recorded: July 18, 2017

Rich Lynch, AIFA®, Director, Fi360

Acting as a fiduciary in the role of a professional service provider requires being organized. You and all other parties associated with the account need to be aware of your responsibilities, have complete documentation of your relationships, identify and address conflicts of interest, and ensure that assets have sufficient protections from theft and embezzlement. These steps, taken at the outset of the engagement, ensure that the relationship has a strong foundation upon which to build a successful investment program that is in the best interests of the investors and beneficiaries.

Join us for an overview of the first step in a prudent investment process and a discussion on what advisors and other service providers need to consider when acting in a fiduciary capacity. This session is appropriate as both an introduction to fiduciary responsibility for those who are inexperienced with acting as a fiduciary and as a refresher for experienced advisors who have fiduciary training and a track record of supporting fiduciary clients. 

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Complying with Impartial Conduct Standards under the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

Date recorded: June 13, 2017

Blaine Aikin, AIFA®, CFP®, CFA®, Executive Chairman, Fi360

Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst, Fi360

The suspense is over.   The DOL’s “Fiduciary” Rule will officially go into effect on June 9 at 11:59 p.m. with the applicability of impartial conduct standards on all retirement advice. There are three components to the impartial conduct standards: complying with a best-interest standard, charging only reasonable compensation and avoiding misleading statements.  

Join us as we discuss how advisors and their firms should adopt policies and procedures designed to conform to the principles of the impartial conduct standards and the outlook for full implementation of the Rule, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption.

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Theory in Action: Asset Manager Solutions to Address the Retirement Income Challenge

Date recorded: May 04, 2017

Moderator:
John Faustino, AIF®, Chief Product and Strategy Officer; Fi360

Panelists:
Toni Brown, CFA®, SVP, Defined Contribution; Capital Group
Will Collins-Dean, Portfolio Manager; Dimensional Fund Advisors

Timothy J. Pitney; Managing Director, Institutional Investment and Endowment Distribution; TIAA

The demand from plan participants, and sponsors, for steady retirement income is well documented.  Combined with regulatory support for new and innovative offerings, we're starting to see a supply of products emerge to address the retirement income challenge.  In this webinar, three leading asset managers will articulate how they define the retirement income problem, and describe the offerings they've built in response.  Following those presentations will be a Q and A session.  This webinar will be moderated by Fi360.

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DOL Fiduciary Rule Finds New Life in Rule Extension

Date recorded: April 20, 2017

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, Executive Chairman of Fi360
Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at Fi360

As expected, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule has officially been delayed until at least June 9. What was not expected is that the expanded definition and principles-based Impartial Conduct Standards may survive in the final Rule. With that in mind, join us as we examine the substance of the Rule modifications and why advisors should be prepared to meet the impartial conduct standards as soon as June 9. We will also look at the broader compliance picture under the Rule, the overall trends affecting the future of investment advice, and how the advice market is already responding despite uncertainty.

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Filling the Void in Guaranteed Retirement Income

Date recorded: March 28, 2017

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, Executive Chairman of Fi360
John Faustino, AIF®, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Fi360

With the demise of defined benefit plans, questions regarding the viability of Social Security, and the 2008 market downturn still fresh in our minds, US investors are rightly concerned with how they’ll pay for retirement (and more specifically, outliving their assets). The burden to plan for retirement has moved squarely to the shoulders of investors, but only half work with financial advisors or planners. How will the masses prepare? About 80% of US employees have access to a defined contribution plan, 89% of those who work for companies with over 500 employees.

We hope, and believe, evolution of guaranteed income (or guaranteed income ‘like’) investments within defined contribution plans will continue as a means to address this dire need.

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The Regulators are Setting Their 2017 Priorities. Are You?

Date recorded: February 07, 2017

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, Executive Chairman of fi360
Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at fi360

FINRA and the SEC have their examination priorities for financial advisors in place for the New Year and the DOL has provided additional guidance on complying with its Conflicts of Interest Rule. As an investment fiduciary, are your due diligence practices ready for testing by securities regulators? In this webinar, we examine the key priorities affecting fiduciary advice, as well as related, trending topics of interest.

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2016 a Huuuuge Year for the Fiduciary Standard

Date recorded: December 15, 2016

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, Executive Chairman of fi360
Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at fi360

2016 was a watershed year for the fiduciary standard.  Despite active efforts to derail the Department of Labor’s flagship regulation for retirement advice, it was released in April after nearly six years of contentious debate and to-date survives intact despite legal challenges and a failed congressional resolution to derail it.  But the debate isn’t over.  Although the DOL’s conflict of interest rule is set to go into effect in April, the surprise upset in the presidential election could yet change the dynamics for implementation in 2017.

