The Securities and Exchange Commission will proceed with Regulation Best Interest implementation on June 30 despite the coronavirus pandemic. Compliance expert David Ackerman offers three lessons for firms, including taking a cloud-first approach and incorporating multiple types of data in the review process.
The coronavirus pandemic appears to be taking a financial toll on consumers at varying income levels. A survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found roughly 40% of respondents reported coronavirus-related income or employment issues whether their annual income was under $40,000, above $90,000 or fell between those levels.
Financial advisors can continue to strengthen long-term relationships with clients, even with face-to-face meetings shelved because of the coronavirus pandemic, writes Clara Shih of Hearsay Systems. She offers five ways advisors can strengthen ties while also disseminating important information to clients.
Once an adviser has signed a new client, it's important to remember how crucial the first 90 days of the relationship will be in setting the right tone for the future, writes business consultant Charesse Hagan, an FPA Coaches Corner coach for technology and operations. Hagan outlines several key steps that can help advisers ensure they put their clients first and create a good impression that lasts.
Securities and Exchange Commission member Allison Herren Lee wants the agency to pause pending rule changes but not rush into regulatory relief without analysis amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Relevant considerations in that analysis include whether an action is directly responsive to COVID-19 and whether an action represents an appropriate use of agency resources at a time when we are routinely called upon to take emergency actions," she says.
About one-third of financial services firms lack adequate remote-access management capabilities and other controls with their third-party cybersecurity vendor, a survey by McKinsey and the Institute of International Finance finds. Regulations, digitization and cloud adoption were cited by firms as key hurdles in this area.
State and federal securities regulators say they are watching for scammers engaging in abusive and aggressive sales practices and outright fraud, to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. Among their concerns are that scammers may try to get investors to use money taken from retirement accounts now that withdrawal penalties have been suspended.
Early figures from the first months of 2020 suggest hedge funds have so far performed better than stocks. Funds lost 3.04% in January and February, data from the Backstop BarclayHedge database show, against an S&P 500 decline of 8.27%, while Hedge Fund Research figures for all of Q1 show average falls of 7% against roughly 20% for the benchmark index.
Private equity investors face a lengthy wait now that Q1 is over to find out by how much general partners intend to write down the value of their holdings. The process could last several months and the valuation approaches that GPs will adopt for the process remains uncertain.
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