The Securities and Exchange Commission says a Tampa real estate investment firm ran a Ponzi scheme that raised $170 million from at least 1,100 mostly elderly investors. Most investors had limited knowledge of what they were investing in, the complaint says, or that the defendants paid out $24 million in commissions to agents and others.
There is no reason to expect any change in the Beltway distribution of power, said Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors. Speaking during a regular conference call Thursday, Roame said President Donald J. Trump is on track for another four-year term.
According to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Charlie Chen placed “extremely aggressive” and “extraordinarily profitable” trades in advance of Vistaprint quarterly earnings announcements from April 2013 through July 2014.
Through his company, Ronald Leger sold “at least” $3.7 million fractional interests in life settlements to 29 investors, the complaint reads. The Massachusetts Securities Division is in the process of finalizing a fiduciary rule to tighten the rules for all financial advice and sales.
Mennonite investors in Pennsylvania were scammed out of $60 million over a decade, say investigators with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The elaborate Ponzi scheme relied on the trust of the Mennonite worshippers, investigators say.
Work continues on a fiduciary rule proposed by the Massachusetts Securities Division. The department posted 227 comment letters last week, three weeks after the comment deadline. A spokeswoman said all of the comments will be included in the rulemaking process.
Mother Jones, a liberal news website, reports that it has copies of internal memorandums circulated by Barclays, a powerful London-based bank and financial services firm. In one such memo, the bank warns that a Warren presidency “would directly impact corporate earnings.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker sent a letter Tuesday to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin urging him to defer action on proposed fiduciary regulation. The proposal creates “confusion,” and ignores other state and national regulatory efforts, Baker wrote.
It was a very busy year and our readership reflected the frenetic time for financial services. Here are the top five most-read stories on Advisor News.
Tiburon counts 335,000 financial advisors — a stagnant figure over the past 15 years — controlling nearly $25 trillion in assets. While the number of advisors remains the same, the assets they control has more than doubled since 2010. In the future, the independent channels should continue to grow, Tiburon predicted.
The independent broker-dealer space is growing at a healthy pace, but just not as healthy as registered investment advisors are, one leading analyst said. That is one trend line not likely to change anytime soon, said Chip Roame, managing partner of Tiburon Strategic Advisors.
Changes are to the Social Security Administration pension program are an annual event and 2020 is no different. Some changes are due to formulas, while others are part of the legislative framework underpinning Social Security. Here are six changes announced by the SSA last month:
Insurance commissioners tabled a proposal today to create a Life Insurance and Annuity Illustration Working Group to complete a comprehensive and coordinated review of annuity and life insurance illustrations. The proposed working group would coordinate illustration issues, particularly with indexed products, across annuity and life insurance.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kent., Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., lobbied for immediate Senate consideration of the bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act. The bill passed the House by a 417-3 vote on May 23.
The Financial Planning Association 2019 Annual Conference kicked off this morning from Minneapolis. Our Cassie Miller is at the scene reporting on the three-day conference for Advisor News.
An attorney for Stephen Cook, a broker who sued Ohio National to recoup trail commissions, said his client will appeal an Oct. 2 ruling dismissing his lawsuit.
The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York filed an appeal Monday challenging a New York Supreme Court ruling upholding the state’s new regulations governing annuity and life insurance sales.
Chip Roame is “pretty optimistic” about the near future of the financial services industry and he points to two words as the reason why: baby boomers.
Jason Berkowitz, chief legal and regulatory affairs officer for the Insured Retirement Institute, identified two critical problems that are leaving too many Americans unprepared for retirement.
The Department of Labor is expected to release its revised best-interest rules in the coming weeks and the financial services industry should be pleased, said Joshua Waldeser, partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath.
Morningstar estimates that just 25% of Americans are on track to have what they need for retirement. It is one of many studies showing the gap in retirement savings as Americans transition from defined benefit to defined contribution planning.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has been very deliberate with its Regulation Best Interest, which was tentatively adopted last April.
The fiduciary battleground is moving to the states as more of them eye best-interest regulations.
The Federal Reserve did the expected today and is holding interest rates to the current range of 2.25 to 2.5 percent.
Regulation 187 will change the way annuities are sold in New York.
A new lawsuit was filed Monday challenging Ohio National’s decision to stop paying trail commissions on certain variable annuity contracts.
Senate Bill 1534 was introduced Feb. 6 and quickly passed out of the Senate Finance Committee before clearing the full Senate this week. The bill moves on to the House of Representatives.
The House Financial Services Committee announced today that a subcommittee hearing will be held on the SEC’s best interest rule on March 14.
Total 2018 annuity sales increased 14 percent to $232.1 billion, compared with 2017 results, according to LIMRA. Rising interest rates and the elimination of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule are seen as factor boosting annuity sales, which are the best LIMRA has seen since it began tracking sales.
