Reiner Tells AJC “It’s About Time” Regarding Tougher Rules on Brokers

In a recent AJC interview, Mitch Reiner commented on the tougher rules on retirement advisement now requiring brokers and other commission-paid investment advisers to put clients’ interests first.

President Barack Obama championed the tougher so-called “fiduciary” requirement — one of the biggest changes to hit the financial world in generations — to help save millions of investors from costly fees, improve retirement prospects and stem abuses that have claimed life savings in some cases.

In essence, it requires retirement advisers to suggest investments that are best for clients’ circumstances and pocketbooks, regardless of what fees or commissions the adviser might miss out on.

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Reiner commented, “I think it’s about time. A client’s benefits should be a priority over advisers.”

He expects many brokers to shift away from commission-based products and put more of their clients in accounts that charge fees to manage their money — typically 1 percent annually.

That will reduce potential conflicts of interest, said Reiner, but it likely also means more firms will require managed-account customers to have bigger retirement nest eggs.

“The people who are going to be affected by this are people with lower balances,” said Reiner. His firm, like other money managers regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, already has to meet similar clients-come-first rules.

The U.S. Department of Labor rolled out its rule as an update to regulations dating back to the 1970s, when most employers offered traditional pensions and 401(k)s didn’t even exist.

Some industry players complain that the new investor protections don’t go far enough.

Read the full AJC article here.