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Getting political with large wealth managers

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FSI aims for a pragmatic approach when advocating on behalf of more than 90 independent broker-dealers and 30,000 financial advisors, Deputy General Counsel Robin Traxler says in an episode of the Financial Planning podcast.

The trade group’s 2020 agenda revolves around pushing back against what its members describe as “regulation by enforcement” by the SEC, opposing state-level fiduciary rules and preparing the industry for the national guidelines it supports in Regulation Best Interest. In an interview with FP Senior Editor Tobias Salinger, Traxler explained FSI's stances in detail.

She also discussed a tax issue specific to wealth management under a provision of the 2017 overhaul affecting compensation at ensemble practices. Traxler brings major expertise as a former FINRA analyst in the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence and prior legal and supervisory roles with MassMutual’s BD and Thrivent Investment Management.

Robin Traxler is the deputy general counsel of FSI, an advocacy group for independent wealth management firms and advisors in the IBD channel.

True to the philosophy described by longtime FSI CEO Dale Brown and Traxler, she also engaged with the perspectives of critics of the group's view on state fiduciary rules and the SEC share-class disclosure initiative. The organization tries to find solutions, she says.

“We take a very constructive approach to advocacy,” Traxler says. “So, even if we disagree with a regulation or a proposal, we will advocate for our members in a way that expresses our displeasure with it and our disagreement with it. But we really make an effort to also come at it with a constructive tone and ideas on how to improve it or change it so that the unintended consequences or the frustrations that the regulation creates can be avoided."