ADISA Comments on DOL Fiduciary Rule Hearings

Sep 23, 2015

ADISA’s Board of Directors submitted additional comments on Panel 23 of the August 10, 2015, hearing at which it testified with respect to the Department of Labor’s re-proposed rule defining who is a “fiduciary” by reason of providing investment advice for a fee or other compensation to retirement savers and retirement accounts, as well as the related “Best Interest Contract” Exemption (“BICE” or “BIC Exemption”).

Summary of Comments

ADISA’s new letter provided follow up on questions asked during hearings, specifically those posed by DOL staffer Judy Mares. Ms. Mares asked to be “walked through a typical non-traded REIT…,” and focused her questions in part on non-listed REIT disclosure documents and minimum requirements for purchasers. Panel responses honed in mostly on the regulatory aspects of non-listed REITs, including minimum net worth and income requirements imposed by the various states. While ADISA provided a broad perspective on non-listed REITs and BDCs in the course of the hearings, the discussion around these products and other direct participation programs did not address a host of issues that ADISA’s Board believes are integral to understanding the role that these products play in retirement savers’ portfolios, both large and small.  
“We didn’t want the DOL to come away with the view that non-traded alternatives are available to or purchased by only well-to-do retirement savers,” said John Grady (RCS Capital Corporation), ADISA’s Vice President and Legislative & Regulatory Committee Chair. The major points of the follow up comments included the following:
  • Descriptions of Non-listed REITs, BDCs, and other DPPs.
  • Characteristics of the above with special attention to their channels of access.
  • Importance of Non-Listed Alternatives for all investors
  • Potential harm if personal financial advice is discouraged
Read the letter in its entirety here.

The Drafting Committee of the hearing comment included:  Chair John H. Grady (RCS Capital Corporation), ADISA Vice President and Legislative & Regulatory Committee Chair; and John Harrison (ADISA’s Executive Director). ADISA President Thomas Voekler (Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank) reviewed and signed the letter.

Public Comment Opportunity Still Available to DOL until September 24
ADISA’s Executive Director/CEO, John Harrison, noted that comment period is open through 6 pm EDT on Thursday, Sept. 24, and that ADISA promotes two comment submission websites for all alternative investment professionals to use: 
  1. The U.S. Chambers Contact Congress portal at
  2. The SIFMA-led coalition’s website at