Proponents of the fiduciary standard for all financial advisors will be watching the House-Senate conference committee very closely Wednesday, when the group will begin to consider whether to include the requirement in the financial regulatory reform bill.

The conference committee has two options before it: The House version, which passed in December has language requiring all broker-dealers and insurance agents who give advice to retail investors to adhere to the same fiduciary standard that currently covers investment advisors under the Investment Advisor Act of 1940. They also want brokers to disclose inherent conflicts of interest in the sale of investment products, as well as fees and commissions they charge clients for them. But Senators, who passed their version in May, called for the Securities and Exchange Commission to study the issue for a time, and then adopt rules on the issue.

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