August 3, 2010
To remove C-shares from the available to consumers limits a registered person's ability to work with a client with short-term goals, or those who seek to rebalance a portfolio on an annual basis. This will either force clients to be moved to a "fee-based" model (swapping a 1% service fee from the fund company) for a 1% (or higher) fee to be charged by the advisor to manage the account.
This decision will have a significantly detrimental impact on smaller investors, who may not need nor meet the financial threshold where a fee-based advisory relationship makes sense. Many of these smaller customers, which make up the mainstream of many smaller broker/dealers, will be forced to move to an advisory-model (and most likely pay more in fees) or simply move their account elsewhere.
My other concern, as a compliance officer, is that the reduction in fees may encourage less scrupulous registered persons to engage in churning activities within a client's account in onder to generate new commissions to replace the loss of 12b1 fees.
Clients today are much more sophisticated than in the past, and understand there is a cost to doing business and prefer to work within a transaction-based model (rather than an advisory one). They understand there is a cost associated with doing business, and do not appear to be the ones objecting to 12b1 fees.
The proposed actions by the SEC do little to protect the consumer, but rather create an environment that has the potential to harm small consumers in the process and should not be enacted.