Join us for an end of year recap and look ahead at what 2017 will bring for the DOL’s fiduciary rule, as well as other key highlights in Congress, at the SEC, and in the states -- events that will have a long-term impact on the fiduciary standard and your practice.  We will also look at whether the fiduciary momentum is too strong within the industry to be turned back, even if lawmakers and regulators soften or reverse course. Make sure to bring your questions.  Our experts will be happy to respond and offer a few predictions for the coming year!

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What the Upcoming Election Means for Advisors

Date recorded: October 31, 2016

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, Executive Chairman of fi360
Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at fi360

Date: October 31, 2016 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Description:
Advisors are accustomed to market volatility. But nowhere in recent memory has anyone seen as much political volatility as in the current election cycle. How will oversight of investment advisers change with new regulatory chiefs at the SEC and DOL under a Trump presidency? Will the current trajectory of regulation change with a Clinton in the White House? And will the DOL fiduciary rule morph into something else with a changing of the guard? What will Congress do in terms of tax reform and Wall Street oversight if Democrats take the Senate?

Join our industry experts Blaine Aikin, AIFA®, CFA®, CFP® and Duane Thompson, AIFA® as they look past Election 2016 to see what changes are in store for the financial services industry. 

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Putting the investment policy statement at the center of your fiduciary process

Date recorded: September 13, 2016

Rich Lynch, AIFA®,  Director at fi360 and John Faustino, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at fi360

At the heart of managing a prudent investment process is the investment policy statement. Done right, it is the blue print for any fiduciary portfolio and the game plan for carrying out the fiduciary process. In this session, we will first cover why the IPS is the critical document for managing the investment process and how thoughts and opinions on the IPS have evolved. Then we will look at the structure and contents of an effective IPS. Finally, we will provide guidance on practical aspects of operationalizing the IPS, such as managing consistent IPS documents across clients, using the IPS to manage investment workflows, and the ongoing maintenance required to keep the IPS up to date.

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Cybersecurity: What advisors need to know about protecting data

Date recorded: August 23, 2016

Blaine Aikin, Executive Chairman, fi360
Wes Stillman, Founder and President, Rightsize Solutions

Description:
Cybersecurity is a topic everyone is becoming more familiar with. When data breaches occur to major companies, it causes major headlines and major headaches. But advisors shouldn’t feel complacent that they’ll slide under the radar.  With access to personal information about their clients and less resources to devote to data protection, advisors make for an enticing target. In this session, we first make the case for a fiduciary imperative to take cybersecurity seriously and review the latest guidance from regulators. Then our guest presenter gives an overview of vulnerabilities most advisors share and the steps any advisor can take now to better protect themselves from attack.

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Fiduciary Focus – Collective Investment Trusts Capturing Assets and Attention

Date recorded: July 26, 2016

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA®, CFP®, AIF®, Executive Chairman of fi360
John Faustino, Chief Product and Strategy Officer

Description:
Collective Investment Trusts (CITs) have been capturing lots of attention and assets lately. CITs offer retirement plan fiduciaries an attractive, generally lower-cost, alternative to mutual funds. Assets invested in these vehicles have grown from about $900 billion in 2008 to over $1.5 trillion at the end of 2014, according to Pension & Investments data.

CITs have also caught the attention of regulators and litigators. At the end of last year (12/29/15), Schlichter, Bogard, and Denton filed a class action suit in the case of Bell, et al. versus Anthem Inc., alleging in part that lower-cost CITs should have been selected for Anthem’s 401k plan instead of “identical” higher-cost mutual funds.

Plan fiduciaries and investment fiduciary advisors need to be well versed in CITs and how to evaluate them. This webinar will cover what CITs are, similarities to and differences from other pooled investments, how to analyze them, and trends relating to CITs that will be important for investment fiduciaries to follow.

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Compensation, conflicts, and best practices under the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

Date recorded: June 28, 2016

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, Executive Chairman of fi360

Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at fi360

Now that the DOL’s fiduciary rule has been out for over two months, advisors need to be turning their attention towards compliance. In this session, we will focus in on specific provisions of the rule, the associated compliance concerns, and what steps advisors should be taking starting now. Among the topics to be covered are requirements around compensation, conflicts of interest, rollover advice, and the Best Interest Contract Exemption.

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DOL Fiduciary Rule and Putting Investors First

Date recorded: May 25, 2016

J. Richard Lynch, AIFA®, Director of fi360

The DOL’s Fiduciary Rule is perhaps the most significant event in advisor oversight since ERISA was enacted in 1974. It will have a profound and lasting impact on how advisors provide advice and client services. The fundamental premise of the rule is that all advice is a fiduciary act and must therefore be in the best interests of the investors and beneficiaries.

