Clients’ Interests First

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    Financial advisors and investment firms will have to start ensuring that clients come first, says Ian Russell, president and CEO of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC). In a letter to the industry, he says firms will need to meet the evolving demands of investors who have been transformed by the experience of the financial crisis, the shifting experience of retirement, and changing demographics. And, despite the industry’s resistance to the suggestion that regulators impose a statutory duty on advisors to put clients’ interests first, clients are increasingly demanding this standard care themselves. Advisors must demonstrate their value by ensuring they understand clients’ goals, develop credible plans to achieve those goals, and properly monitor their progress toward them. “Advisors and firms must also be fully transparent regarding the services provided and their fees,” Russell says