The Department of Labor (DOL) and the current administration are in a high stakes game of tug-of-war over the specifics of the fiduciary rule, leaving broker-dealers and RIAs in a prolonged state of limbo. The first phase of the rule went into effect June 9, 2017, but timing around when the second and final phase will be rolled out is yet to be determined. Depending on who you ask, it could be as early as January 2018, as late as July 2019 — or perhaps never.
Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Considering the extensive ramifications that the rule is slated to have on broker-dealer and RIA offices around the country, this period of uncertainty is understandably quite frustrating for professionals within the industry. Many are finding themselves in a no-win situation, forced to pick between two flawed choices:
1. Hire more manpower in preparation for the increased burden upcoming regulations will create.
2. Wait out the back-and-forth to determine the total extent of the changes before adding what could be significant staffing costs.
The first option poses the risk of substantial overspending — while the second may leave the company vulnerable to costly fines if they find they’re unable to keep up with regulation increases due to an initial shortage of resources.
Hiring More People Doesn’t Scale — Technology Does
The reality is, the fiduciary rule is potentially just one set of sweeping regulations in the pipeline. More could come down from on high at any time. Broker-dealers and RIAs have next to no control over how the rules change in the future, and to what extent they do. For this reason, hiring more people to support compliance cannot be a long-term solution, and should not be a short-term one for companies interested in a scalable solution.
Fortunately, as the rules have become more complicated, technology has evolved to take on the challenge of executing mandates with the speed, accuracy, and flexibility that companies require to keep up with the pace of rising regulations — and even get ahead of the game.
Want Complete Peace of Mind? Gain Total Control of Your Data
Modern, integrated, CRM software solutions exist that can empower your company to manage all primary business functions — including commission reporting, compliance review, and client/advisor management — on a single, could-based platform.
Think Salesforce on steroids. Salesforce, after all, wasn’t designed with broker-dealers and RIAs in mind. While it has many impressive capabilities, key tools essential to a CRM for those in the financial services industry are lacking. But everything it’s missing can be rectified with the right integrated software overlay.
In addition to greatly cutting the labor costs of attempting to keep up with regulatory changes by hiring additional human resources, automating compliance requirements by leveraging a single technological solution saves time, increases efficiencies, and reduces the risk of human error.
Not All Technology Is Created Equal
While many companies offer regtech and other software solutions for financial professionals, we at Sycamore understand that when it comes to technology one size never fits all. Our team is comprised of people with backgrounds in both finance and tech, so when we create tools for broker-dealers and RIAs, we understand the unique needs of broker-dealers and RIAs, especially as they pertain to regulations and compliance.
The deep knowledge Sycamore developers bring to the table are a big part of what our clients tell us makes the Sycamore platform exceptional. Our people know the difference between essential features for financial professionals and bells and whistles that just get in the way of getting the job done.
Clients also like the comprehensive training the platform comes with — which, in combination with its ease of use, ensures the technology is an asset and not yet another obstacle to overcome. And finally, our clients enjoy the value generated through our partnership.
Because we’re as invested in our clients’ needs as they are, we maintain watch for upcoming regulatory changes just as closely. When new rules arise, our team is ready with the backend changes required to keep up with regulations, so that our clients can keep doing what they do best without missing a beat.