In this session, fi360 Director Rich Lynch will cover the context and basics of the rule, key provisions of the rule, and steps advisors must take to get into compliance with the rule.

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Rethinking Target Date Funds: Who Needs Them and How to Compare Them

Date recorded: May 24, 2016

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFP®, CFA, Executive Chairman, fi360

John Faustino, Chief Product & Strategy Officer, fi360

Despite the success of Target Date Funds in attracting participant assets in 401(k) plans, fiduciary advisors are decidedly unhappy with the tools available to perform TDF due diligence. Glide paths are hard to characterize and difficult to compare from a prudence perspective. The quality of underlying funds, or sub-asset classes, can change over the course of time, as does the asset allocation of the portfolio. The number of relevant due diligence factors and the lack of stability in the data over time makes the selection and monitoring of TDFs challenging for fiduciary advisors.

Due diligence analysis becomes increasingly important as TDFs dominate inflows under the DOL’s Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) safe harbor and continue to increase market share in defined contribution plans.

This webinar examines current thinking in the field of TDF due diligence and offers an alternative way to think about who should use TDFs, who shouldn’t, how to educate clients about them, and how fiduciary advisors should compare them in the due diligence process.

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The DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: What’s in it and what does it mean for advisors?

Date recorded: April 11, 2016

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, Executive Chairman of fi360

Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at fi360

Now that the DOL’s final “conflicts of interest” rule has been released, join the experts from fi360 to get our first reactions. What’s in the rule? What has changed since the initial proposal? Are there any unanticipated surprises? What’s the timeline for implementation and compliance? Most importantly, we’ll take a look at the impact of the rule on advisors. Whether you already work with retirement plans or are facing having your IRA accounts fall under ERISA for the first time, this rule will have a lasting and profound impact on what the retirement advice market looks like and how it functions moving forward.

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Social Security and Why We Truly May Be Facing a Retirement Crisis

Date recorded: February 25, 2016

Rosemarie Panico-Marino, AIF, Managing Director, The PrivateBank

Every year Social Security publishes its Trustee report on the funded status of the Social Security Funds. The numbers are concerning. Add this to the many published reports that Americans are facing a retirement crisis and the two create a concerning picture. Are we facing a crisis and, if so, what can we be doing to change the tide? As advisors, what are we communicating to our clients to encourage them to do more? Who will be responsible for the shortfall if we do have a crisis? How can we move employees to do more for themselves to help secure a comfortable retirement?

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Keeping Your Mind on Money While Listening to Matters of the Heart: Fiduciary Heuristics for ESG Inv

Date recorded: February 02, 2016

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFP®, CFA, Executive Chairman, fi360, Inc.

Essayist Jonathan Swift advised that “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” Recent guidance from the DOL confirms that it is fine for fiduciaries to consider matters of the heart when investing, so long as they keep their minds centered on making money.

This webinar examines recent regulatory developments and the state of the art and science of economically targeting investing (ETI) using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Attendees will be provided a useful set of heuristics to guide fiduciary advisors as they seek to serve the interests of clients who want to follow both their mind and heart when they invest.

 

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The Fiduciary Year in Review

Date recorded: December 10, 2015

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, CEO of fi360
Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at fi360

SEC Chair Mary Jo White announces in March the agency will proceed with a fiduciary rulemaking and third-party outsourcing of some RIA exams. A month later the Department of Labor releases its revised fiduciary rule for comment. In May the Supreme Court confirmed the fiduciary duty to monitor plan investment options is not subject to ERISA’s six-year statute of limitations. These and other events of importance to investment fiduciaries promise to keep shaping the fiduciary standard in the New Year. Join fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin and senior policy analyst Duane Thompson as they reprise the past year and identify key events investment fiduciaries should watch for in 2016.

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Understanding Reasonableness and Using Benchmarking to Avoid the Race to the Bottom

Date recorded: November 12, 2015

Rich Lynch, President of fi360
Aaron Borders, Regional Director & Vice President at Dimensional Fund Advisors
Matt Burt, Research Analyst for Ann Schleck & Co. ​

Since 408(b)(2) disclosure requirements came into effect, plan sponsors are in a better position than ever to carefully scrutinize plan fees and services.  While access to more and better information is empowering for the client, it presents a challenge for advisors and plan service providers to demonstrate value. When evaluating fees, whether for plan services or for investment management, it is important that the least expensive option not be confused with the best or most reasonable.

In this session, we will first provide an overview of the fiduciary duty to monitor, understanding 408(b)(2) disclosure requirements, and a primer on the concept of “reasonableness” as it applies to both plan services and selecting investments. We will then take a look at recent advisor fee and service trends, how advisors can communicate the value they deliver to clients, and how benchmarking can help demonstrate “reasonableness.”

