WASHINGTON - It might not be as easy as it seems to allow investors to take all of their funds with them when they switch broker/dealers.

Wirehouses are concerned that they face uncertain legal liability when a fund shareholder switches to their firm and has an account that includes obscure funds the wirehouse has not approved for sale, according to a top SEC official. That concern is one obstacle to wirehouses allowing complete portability of funds, said Cindy Fornelli, a senior advisor to Paul Roye, director of the SEC's division of investment management.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.