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Unlock the Fiduciary Principles Inside You

More than a regulatory requirement, Reg BI offers an inflection point for lasting cultural change.


A Nationwide Retirement Institute survey noted recently that “Advisors top the list of trusted sources for general financial and money management advice during the pandemic.” The halo burnishing doesn’t stop there. Based on a recent CFA Institute survey, 81% of investors with an advisor said they felt they had a better chance to succeed financially than just 57% of do-it-yourselfers.

Determining the right Standard of Care for a client will vary by firm. Reg BI essentially set a low bar for establishing a fiduciary-like client-advisor relationship. Most professionals however will not be satisfied telling themselves, “I’m proudly meeting the absolute minimum standards to be compliant.”

Every Advisor Must Have a Code

More entrepreneurially minded firms will elect to view Reg BI as a catalyst for nurturing the culture of values they have articulated yet haven’t woven into the fabric of their client relationships. While Reg BI itself is not a fiduciary standard, its introduction of fiduciary-like obligations for broker-dealers does narrow the gap between the baseline standards for non-fiduciary and fiduciary advice.

Reg BI actively nurtures those values that lead to a fiduciary, client-centric and holistic culture – precisely the kind of supportive environment pandemic-haunted clients say they want.

Establishing a fiduciary culture on Reg BI’s foundation also supports business objectives like these:

  • Improving CX: Disruptions from Covid-19 and economic uncertainty intensify investor anxiety. Providing a holistic, personalized experience keeps clients centered. Consider communicating some of the steps taken toward your firm’s Customer Relationship Summary (Form CRS). This document can serve as a kind of restatement of values and open up productive new client dialogues. Showcase relevant policies and procedures to illustrate how your products and services are client-focused by design.
  • Fast-tracking prospect outreach: Pandemics and the uncertainty they create also spark innovation and forge new personal connections. Unsettled investors need advice. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed by Nationwide said they are “seeking help by engaging a financial advisor for the first time ever as a result of the pandemic.”
  • Differentiating your brand: Reg BI compliance on its own sets a pretty low bar. Growth-focused advisors deliver the exceptional. Broker-dealers can take additional steps to position themselves as advocates for fiduciary principles and a new Standard of Care.
  • Crafting a Reg BI Day 2 strategy: Following the completion of Form CRS, Reg BI compliance impacts most other aspects of a firm’s business practices. Fast-tracking your firm’s progress makes good competitive sense. Discover what other firms have in the works and what to expect from the SEC by visiting us at Reg BI: Ready for Day 2.
  • Committing to digital acceleration Following 80 Broadridge industry and client interviews on how broker-dealers were prepping for Reg BI, we learned that most are speeding up the pace of their digital journey – while optimizing the technology they already have. To work smarter and stay personal from a safe social distance, leadership teams are employing digital solutions in new ways to reaffirm or reset each client’s KYC (Know your Customer) components, financial goals, savings plans and portfolio preferences.

Trusted advisors who aspire to a fiduciary mind-set know best how to step into their clients' shoes and view the world from their perspective. Our “New Normal” makes this more concrete every day as Zoom-using advisors gain a cinéma vérité-like glimpse into the private lives of their clients – from their walk-in children and books they read to the artwork they like and financial matters that concern them most.

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