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An Update on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Proposal

Date recorded: October 15, 2015

Blaine F. Aikin, AIFA®, CFA, CFP®, CEO of fi360

Duane Thompson, AIFA®, Senior Policy Analyst at fi360

Now that the public and industry has had its say on the DOL’s “conflicts of interest” rule proposal, it’s time to start looking ahead at how the rule is likely to impact the financial services industry and retirement investors it is designed to protect. What changes do we expect to see from the original rule proposal? What’s a sensible timeline for a final rule to be introduced and, ultimately, take effect? Most importantly, how will the rule affect the way advisors are providing services to retirement plan clients and what prudent processes should they consider adopting prior to the effective date?

In this session, fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin and Senior Policy Analyst Duane Thompson will look at both the big picture of how the rule is taking shape, as well as the practical impact in a number of specific areas. For instance, what does the rule mean for products, such as annuities and proprietary products? How do the prohibited transaction exemptions affect existing advice practices? When exactly is ERISA fiduciary status triggered when advising on rollovers?

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Viewing healthcare through a finance and a fiduciary lens

Date recorded: September 10, 2015

Wayne Miller, Founder and CEO of Nura Health, SPC

Having served as an expert witness in ERISA litigation, presenter Wayne Miller left pension finance work in 2009 and began a six year journey back into the roots of his career - science and healthcare.  Having turned a fiduciary lens to America’s healthcare system, what he has found is deeply disturbing to him and to others who now recognize that much of America’s healthcare infra-structure is corrupted by conflicts of interest that pale almost any activity he ever witnessed in pension finance. 

When planning for retirement, investors and their advisors need to carefully consider the impact of their long-term health, the cost of health care, and the decision-making process for health care needs. This presentation offers compelling information for all of us who have digested the imperative of fiduciary conduct and seek to have those principles applied more broadly to other elements of America’s economic infra-structure. For investment advisors, this session will give insights into how healthcare really works – behind the rules.  Providing perspective on the limitations of healthcare services is an essential element of their professional services.  

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Understanding Risk from a Fiduciary and Behavioral Standpoint

Date recorded: August 12, 2015

Blaine Aikin, AIFA®, CFP®, CFA®, CEO of fi360

Warren Cormier, CEO of Boston Research Technologies

One of the most important factors when building an investment policy is understanding and incorporating risk into the client portfolio. To do this, fiduciaries must consider the factors influencing portfolio risk, understand the risk tolerance of the investor(s), address large loss scenarios, and plan for liquidity needs. Ultimately, fiduciaries must find a level of risk that is necessary to achieve the investment goals and tolerable to the investor(s).

Measuring a person’s aversion to risk is obviously very complicated and typically done inaccurately.   Measurement is made even more complex because people are not clear on the definition of risk, particularly in view of the reality that there are many types of risk.  The problem with todays' risk tolerance questionnaires is the consequences of risk are not specifically described.  Furthermore, risk is treated as an abstraction and is not personalized.  Even more importantly, probability of gains and losses are treated equally.

In this session, fi360’s Blaine Aikin will present on understanding and incorporating risk into an investment portfolio from a fiduciary perspective, followed by Boston Research Technologies’ Warren Cormier, who will share his success using a behaviorally-based risk assessment questionnaire that addresses the weaknesses of traditional risk tolerance questionnaires.

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NQDC in the “Real World”

Date recorded: May 19, 2015

Ben Hall, VP & Managing Director, JKJ Retirement Services

This session will help advisors to employer-sponsored retirement plans to gain increased perspective on "real world" utilization of NQDC plans. In the process, we will touch on best practices in every facet of plan lifecycle: conception, design, installation, participant interface, informal funding, practicalities of day-to-day admin - all with a focus on the pragmatic (i.e., not the academic).

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Why maintaining the IPS is the most important duty a fiduciary performs

Date recorded: May 14, 2015

Linda Lubitz Boone, CFP®, Founder, President and Chief Compliance Officer of The Lubitz Financial Group and Founder of IPS AdvisorPro.

Done right, the investment policy statement can be the central piece around which the advisor-client relationship revolves. It is a record of the agreements between you and your client about how their money is going to be managed. It is your game plan for ensuring investment decisions are made consistently and in the best interests of the client. It is also a communication vehicle, engaging your clients in their investments and the process that you follow in managing their money. In this session, we will look at what comprises an effective investment policy statement and how it benefits both you, the advisor, and your clients. 

