“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity—not as a threat.” − Steve Jobs
The DOL Conflict of Interest Rule is expected to have the biggest impact on financial services since ERISA was enacted in 1974. As firms scramble to comply, four key questions rise to the surface:
- How will the DOL Conflict of Interest Rule impact their current mode of business?
- What do they need to do over the next seven months to comply by April 10, 2017 when the new standard goes into effect?
- What steps need to be taken during the transition period from April 10th to “go live” on January 1, 2018?
- And perhaps most important, how can they turn this compliance challenge into a competitive advantage?
To not only survive, but thrive in the post DOL-rule era, firms need to map out a plan to keep them focused and on track.
Breaking DOL compliance into bite-sized chunks
The timeline on the next page provides a helpful, holistic view of what tasks need to be tackled now, by April 10, 2017 when the new standard goes into effect, during the transition period up to the final ruling (April 10th through year-end), and finally what ongoing processes and checkpoints need to be implemented post-DOL after January 1, 2018
Map out a plan to stay focused and on track
1. Pre-DOL Rule: Getting Your House in Order
Timeline: Now until April 10, 2017
Two of the most urgent needs firms are wrestling with after digesting the DOL Conflict of Interest Rule center on their current business operations – specifically, an evaluation of their fund lineup and re-engineering their current process for share class conversions.[related_stories]
Sell List Analysis: For firms who distribute funds through a distributor network, job one is looking at their current fund lineup and performing an in-house assessment of their compensation practices. Will they remain status quo or do the BIC exemption? If they are doing the BIC exemption, what data will they need to screen funds to offer the most suitable ones for their downstream investors? Many firms have echoed the need for a fund evaluation service and mutual fund scorecard ranking service to help them objectively benchmark their current lineup against the universe of over 30,000 open-end mutual fund and ETF CUSIPs.