DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Returns
On November 3, the Department of Labor released a new package designed to make rollover recommendations and many sales conversations with IRA-holders subject to its oversight and fiduciary standards. The package redefines “investment advice” and changes the conditions that fiduciaries have to satisfy in order to receive compensation for the sale of a product. As a whole, this package is reminiscent of the 2016 fiduciary rule that was struck down by courts. Watch as we discuss the rule and how it will impact distribution of BDCs and REITs.
Allison ItamiPrincipal, Groom Law Group
Allison Itami is an experienced attorney specializing in employee benefit programs. She regularly advises on compliance with fiduciary laws, particularly provisions of ERISA and Internal Revenue Code. Allison frequently advises on state laws applicable to public employee benefits.
She provides counsel on retirement plans and products including IRAs. Additionally, she is well-versed in the application of fiduciary laws to health and welfare benefit offerings. This includes a niche focus on captive insurance and re-insurance in health and welfare benefits, and she is frequently referred clients by other law firms who lack the necessary expertise in the topic.
Allison’s dedication to her clients’ success is evident in her commitment to understanding their unique needs and providing tailored solutions. Her work includes:
Advocating for clients in interactions with the Department of Labor on investigations and audits, proposed regulations, advisory opinions, and prohibited transaction exemptions.
Assistance with complex corporate transactions impacting benefit programs and products such as acquisitions, spin-offs, and bankruptcy.
Legal due diligence for selecting service providers and investment options.
Guidance on data privacy and cyber-security provisions in service contracts, post-incident actions, and the use of plan data.
Anya CovermanSVP, Government Affairs and General Counsel, IPA
Anya is the IPA’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and General Counsel. Anya leads the IPA’s legislative, regulatory and legal initiatives, including the IPA’s Political Action Committee (PAC). Anya serves as the primary liaison and senior policy representative before Congress, the Administration, and federal and state financial and self-regulatory agencies on all aspects of financial services policy affecting the PDI industry. Anya also counsels the IPA on all internal legal matters. She is a regular speaker at conferences and public events and is often quoted in financial news and industry publications.
Prior to joining the IPA, Anya was the Deputy Director of Policy and Associate General Counsel at the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the national association representing state financial regulators. She also has practiced corporate and securities law at the international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP in Washington, D.C., and, prior to that, at a boutique financial services law firm in New York City.
Anya received her J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Miami. She is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Virginia, New York and Texas. Anya enjoys travel, oil painting and spending time with her family.
George SepsakosPrincipal | Fiduciary Practice Leader, Groom Law Group
George Sepsakos represents clients on a broad range of ERISA, federal tax and securities law matters. His practice is primarily focused on issues related to Title I of ERISA, including fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction issues.For example, George’s practice includes:
Regularly defending plan trustees, fiduciaries, and service providers in investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the Department of Labor.
Representing clients in front of the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seeking advisory opinions, prohibited transaction exemptions, no action letters, and other guidance.
Counseling banks, broker-dealers, recordkeepers, investment managers and advisers and other financial services companies on the structuring and marketing of retirement plan services and products. Advising clients on compliance with DOL’s final regulation defining the term “fiduciary.”
Regularly counseling large employers and plan committees to develop processes and best practices regarding plan investments, including the acquisition and management of employer securities, and plan governance matters. Conducting reviews and internal audits of plan governance and administrative practices. George is a frequent speaker and author on a range of employee benefits related topics.
Prior to joining the firm, George worked as an ERISA Enforcement Advisor.
Kevin WalshPrincipal, Groom Law Group
Kevin L. Walsh advises clients on a wide range of fiduciary matters and other issues involving benefit plans. His practice encompasses helping asset managers and other entities that design investment products build innovative investment offerings designed to enable defined contribution plan participants access to asset classes, like private equity and digital assets, that have traditionally only been available to defined benefit plans.
While Kevin counsels clients primarily on issues related to Title I of ERISA, he also works with clients on the intersection of ERISA and other federal statutes such as securities laws, sanctions laws, and other laws that impact retirement plan investments. Kevin is also a member of Groom’s Policy and Legislation Group, where he leverages his deep legislative experience on behalf of clients by providing technical legislative drafting services and strategic advice on interacting with the legislative and executive branches.
Recently, he has been involved in drafting comment letters related to Securities Exchange Commission and Employee Benefit Security Administration efforts to regulate environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) investing.