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Monday, September 28, 2015

ICI's Blass Rallies Fundsters Around Four Issues

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The regulatory world for fundsters is not quiet of late, and ICI's top legal eagle has some thoughts on where you should be focusing your attention.

David Blass
Investment Company Institute
General Counsel
This morning at the trade group's 2015 Tax and Accounting Conference at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida, ICI general counsel David Blass gave a keynote address in which he laid out four of the trade group's top priorities: cybersecurity, financial stability, global fund regulation, and retirement policy. MFWire sat down with Blass on the sidelines of the conference.

Top of mind for Blass is the Department of Labor's proposed fiduciary regulation for retirement plans and IRA rollovers. Blass says that though ICI folk "agree with the principle at the heart of the proposal," they have a lot of serious concerns.

"It's loaded with compliance traps and just unpractical requirements," Blass tells MFWire. "There are excessive disclosure requirements. Some violate federal securities laws."

Blass is also paying close attention to debates about financial stability and in particular to the liquidity management regulations the SEC proposed last week. He describes the proposal as having "some novel aspects to it" and he urges fundsters to reach out to ICI to offer their takes on the proposal.

"We need some member input before we form a view," Blass says, noting that the SEC set up a 90-day comment period for this proposal.

Blass also calls on fundsters to pay attention to the "human element" as well as technology when it comes to cybersecurity. And he says that global fund regulation is an "ongoing priority" for ICI. For example, the trade group recently sued the government of India over a theoretically 20-year-retroactive capital gains tax; it appears the Indian government is backing down. 

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