September 9, 2004
As a regulatory agency charged with insuring consumers have fair and accurate information on which they base their decisions, I urge you to NOT PASS the Merrill Lynch rule.
The vast majority of consumers do not truly understand the different fiduciary obligations of RIAs versus wirehouse brokers. This rule further blurs the line.
Yes, many brokers do a fine job on behalf of their clients. The issue is simply what responsibility the consumer BELIEVES her representative has to them. I urge you to keep this information in CRYSTAL CLEAR language for all.