SOURCE: American Portfolios Financial Services

American Portfolios Financial Services

March 10, 2016 11:13 ET

American Portfolios Develops DOL Committee to Address Impending Fiduciary Rule

HOLBROOK, NY--(Marketwired - March 10, 2016) -  American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS), a privately-held, independent broker/dealer that services financial advisors across the country, has formed a committee in response to the Department of Labor (DOL) seeking comment on its proposed rulemaking: Definition of the Term "Fiduciary"; Conflict of Interest Rule-Retirement Investment Advice.

APFS developed its DOL Committee in December 2015 in order to review and seek guidance on possible impending regulatory changes to the financial services industry. The committee, which is led by APFS COO Dean Bruno, has engaged industry contacts and sought legal advice regarding the DOL's proposal, and the effect it will have on commission-based practices within various qualified account registration types. Additionally, investment professionals may likely be subjected to a Best Interests Contract, along with a Point-of-Sale Disclosure Form.

At this time, the financial services industry is awaiting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize their review of the proposal. Expectations are that sometime in March 2016 the OMB will send the finalized proposal back to the DOL, which will have the rule published in the Federal Register so that the public may review it and fully ascertain its impact on the financial services industry. It is expected the rule will be put into effect sometime in the latter part of 2016, potentially November or December.

Said COO Dean Bruno about actions on the DOL ruling, "The committee, which first convened at the end of 2015, has since gathered a great deal of intelligence and insight from apprised senior management members, legal counsel and trusted partners to responsively inform and guide our affiliated colleagues on how to get in front of this industry-impacting legislation. Rather than view this as a challenge, we want to encourage our advisors to view this potential change as an incentive to seize the opportunity for retrofitting their practices towards sustainability and value in the coming years." 

In an effort to prepare its affiliated financial professionals for any potential changes on how they conduct business, APFS' business development and marketing areas have launched a robust awareness and educational campaign. The campaign promotes a proactive solution for ensuring its affiliated colleagues -- regardless of the outcome of regulatory changes in the industry -- will be able to continue supporting their clients with qualified registration types likely planned for heightened fiduciary requirements under the DOL's ERISA guidelines. It will do so by demonstrating -- through informational digital communications, including newsletter postings, e-blasts, webinars and video messaging -- how its independent colleagues with transaction-focused practices can easily and efficiently begin transitioning their potentially-impacted Assets under Management (AUM) to fee-based business. The firm has also developed a Business Analyzer Tool, which allows financial advisors to forecast their practices' gross revenue and valuation by making simple adjustments to the way they conduct business. 

There has been much discussion surrounding the possibility that the U.S. Congress may be able to block legislation pertaining to this ruling. Although some political pundits are conveying that the House of Representatives may be able to pass a bill to stop legislation, the U.S. Senate does not appear to have enough votes to block the rule and President Obama has stated that he will veto any bills that attempt to block legislation. APFS and its DOL Committee will be carefully watching the progression of the proposal and acting upon any legislation that may occur in the near future.

APFS DOL Committee Members: COO Dean Bruno, CEO Lon T. Dolber, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer Edward Morrison, Vice President of Sales and New Business Development Keith J. Kelly, President of American Portfolios Advisors, Inc. Gary Gordon, Vice President of Platform Management Stephen Mennella, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications Melissa Grappone, Vice President of Marketing Strategy Kimberly Branch, EVP and Chief Legal Counsel Frank A. Tauches Jr., Regional Business Consultant David Molter, Vice President of Business Services Maria Zarb, Business Services Trainer Mike Paxson, Business Analyst Timothy Mullady

About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., APFS is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology division American Outsources, LLC (AO,) collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company currently serves 793 independent investment professionals located in 360 branch locations throughout the nation, and was named Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) by Investment Advisor magazine in 2015.

*Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded "Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year."

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