US - The Department of Labor (DoL) is mulling whether to take action against pension consultants on the back of the Securities and Exchange Commission's probe into conflicts of interest.
Assistant secretary Ann Combs (pictured) said officials at DoL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) were currently reviewing documentation received from the SEC to determine “what DoL investigative action may be necessary”.
“Based on this review, several matters have been referred to EBSA regional offices for investigation,” said Combs.
The issue arose after an SEC investigation of 24 pension consultants last May, which found more than half of the investment consultants targeted had “ongoing conflicts of interest”.
The SEC sweep investigation also found investment consultants were failing to adequately disclose to their pension fund clients these business relationships with money managers and broker-dealers.
The SEC examination covered the period between 1 January 2002 and 30 November 2003.
Mercer Investment Consulting, Watson Wyatt, Callan Associates, Wilshire Associates, Strategic Investment Solutions, New England Pension Consultants, Summit Strategies Group, Pension Consulting Alliance, Segal Advisors and Russell all confirmed to Global Pensions during the investigation that they were asked to provide information to the SEC.
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