Members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council voted unanimously to withdraw its designation of Prudential Financial as a systemically important financial institution, which had subjected the insurer to more intense oversight than some other financial firms. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a detailed analysis showed that "there is not a significant risk that the company could pose a threat to financial stability."
The number of investment advisors and firms facing enforcement actions from state regulators increased 32% in 2017 compared with 2016, according to a report from the North American Securities Administrators Association. Meanwhile, the number of broker-dealers facing enforcement actions fell 11%.
Investors understand the potential for another financial crisis and want to be prepared, wealth advisor Nick Strain says. "They want to make smart decisions and plan ahead ... to ensure they don't make a big mistake, which can significantly affect their retirement goals later on," he says.
Modern technology and automated processes are essential for advisory firms considering mergers and acquisitions, writes Linda Ding, director of strategic marketing at Laserfiche. Ding says "client loyalty is put to the test during an M&A transaction" and recommends buyers and sellers pay attention to tech that directly affects client experience.
A program letter indicates the IRS will focus on retirement-plan distributions and rules for 403(b) plans in fiscal 2019. The letter provides compliance strategies for sponsors.
The past president of the Iowa County Attorneys Association says a surety bond requirement for contractors would help combat fraud, which is a common consumer complaint in the state. Currently, contractors have no bond requirement; they only have to register with the state's Workforce Development department.
The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention has become a public charity to provide and disseminate information and resources for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in construction and recently held its first strategic planning meeting. NASBP is an Alliance member and participated in the strategic planning session.
Officials in Florida are likely to relax regulations to allow out-of-state contractors to do work in the wake of the damage left by Hurricane Michael, but they also are likely to do more random checks of licensing and insurance to protect against scams. Contractors doing work in the state should make sure their trade licenses are up to date, this author writes.
The World Economic Forum has ranked the US as the most competitive economy, ousting Switzerland from a nine-year run atop the ranking. The ranking system was overhauled this year to focus on technology-driven growth expected in the future.
American Equity Investment Life Insurance launched an indexed annuity that offers a crediting strategy linked to the performance of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index. The index includes major publicly traded companies with track records of paying solid dividends.