In July 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) proposed changes to the qualified professional asset manager (QPAM) program in an effort to make it more difficult for errant asset managers to secure waivers from prosecution or punishment. In a Financial Times article, benefits group partner Joshua Lichtenstein commented that “the DoL is signaling that [asset] managers should be prepared to lose their QPAM status.”
Historically, banks in the pension market have been given passes for misconduct through QPAM waivers. But the Biden administration DoL has indicated an intent to more closely regulate U.S. pension funds by threat of accountability to asset managers. The newly proposed changes to the QPAM program are “trying to blunt the risk to [pension] plans,” when a bank breaks the rules, Joshua said.
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