August 23, 2010
I am writing to express my strong support for the proposal in the Administration's White Paper on financial regulatory reform to subject all those who provide investment advice to fiduciary duty to act in their clients best interests.
Over the years, I have looked on in dismay as brokers have been allowed to offer extensive advisory services, and market their services based on the advice offered, all without having to comply with the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act).
While I applaud the intent evident in the provision and believe it represents a good starting point, I believe revisions will be needed to unambiguously provide for the extension of the overarching fiduciary duty that investment advisers owe their clients under the Advisers Act to brokers and others who provide investment advice, that this fiduciary duty is explicitly recognized in law, and that the legislation does not in any way undermine the fiduciary duty that already exists under the Advisers Act.
I greatly appreciate the Administrations's efforts in putting forward this legislation, and their intent to bolster investor protections is fully realized.