What are some of the issues that matter most to CCOs these days? DOL Fiduciary Rule, third-party oversight, and resource constraints would surely be on any CCO’s top 5 list. These topics, as well as others, were discussed at Boston Financial’s annual Chief Compliance Officer Due Diligence Forum.
If you are not familiar with our CCO Forum, it provides our clients’ CCOs the opportunity to get a closer look at some of the topics that matter most to them and their boards. Every year the Forum is a little different, with either a certain regulatory initiative driving the agenda or market trends driving a theme. This year’s Forum showed me that more than ever, Boston Financial is “walking the walk” when it comes to addressing everything from new regulatory requirements to disruptive industry business events.
More than ever, it appears that politics is influencing policy. The impression I received from the speakers at this year’s Forum was that the SEC’s rulemaking binge has a lot to do with the political environment in Washington, and the potential changes that could come in 2017.
The ominous FSOC (Financial Stability Oversight Council), the struggle with commissioners’ nominations, and an upcoming change of SEC leadership has caused increased pressure on the staff to finish off the Dodd-Frank related rulemaking, as well as Chair White’s own remaining policy objectives.
And let’s not forget about the paper lobby’s win over 30e-3, which grabbed the headlines leading up to the Forum. In addition to the win, the paper lobby must also be celebrating the heftiness of the rules, proposed and final, which are hundreds of pages long. Combined with the efforts of other agencies, namely the Department of Labor, it is no small feat for fund compliance officers to stay current with the implementation of all these regulatory requirements.
One of the perennial fan favorites of this event is always the CCO panel, made up of fund CCOs and senior compliance officers. Moderated by our CCO, Craig Hollis, this year’s session did not disappoint. Representing large asset managers, each with a unique perspective, the panel covered a number of topics I know are on clients’ minds lately, including:
- Resource constraints in an ever-expanding regulatory environment
- DOL Fiduciary Rule preparations
- Third-party oversight
- Report Modernization – what the SEC is going to do with all this data they’re getting their hands on
With such a broad, far-reaching impact, the DOL Fiduciary Rule was brought up numerous times throughout the day (not surprisingly). While there are still more questions than answers related to how funds and firms will adapt to the rule, Boston Financial is clearly plugged in, keeping aware of developments, and ready to follow an implementation methodology grounded in client collaboration and subject matter expertise.
Another staple of the Forum is the business operations update from Boston Financial. This year Boston Financial approached the update in a different manner, bringing together representatives from our functional areas that have seen the most impact from regulatory change. The panel gave us a look into the frontlines of regulatory implementation at Boston Financial. While we are cautiously optimistic following the well-received implementation of money market reform, the industry has a lot to do to be ready for the changes in landscape the DOL Fiduciary Rule will dictate.
2017 looks to be another year that will bring unexpected change, as well as the expected increase in regulatory requirements. From this year’s Forum, the message I took away is that Boston Financial is better prepared to handle change than ever before.