Last year the Department of Labor settled a significant case against a fiduciary investment adviser that provided investment advice to retirement plans while accepting 12b-1 fees. Fred Reish, the prominent ERISA attorney, believes the lessons from the USI Advisors Inc. case still serve as an important reminder about how the DOL and ERISA come down on compensation issues involving fiduciaries.
Reish reports he has reviewed the 408(b)(2) disclosures of a number of broker-dealers. “In a few cases, the broker-dealers specifically state that, where they were serving as fiduciary advisers, they were also receiving additional compensation e.g., revenue sharing.” In other words, the message hasn’t entirely gotten through to everyone.
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