Financial Engines: Taking a Stand on Non-Conflicted Investment Advice
While most of the financial services industry resisted the U.S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest rule and called it unworkable, Financial Engines and Allison+Partners saw an opportunity to buck the trend and reposition the company as a leading advocate for putting investor interests first.
Months before the rule was enacted, we gave the media a reason to start talking about it by fielding a study about Americans’ preference for financial advisors to act as fiduciaries to their clients. Financial Engines was also the only investment advisory firm invited to participate in a Conflict of Interest rule panel hosted by the Department of Labor at the Center for American Progress, which paved the way to turn this issue into an advocacy platform.
These early efforts set the stage for the company’s chief investment officer to be the go-to source for media when the rule was announced. He was quoted in more than 80 stories by outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Marketwatch, Bloomberg, MONEY and Financial Planning. Most importantly, the fiduciary standard has become the centerpiece of Financial Engines’ corporate narrative and an important differentiator. While other investment advisors either exit the market or grapple with how to comply with the new regulation, Financial Engines is out front showing them all how it can be done.