What the 408(b)(2) Changes Mean to RIAs


Posted on February 16, 2012, by Fred Reish in 404a-5, 408(b)(2), Broker-Dealers, DOL Activity, fiduciary, Plan Sponsors, Recordkeeper, Registered Investment Advisers, RIA. Comments Off on What the 408(b)(2) Changes Mean to RIAs

Two other Drinker Biddle attorneys (Bruce Ashton and Joan Neri) and I just released a bulletin discussing what changes in the 408(b)(2) final regulation mean to registered investment advisers (RIAs). You can obtain a copy of the bulletin at:

http://www.drinkerbiddle.com/resources/publications/2012/the-final-408b2-regulation-impact-on-rias

While the final regulation clarifies a number of issues and grants an extension of time to comply, it also raises two issues which may come as a surprise to RIAs. The first is that asset allocation models (AAMs) may be treated as designated investment alternatives (DIAs), resulting in a number of disclosure requirements (both under 408(b)(2) and the participant disclosure regulation). The second is that the DOL has interpreted “indirect compensation” very broadly in a way that could require additional disclosures from RIAs. That would apply, for example, where investment providers (like mutual funds) or service providers (like independent recordkeepers or bundled providers) provide financial assistance to RIAs. Once specific example would be a conference put on by an RIA for its plan sponsor clients. Another example would be where an investment provider or a service provider offers “free” services to RIAs for their plan sponsor clients. Both of those issues, and others, are discussed in some detail in the bulletin.

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