SEC Staff Provides Guidance on Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Standards of Conduct for Account and Rollover Recommendations to Retail Investors

Our recent client alert discusses an SEC staff bulletin reiterating the standards of conduct applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers when making account recommendations to retail investors. Broker-dealers are subject to Reg. BI. Investment advisers are subject to the fiduciary standard under the Advisers Act. The standards of conduct are separate, but in the staff’s view both “include an obligation to act in the retail investor’s best interest and not to place their own interests ahead of the investor’s interest.” In particular, SEC staff believe that both standards “yield substantially similar results in terms of the ultimate responsibilities owed to retail investors.”