SIFMA Statement on SEC Fiduciary Duty Study

Release Date: January 22, 2011 
Contact: Andrew DeSouza, 202.962.7390, 

SIFMA Statement on SEC Fiduciary Duty Study 

Washington, DC, January 22, 2011—SIFMA today released a statement by general counsel Ira Hammerman on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) study addressing implementation of a fiduciary duty for broker-dealers and investment advisers who provide personalized investment advice to individual retail customers: 

“SIFMA applauds the SEC in conducting this study on the effectiveness of existing standards of care for broker-dealers and investment advisers and whether there are gaps and overlaps.  This is an issue that will affect how millions of individual retail investors obtain advice from hundreds of thousands of registered representatives and investment advisers. 

“We support a uniform fiduciary standard of care for broker-dealers and investment advisers, and upon initial review we believe that the SEC has appropriately articulated a workable comprehensive approach for personalized investment advice for retail customers.  It is especially important that the SEC recognized that any fiduciary standard should not pick business model winners and losers, and that the Commission will need to issue interpretive guidance to allow firms to operationalize this new standard.   

“We also appreciate the Commission’s recognition that as a fiduciary duty is applied to brokers and investment advisers, such a standard should not limit investor choice.  Nevertheless, we remain concerned about the possible effects on broker-dealers' ability to serve customers as this approach is developed and will continue to work with the SEC to ensure that the broker-dealer role is not hindered. 

“In addition, we hope that as the SEC works to implement a comparable standard of care between broker-dealers and investment advisers, it likewise will provide leadership in applying comparable oversight, examination and enforcement to retail registered investment advisers.  Only if a uniform fiduciary standard of care is combined with effective oversight, examination and enforcement program can investor protection truly be achieved.” 


The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) brings together the shared interests of hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers.  SIFMA's mission is to support a strong financial industry, investor opportunity, capital formation, job creation and economic growth, while building trust and confidence in the financial markets.  SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA).  For more information, visit  



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