Los Angeles partner Fred Reish was quoted in a ThinkAdvisor article titled, “DOL Fiduciary Rule Forces Merrill to Drop Commission IRAs.” The article discusses Merrill Lynch’s recent decision to cease offering new advised, or commission-based brokerage IRA accounts, beginning April 2017. Fred noted that there are probably several reasons Merrill made the decision.
“It is easier to comply with the new [DOL fiduciary] rules through level fee advisory services; if BICE isn't used, the prospect of class-action lawsuits is diminished,” Fred said. “As I understand it, they don't currently accept small clients into brokerage accounts with individual advisors, and [Merrill] likely believes that larger clients are amenable to level fee accounts. [Further, Merrill] "believes that their clients will be well served by these arrangements."