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The New Fiduciary Proposal…It’s out and we’re talking about it

Date recorded: April 30, 2015

Blaine Aikin, CEO of fi360
Fred Reish, ERISA attorney at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Bob Holcomb, Executive Director, Legislative and Industry Affairs at Empower Retirement
Bill Harmon, Sr. Vice President, Core Markets at Empower Retirement

In this sesson, our experts will provide an overview of DOL’s new fiduciary proposal and how it impacts RIAs and broker-dealer representatives. In particular, we’ll discuss what it means for fiduciary advice to IRAs, capturing rollovers, and the ripple effects it may have on the SEC and FINRA as they consider their standards of care in the future. 

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ERISA Litigation and Enforcement: The Role of the Independent Fiduciary and Best Practices for Finan

Date recorded: April 08, 2015

Susan Mangiero, Managing Director of Fiduciary Leadership, LLC
Thomas Clark, Counsel at The Wagner Law Group
Mitchell Shames, Partner at Harrison Fiduciary Group

ERISA litigation and enforcement increasingly involves allegations of conflicts of interest and imprudent decision-making on the part of advisors, consultants, banks and asset managers. In several recent matters, regulators and judges have made it clear that the use of an independent fiduciary would be interpreted as a reflection of procedural prudence and the absence of an independent fiduciary could hasten a decision of fiduciary breach.

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The Seven Core Principles Every Fiduciary Should Know and Follow

Date recorded: March 11, 2015

J. Richard Lynch, AIFA®, President of fi360

Fiduciary laws and rules may seem broad and complex as you set up your processes for delivering fiduciary advice. But what they all boil down to is making smart, process-oriented decisions that are in the best interests of your clients. And no matter what type of client or investor your serve, the framework for delivering a fiduciary standard of care looks the same in principle. In this session, we will look at the seven core functions that a fiduciary must oversee as the person entrusted to protect and grow investor assets. In addition, we will look at a suggested model for implementing those functions into a sustainable and repeatable process.

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Managing Client Expectations using an Investment Policy Statement

Date recorded: October 07, 2014

Linda Lubitz Boone

Creating and maintaining the investment policy statement is arguably the most important function an advisor performs. The IPS can be the bridge between the plan and the process. It can provide a formal agenda for your client meetings. It can help reengage your clients in their investments and the process that you follow in managing their money. This record of the agreements between you and your client about how their money is going to be managed is a critical part of the investment planning process. Likewise, many professionals in the financial advisory services industry are working to enhance their menu of services. Some firms are interested in adding wealth management, while others may be turning independent. Regardless, their common goal is to build their business. In either case, an IPS is a fundamental instrument in building sound advisor and client relationships, and thereby building your business.

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Benchmarking & Demonstrating Value in the Age of Reasonableness

Date recorded: December 11, 2013

Co-presenters for this webinar are Rich Lynch, President of fi360 and Matt Burt, Research Analyst for Ann Schleck & Co. 

For plan advisors and service providers, the environment created by new 408(b)(2) regulations has created new challenges.  Plan sponsors are in a better position than ever before to carefully scrutinize all plan fees and services as a result of more uniform reporting requirements.  Given the larger focus on fairness and transparency in the marketplace and the more level playing field created by regulation, how can you as an advisor demonstrate the unique value you bring to a plan? 

In this session, we will first provide an overview of the 408(b)(2) disclosure requirements and a primer on the concept of “reasonableness.” We will then take a look at recent advisor fee and service trends, how advisors can communicate the value they deliver to clients, and how benchmarking can help demonstrate “reasonableness”.

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Advisor Payments and Conflicts of Interest

Date recorded: September 25, 2013

Todd Cipperman, founding principal of both Cipperman & Company and Cipperman Compliance Services. Moderated by Byron Bowman, SVP and General Counsel for fi360.

This webinar will focus on compensation and expense issues including best execution, soft dollars, and solicitation fees.  

We will focus on recent best execution cases against advisors, including the Schmeidler and Goelzer cases.  We will discuss how advisors should conduct best execution reviews and testing.  How should advisors deal with clearing brokers?  What if a firm has an affiliated broker?  What if a firm only uses one broker-dealer for custody?  How can firms do compliance testing for best execution?  How should firms do directed brokerage?  Are advisors required to use ATS platforms?

We will address the increasing regulatory focus on soft dollars.  Why does the SEC care about soft dollars?  What is an advisor’s obligation?  What should an advisor do about a large soft dollar credit balance?  What kinds of expenses are soft dollarable?  What type of ADV disclosure is required?

We will discuss solicitation and revenue sharing arrangements as well as pay-to-play.  What are the agreement and disclosure requirements?  Must solicitors get registered/licensed?  When does the pay-to-play rule apply, and what are the reporting requirements?   What about the state securities regulators?  What about the recent focus on private equity firms?  What is the impact of state lobbying rules?  What about fund revenue sharing?

