SEC Should Align Guidance on Standards of Conduct with Existing Law

MFA supports the fiduciary obligations that investment advisers owe their clients, but we have concerns that the SEC’s proposed interpretation of fiduciary obligations goes beyond well-established law and will disrupt long-standing industry norms, creating legal and compliance uncertainty that could limit investment choices and increase costs for clients.   MFA encourages the SEC to focus on the Commission’s stated goal of enhancing retail investor protection by amending any guidance to account for the nuances of relationships between advisers and sophisticated clients.

MFA also has expressed concerns that mandating advisers comply with broker-dealer type of rules, such as net capital, fidelity bonding, or federal licensing and continuing education requirements would offer little in the way of investor protection while increasing costs on or limiting the options available to clients.