The Danger Of Fiduciary Status For Valuation Firms

Law360 (March 18, 2011, 1:41 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a proposed regulation that would substantially expand the definition of “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

Under the new definition, valuation firms would, for the first time since ERISA’s passage, be subject to its stringent fiduciary duties and their attendant liability. Many predict that an unintended consequence of this expanded definition could be a concerted exit from the valuation market by firms that have traditionally performed valuation services.

Background

Enacted in 1974, ERISA applies fiduciary status to a person with respect to an ERISA-regulated plan to the extent it:...

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