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Annuity Broker/Dealers have a Fiduciary Responsibility to Investors


Chariman and CEO of FINRA, Richard Ketchum, puts the fiduciary responsibility of gaining back investors’ confidence in the hands of broker/dealers.  According to Kathleen M. McBride’s article “FINRA’s Ketchum Speaks of Fiduciary Duty” from Wealth Manager Web, this was Ketchum’s message to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.  There is a distrust of the entire financial system after the past couple years of economic difficulties.  Ketchum put out a challenge for broker/dealers to gain back the confidence of investors in the system as a whole.

While possible overselling of variable annuities and life settlements was scrutinized, the importance of following regulations and selling the right product to the investors carries through for a fixed annuity or any other investment product.  The two most used and possibly most important words in Ketchum’s speech were “shift” and “fiduciary”.  He called upon broker/dealers to shift both the way that they develop new products and how they market those products to the public.  Ketchum also urged them to have strong “integrity and commitment to good business practices” and called for a “true fiduciary spirit”.  Basically, he hopes that broker/dealers will gain the trust and confidence of investors by matching products suitable to their needs.

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