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Understanding and Using the CRFP (Consultants Review of Fiduciary Practices)

Date recorded: June 20, 2013

Rich Lynch, AIF®, COO for fi360

This webinar is tailored to AIF® Designees who are interested in adding fiduciary assessments to your capabilities. Consulting assessments are the next logical step from the self-assessment (SAFE) that many of you are already providing to clients. Assessments are also a good way to win new business and possibly add a new revenue stream. Mr. Lynch provides a brief history of the Prudent Practices, a practical look at this brand-new tool, and how it can be leveraged with your clients.

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The Case for Rethinking TDFs as QDIAs

Date recorded: June 12, 2013

Jacob Adamczyk, AIF®, Associate Vice President at Aurum Advisory Services and Mike McKeown, CFA®, CPA, Director of Research at Aurum Advisory Services. Moderated by Mike Limbacher, Product Development Manager of Tools for fi360.

The popularity of target-date funds (TDFs) blossomed when Congress passed the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), which made a number of changes to ERISA, not the least of which was facilitating automatic enrollment within qualified retirement plans. The Department of Labor (DOL) subsequently issued an advisory opinion defining what investments could qualify as default investment alternatives (QDIAs) within a qualified plan; three types of investments were cited – lifecycle/TDFs, risk-based/balanced funds, and model portfolios – of which TDFs quickly became the most popular choice. Unfortunately, at the time PPA was passed, there was a paucity of regulation regarding the due diligence and monitoring of TDFs. Equally as unfortunate was the timing of the 2008 financial crisis that caused many TDFs, even those with the nearest target date, to post significantly negative returns.

This one-hour webinar features guest presenters Jacob Adamczyk and Mike McKeown of Aurum Advisory Services for a session based on Mr. Adamczyk’s fi360 Article Competition-winning article, Rethinking TDFs as QDIAs: Why Target Date Funds Are a Fiduciary Nightmare for Qualified Plans. Mr. Adamczyk and Mr. McKeown present their take on what fiduciaries should have learned about TDFs by now and how to more appropriately structure default investments for participants.

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A Fiduciary Approach to Conflicts of Interest and Risk Governance

Date recorded: December 11, 2012

Blaine Aikin, CEO for fi360, and Byron Bowman, General Counsel for fi360.

In a recent speech, SEC Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Carlo V. di Florio stated that "conflicts of interest…are a leading indicator of significant regulatory issues for individual firms, and sometimes even systemic risk for the entire financial system."

Conflicts of interest are the single greatest obstacle to fulfilling fiduciary duty. As long as temptations exist, there will be instances of advisors making decisions for their own benefit at the expense of those they are charged to serve. Fiduciaries have a responsibility to recognize those conflicts and either eliminate them or manage them to the benefit of the client.

Join us for a one hour webinar as we discuss the focus the SEC is currently placing on conflicts of interest and what fiduciaries can do to mitigate this risk. Using Mr. di Florio's speech as our guide, we will take a look at the six types of conflict that are currently high on the SEC's examination priority list, and the three major components of an effective risk governance framework for advisory firms.

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The Fiscal Cliff and what advisors need to know

Date recorded: September 26, 2012

Ron Rhoades, Program Chair at Alfred State College Financial Planning Program. Moderated by Kathy Stewart of fi360.

The looming "Fiscal Cliff" has investors and advisors on edge. While Congress may act before the end of year to extend many of the expiring provisions, the underlying tax issues aren’t going away and will have to be dealt with eventually. Join us for a discussion of the fiscal cliff, tax reform, and how they affect you and your clients, including the following topics:

  • The fiduciary context for planning
  • Explaining the fiscal cliff and the major provisions driving it, including tax brackets, various credits, alternative minimum tax, estate taxes, capital gains, and dividends, and more
  •  What could change with tax reform
  •  How the coming Presidential election could affect what happens next
  • Strategies you can employ now and how to deal with clients who may be contemplating action in the near term

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Disclosures, Duties and Traps: What You Need to Know to Act Now

Date recorded: July 26, 2012

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Understanding the Distinctions: Suitability vs. Fiduciary; Compliance vs. Fiduciary Culture

Date recorded: July 11, 2012

Ron Rhoades, Program Chair at Alfred State College Financial Planning Program. Moderated by Kathy Stewart of fi360

In a world potentially migrating to "new uniform fiduciary standards," what additional due diligence and other requirements will financial advisors face while moving from a rules-based regime to a fiduciary regime? Why is adopting a "fiduciary culture" so different from meeting compliance obligations? Professor Rhoades explores recent decisions, proposed rules and emerging trends.

