Congressional focus on issues of import to investment advisers has shifted since the Trump Administration has been in office – witness the major tax overhaul, reforms to the Dodd-Frank Act and initiatives to streamline and modernize regulation. That focus is likely to intensify after a new Congress takes office in January, 2019. To advance their interests and allow their businesses to prosper, it is critical that advisers make their voices heard on Capitol Hill.
In addition to its ongoing advocacy activities, the IAA brings advisory firm executives from around the nation together in Washington, D.C. every June for its Adviser Advocacy Day. The IAA arranges personalized schedules for all participants to meet with members of Congress and their staffs. To prepare participants for those meetings, the IAA’s government relations staff presents a briefing webinar prior to the event and an in-person briefing at a breakfast the morning of the event. The IAA provides all participants with written talking points on the major issues, information sheets on the economic impact of the advisory profession in their individual states and nationally, and background information about the legislators they will be meeting with.
On the evening prior to the Capitol Hill visits, the IAA’s Board of Governors hosts a welcome reception and dinner for Adviser Advocacy Day participants which features remarks by a well-known policy expert. Past speakers include Stan Collender, a leading expert on the federal budget, taxes and spending, and political and economic strategist Greg Valliere, a regular commentator on CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business.
Detailed information and online registration for the IAA’s 12th Annual Adviser Advocacy Day in June, 2019 will be available in the spring.
IAA's 2018 Adviser Advocacy Day
More than 70 executives from investment advisory firms from 24 states took adviser issues to more than 80 congressional offices as part of the IAA’s 11th Annual Adviser Advocacy Day on June 13, 2018, educating legislators and their staffs about our industry’s top priorities. Summaries of those priorities, and talking points for key issues, are available on the IAA website’s Adviser Advocacy Day Resources page. Key issues addressed on Adviser Advocacy Day included:
Taxes – specifically, restoring the tax deductibility of investment advisory fees and allowing investment advisers to benefit from the 20 percent deduction for pass-through businesses;
Cybersecurity – specifically, establishing a national, risk-based breach notification regime that facilitates affected companies’ compliance with the law, ensures that clients are protected, and eliminates the patchwork of multiple federal and state requirements;
Regulatory Review – specifically, the SEC should review existing rules with a view to streamlining, updating, and reducing unnecessary burdens, including the advertising, custody, and pay to play rules, the definition of accredited investor, and the definition of small business. In considering these changes, the SEC should consider alternative approaches, factor in the cumulative costs of all regulations, and accurately assess the impact of its regulations on the protection of jobs and the U.S. economy;
Members’ advocacy on the small business issue was followed shortly thereafter by the legislation discussed above that would require the SEC to more appropriately assess the impact of its rules on smaller investment advisers.
SEC Rulemaking Proposals on Standards of Conduct for Brokers and Advisers – specifically, we commend the SEC for taking action intended to heighten the standard for brokers giving investment advice and want to ensure that it is as customer-protective as the Advisers Act fiduciary duty; and the proposed new disclosure Form CRS, intended to clear up investor confusion over the obligations of and services provided by different financial professionals could actually add to that confusion ass currently constructed. The SEC should make its crucially important investor testing public and provide sufficient opportunity for industry participants to incorporate the results into our comments.
A few days after Adviser Advocacy Day, members of Congress asked SEC Chairman Jay Clayton about the investor testing issue at a hearing. Our members’ advocacy on this point apparently had an immediate impact.
Active/Passive – specifically, policymakers should take care that legislation and rulemaking do not favor passive management over active management. Both active and passive management have important roles to play to meet investors’ goals.
For questions regarding Adviser Advocacy Day, call (202) 293-4222 or email IAAEvents@investmentadviser.org.