During his confirmation hearings in early 2017, SEC chairman Jay Clayton clearly stated that his highest priority was to propose regulation that would harmonize the professional standards that apply to financial advisors, whether they be insurance agents, financial planners, securities brokers or investment advisors. He would do this by engaging the Department of Labor, FINRA and the State Securities and Insurance regulators.
Since last June, the commissioners have gathered information and identified key questions that would need to be considered in forming their final proposal. Those questions were:
• How many people would be affected by changes?
• How would products change?
• How would changes impact the cost and quality of advice?
• Would changes increase or decrease the risk to investors?
• Can advisors demonstrate compliance?
• Can we effectively enforce?