In spite of delays to its implementation, the US Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Rule (commonly known as the DOL Fiduciary Rule) looms over a large part of the financial industry. Impacted firms need to consider how they will communicate the new expectations to their employees, and LEO GRC is stepping in to offer eLearning courses to provide learners with the information they need to know before the Rule comes into effect.
The Rule extends fiduciary responsibility to a broader range of parties who give advice regarding retirement investments, thus prohibiting those parties from engaging in certain activities—such as commission payments—unless they qualify for specified exemptions. These exemptions vary in the depth and detail of their requirements, but they have in common a requirement that relevant employees adhere to standards of conduct known as the Impartial Conduct Standards.
Whichever exemption a firm chooses to follow, these Standards lie at the foundation of the requirements, and we view them as among the least likely provisions to be changed as the Rule approaches implementation. They also make good sense in promoting a culture of ethics, regardless of whether or not they are mandated by regulation.
LEO will begin its offering with courses on the Impartial Conduct Standards. We will provide one version focused on the special circumstances surrounding the sale of fixed annuities, as well as a version more broadly applicable across the industry. We will roll out additional topics on the DOL Fiduciary Rule as the final details of the Rule are confirmed.