Hours before the anticipated release of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, one analyst said the rule represents an opportunity.
"We are obviously going to have a substantial hill in front of us to deal with here," said W. Mark Smith, ERISA lawyer with Sutherland, Asbil and Brennan in Washington, D.C. "But if you're good at climbing hills, that's not a particularly bad thing."
Smith was part of a panel discussion Tuesday at LIMRA's Life Insurance Conference 2016 in Las Vegas. Nervous laughter broke out several times as participants nodded about the looming deadline.
The DOL rule will include a two-year phased-in compliance provision. Smith said the DOL has to recognize the financial services industry cannot possibly be ready to comply with all the rule's provisions by the end of 2016.
Otherwise, Smith hailed the working relationship manufacturers and distributors have developed over the past two months. It seems that once the industry realized the rule was inevitable, they began working together to make a seamless transition, he said.
"Clearly we're in this as partners, and we'll be making choices together as partners trying to find a way forward," he said.
Marcel Weiland, director of enterprise solutions for Riskalyze, said the firms who have been proactive will adapt quickest to the rule.
"I think the firms that are going to be the best situated to take advantage of the opportunities that come up are the ones who have been proactive at creating a technology system," he said.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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