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The Impact of the Broker-Dealer Fiduciary Standard on Financial Advice

Date recorded: March 22, 2012

Dr. Michael Finke, Associate Professor at Texas Tech University and Roger Gibson, Chief Investment Officer of Gibson Capital. Moderated by Duane Thompson, Senior Policy Analyst of fi360.

The SEC is considering rule-making under the Dodd-Frank Act that would impose a uniform fiduciary standard of care for advisers and brokers, an effort that has been delayed due to congressional and industry pressure on the SEC to perform a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. Critics claim that imposition of a fiduciary standard on registered representatives would result in significant changes in how broker-dealers conduct business by limiting a representative's ability to recommended commission investments, provide advice to middle-market clients, and offer a broad range of financial products. Professor Finke's research takes advantage of existing differences in state broker-dealer common law standards of care to test whether a relatively stricter fiduciary standard of care impacts the ability to provide services to consumers in an actual market environment. Join us as Finke shares the results of his recently published study, The Impact of the Broker-Dealer Fiduciary Standard on Financial Advice, and we discuss what this new information means for advisors.

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Asset allocation for volatile markets

Date recorded: December 15, 2011

Harold Evensky, President of Evensky & Katz Wealth Management and Roger Gibson, Chief Investment Officer of Gibson Capital. Moderated by Blaine Aikin of fi360.

Everyone has an opinion on where they think the economy is going next, and yet no one really knows for sure. It is a fiduciary's job to balance that short-term uncertainty with the long term goals of the client. Join us for a discussion on asset allocation in today's markets with two of the preeminent authorities in the field. We'll put the current environment into a historical context, discuss asset class correlations, look at the importance of understanding the client's risk tolerance and other behavioral concerns, and examine the relevance of Modern Portfolio Theory at a time of global financial crisis.

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A fiduciary approach to alternative investments

Date recorded: September 28, 2011

Tom Orecchio and Mark Willoughby of Modera Wealth Management and Guy Barudin of Terrapin Partners, LLC. Moderated by Blaine Aikin of fi360.

As advisors seek opportunities for greater diversification and additional returns, alternative investments are gaining traction as main stream options for investment portfolios. However, fiduciaries should proceed carefully as they have a duty to demonstrate an understanding of any investment option and why it is in the best interests of the beneficiaries. In this session, we will define what qualifies as an alternative investment, how to decide if they are appropriate for a given client, and what constitutes a prudent selection and monitoring process for individual alternative investment vehicles.

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A Fiduciary Approach to Risk management / Life Insurance Planning

Date recorded: June 02, 2011

Joseph Maczuga, founder and executive director of Fee Advisors Network and Rich Lynch, COO of fi360

The presentation focuses on how to employ a methodology of current fiduciary standards through a qualifying process for analysis, design, and recommendations related to life insurance.
Disclosure of policy nuances that often "trap" the client, the differentiation between commission product and commission culture, and the incapacity to make a judgment call based on illustrations will be provided.
We will also address the need to fulfill the advisor's responsibilities of oversight in this area, and challenge, for discussion, the exposure created through the commonly used approach of avoidance or negligent referral.

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The Fiduciary Trend: The Combined Effects of the Proposed Advice Regulation and 408(b)(2)

Date recorded: March 03, 2011

Fred Reish, ERISA attorney from the Reish & Reicher law firm

A discussion of the DOL's new proposed regulation on fiduciary investment advice and the DOL's 408(b)(2) regulation. The proposal will, if adopted in its current form, substantially expand the definition of fiduciary investment advice to include many of the current activities of investment consultants and broker-dealers. The 408(b)(2) regulation amplifies that issue by requiring a written disclosure if a person or entity "reasonably expects" to be providing fiduciary services. In addition, both the SEC staff and FINRA have suggested the possibility of a more limited fiduciary status under the securities laws for broker-dealers. What are the trends? What are the specific ERISA provisions? What are the consequences?

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Building an effective and compliant social media program for advisors

Date recorded: December 02, 2010

Jessica Weiner, Founder of Value Quotient, Tom Henell of NAPLIA and Kristina Fausti, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs of fi360

Social media can be a valuable tool for advisors to reach new client audiences and network with colleagues, but only if you know how to use it right. Join us for a discussion on building an effective social media program, understanding the liability and exposure associated with social media and complying with the latest regulatory guidance.

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The New Era of Financial and Fiduciary Regulation

Date recorded: September 09, 2010

Blaine Aikin, CEO of fi360 and Kristina Fausti, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs of fi360

A discussion on the new era of regulation that has taken hold in Washington, including proposals, rules and guidance that affect fees, disclosures, and how advice is given; and what can be expected in the next year that will further shape how financial products and services are sold and delivered. We also go over what steps you should be taking to prepare for the increased transparency and accountability requirements being implemented by policy makers throughout the financial services industry.

