At its OneVoice conference in Palm Desert, California, the Financial Services Institute today announced the launch of a video tutorial series on Form CRS, as well as discussed its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives along with other priorities of the independent wealth management advocacy group.
FSI’s new free-to-use Form CRS Video Guide for FSI members, made in collaboration with Broadridge Financial Solutions, consists of three straightforward 90-second videos designed to help independent wealth management firms and their advisors explain to clients the ins and outs of the Regulation Best Interest relationship summary.
Financial professionals must deliver Form CRS to retail clients at the outset of each engagement, and then update it within 30 days of any information becoming materially inaccurate, as well as whenever the client’s account changes materially. Form CRS requires clearly disclosing pricing, the difference between commissions versus advisory fee-based compensation, conflicts of interest, standards of conduct, relevant legal or disciplinary history and how to learn about the firm.
“We are excited to team with FSI to help further deepen the relationship between advisors and clients by making this great video guide available to the organization’s members and clients,” Broadridge President Chris Perry said in a separate press release. “The democratization of investing has been an ongoing trend and some investors undoubtedly can benefit from more clarity to make informed decisions about their financial futures.”
At last year’s FSI OneVoice conference, FSI announced a strategic partnership with INROADS, a non-profit organization focused on the professional success of young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds living in underserved communities. The partnership aligned with FSI’s broader goal of increasing the representation of women and people of color in the industry.
Over the past year, FSI’s continuing DEI initiatives included connecting its member firms and other stakeholders with INROADS, which led to 15 to 20 college student internship placements. In 2023, FSI plans to expand the number of internship placements through INROADS, as well as to seek out additional potential partnerships with other organizations. This includes second and third career changers entering the wealth management industry.
“It’s the beginning of a long and never-ending effort,” FSI President and CEO Dale Brown said at OneVoice of its DEI initiatives. “We are going to bring our unique strengths to any and all partnerships that will help us pursue our very clear objective of creating pathways for younger, more diverse advisors to enter this profession.”
2023 FSI Priorities
FSI also identified the organization’s 2023 priorities during OneVoice. High on the list is pushing back against the Department of Labor’s proposed independent contractor rule as well as any state-level attempts to enact similar rules, which could reclassify independent advisors as employees.
Other priorities include watching for an anticipated new DOL Fiduciary Rule proposal, supporting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) rule that FSI helped bring about in its current form, as well as push back against any attempts by FINRA and the SEC to engage in regulation by enforcement.
Jamie Price, Advisor Group President and CEO, and Vice Chair (Chair in 2024) of FSI’s Executive Committee, called the DOL’s proposed independent contractor rule a significant mismatch between what independent advisors and their clients need and what the DOL is trying to enact. Price also said this demonstrates the role FSI serves in the industry. “FSI is the only way these people can collectively have a voice.”
Chris Latham, Deputy Managing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org