DPL Financial Partners and Jackson National Life Insurance Company have an new agreement to bring the carrier’s advisory annuity products to fee-only advisors. The deal represents Jackson’s first distribution partnership targeting the independent RIA channel.
The annuity focused Alliance for Lifetime Income has signed on as the sole sponsor of The Rolling Stones’ 2019 “No…
Ohio National informed broker-dealers in a Sept. 28 letter that it would terminate “any and all servicing agreements” on Dec. 13. That means all compensation, specifically trail commissions, stopped on that date.
With Congress consumed by finding a way to keep the government open for business, and the session coming near the end, the financial services industry is conceding defeat on passing a retirement security package in 2018.
Americans have money to invest in retirement and want financial advice.
Trail commissions stopped today for any producer who sold a VA with a guaranteed minimum income benefit rider. The company has been sued twice so far by broker-dealers in federal court.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ New York chapter filed a lawsuit to stop the state’s controversial best-interest rule. The rule is “arbitrary and capricious” and was crafted outside of the New York Legislature, the lawsuit claims, which has the proper authority.
Ohio National Financial Services made a surprise announcement Tuesday that president and COO Christopher Carlson is retiring three months after taking the position.
Election night yielded a little something for everyone. But what does it mean for insurance and financial services as a whole? We see three key takeaways, and not all of them are bad news.
Cyberattacks cost financial-services firms more to address and contain than in any other industry, and the rate of breaches in the industry has tripled over the past five years, according to a February report from Accenture.
Many agents and advisors are aging out of the business, but are often failing to plan a transition for their agencies until they approach retirement.
“Crazy,” “stunning” and “very odd” were just some of the reactions today to news from Ohio National that it will end advisor compensation on existing variable annuity contracts.
An employee on maternity leave was watching news on TV the day before she was returning to work. Then she saw it would also be the last day as she knew it at her venerable Wall Street firm.
On the brink of crumbling a decade ago, America’s financial system was saved by an extraordinary rescue that revived Wall Street and the economy yet did little for individuals who felt duped and left to suffer from the reckless bets of giant banking institutions.
State and Securities and Exchange Commission regulators are scrambling to finalize best-interest standards after a late-game appeals court decision tossed out the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.
Congress is considering a variety of changes to make it easier for Americans to set aside money for retirement, including allowing annuities to be sold inside 401(k) plans. Auto-enrollment and multi-employer plans are some other ideas on the table.
The Department of Labor fiduciary rule might be history, but it leaves new interpretations behind, along with some paperwork, a leading regulatory law firm says. The rule’s impact is sure to be felt for some time to come.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest is drawing heated opposition from an interesting coalition of allies. But Chairman Jay Clayton insists that the agency will not be deterred in its rulemaking efforts.
That’s not a superlative one might expect to describe Millennials, 1 but according to the J.D. Power 2018 Group Retirement Satisfaction Study, SM released today, it’s true.
Commenters favor a tougher fiduciary type standard for brokers in initial feedback received by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC’s Regulation Best Interest was released April 18 to mixed reviews.
Investment advice rules announced this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission, if finalized, will have a broad impact across the financial services industry. Here is who will be affected.
The GOP tax reform bill is prompting more U.S. companies to bring financial advisory help in-house to help workers maximize their 401(k) plan participation.
Massachusetts regulators charged Scottrade with state law violations after the company allegedly ignored its DOL fiduciary rule compliance measures. Will similar investigations follow among other regulators?
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners wants to produce a annuity transactions best interest model law each state could then adopt. But its draft law is drawing fire from both sides who consider it both too weak and too strong.
New York is bidding to become the second state, after Nevada, to adopt a state-based best interest standard for the sale of life insurance and annuities. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York is tired of waiting for the Department of Labor fiduciary rule to take effect.
Next year could be a big year for sorting out the future standard that agents and advisors will abide by when selling products into retirement accounts.
Nearly half of Americans say their expenses are equal to or greater than their income. That is a big problem for anyone trying to save for retirement. New spending apps are proving effective at keeping spending under control.
If you quake at the thought of losing money in the stock market, you might not be thinking about investing in the right way, and left unchecked, the fear could crumble your retirement plans.
A new guidance from the Department of Labor address some key sticking points for advisors acting as non-fiduciaries to defined contribution plans. For the most part, the department adopts a lenient stance toward compliance with fiduciary mandates.
Assets gathered by multi-family offices grew 13 percent annually over the three-year period ending in 2015, according to new data. That surpasses the growth in the hot registered investment advisor (RIA) field. What does it mean?
Variable annuities have long been hot sellers for agents, but times have changed. Regulations and other pressures have squeezed the VA market. But the products aren’t likely to disappear, analysts say.