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Monitoring client and investment fees

Date recorded: June 02, 2010

Mike Limbacher, Tools Product Associate, fi360 and Rich Lynch, COO, fi360.

This webinar reviews the fiduciary issues inherent in monitoring fees and expenses and some of the different fees and expenses that need to be monitored

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Understanding the different types of fiduciaries and what it means for your business model

Date recorded: March 11, 2010

Scott Simon, Principal, Prudent Investor Advisors, LLC, Scott Pritchard, Managing Director, Advisors Access, Capital Directions, and Rich Lynch, COO, fi360.

This session explains the differences between ERISA 3(21) and 3(38) fiduciaries, along with other, non-ERISA fiduciaries, under what circumstances you would choose to act as one type versus another, what this means for your business model and how you market yourself.

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Top Issues to Include in your 2009 Year-end Review

Date recorded: December 10, 2009

Blaine Aikin, CEO, Andy Frommeyer, Director of Products and Services, and Rich Lynch, COO

This session presents advisors with fi360’s recommendations for a top-down review for their final performance report presentations for the year, followed by discussions of the outlook for the future and the decision-making that should be used to prepare for what is ahead. Non-advisor listeners can also get a sense of important issues and the process they should expect to see followed by their advisors.

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The Converging Worlds of Brokers and Advisors as Fiduciaries Under Regulatory Reform

Date recorded: September 03, 2009

Blaine Aikin, CEO and Kristina Fausti, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs

As a practical matter, the worlds of brokers and advisors have intersected for decades. Many brokers provide some level of advice and many advisors incorporate sales concepts from the brokerage arena to improve business results. Moreover, dual registration is commonplace and allows brokers and advisors to be both as circumstances dictate, even if clients don't understand when the hats change. But, given the high level of investor confusion and dramatically different regulatory structures and business models, the convergence of brokers and advisors in the marketplace has looked more like a collision than a harmonic union.
"Harmonization" is now a catch-word phrase in the realm of regulatory reform but it has far broader ramification for the future of how investment services will be delivered. In this webinar, we will look at the differences between the fiduciary and suitability standards, what "harmonization" looks like to the different major players in reform, the regulatory changes most likely to occur based upon up-to-moment information from the major regulatory players, and business ramifications of anticipated regulatory changes for brokers, advisors and dually registered "brovisors." Finally, we'll highlight some major issues that remain to be decided and go over steps brokers and advisors should proactively take to prepare for what lies ahead."

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The Promise and Prospect of a New Fiduciary Environment

Date recorded: June 02, 2009

Blaine Aikin, CEO and Kristina Fausti, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs

The current industry and economic landscape is set to change the regulatory environment as we know it and those changes will directly affect how both service providers and investors function. Topics covered include the changes likely to be seen from legislators and regulators, including the adoption, in some form, of a fiduciary standard of care, how they can get the changes right and how they could fall short, how a change in culture is in the best interests of both the service providers and investors, why FINRA or another Self-Regulatory Organization is the wrong solution for oversight, as well as updates on any relevant developments.

Visit the fi360 Blog to continue the conversation from this Webinar. If you submitted questions during the Webinar, we will be addressing as many as possible on the blog.

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Fiduciary Lessons Learned from Scoundrels and Thieves

Date recorded: March 05, 2009

Blaine Aikin, CEO and Rich Lynch, COO

Take a walk down the hall of shame to recall some of the greatest fiduciary fiascos of all time that have been heavily concentrated in the last few years. It is no coincidence that they have been accompanied by the near collapse of the global financial system. All types of assets, all types of investors, and all types of financial institutions have been involved. Invariably fiduciaries committed the most egregious crimes and other fiduciaries had the best chance of preventing them. This session brings into focus the essential lessons to be learned from the financial calamities that have captured the headlines, crippled the financial markets and changed the investment advisory business forever.

Visit the fi360 Blog to continue the conversation from this Webinar. If you submitted questions during the Webinar, we will be addressing as many as possible on the blog.

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Uncovering Trends in Uncertain Times

Date recorded: December 04, 2008

Blaine Aikin, CEO and Rich Lynch, COO

Disruption and uncertainty in our industry is bringing about change; and with change comes opportunity. This hour-long complimentary Webinar concentrates on what can be learned, and gained, from recent industry developments. This event provides attendees with fi360's perspective and insight on how recent market activity will affect fiduciary responsibility, what is happening on Wall Street and in Washington, and risks and opportunities going forward.

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