The adviser must adhere to the DOL's impartial conduct standards, including the best interest standard of care, which is a combination of the prudent man rule
and the duty of loyalty.
That standard is, in its essence, a combination of the prudent man rule
and the duty of loyalty," Reish continued.
When selecting and monitoring investment options, a plan’s committee members are held to a special fiduciary standard often referred to as the prudent man rule
. This means committee members must act with the care and skill that a prudent person would if acting in a similar capacity and being familiar with such matters.
Generally stated, the prudent man rule
requires that an advisor engage in a prudent process which takes into account qualitative and quantitative issues related to investments, the needs of the investor, the purpose of IRAs (that is, as retirement vehicles), and so on.
The prudent man rule
, (based on common law) generally instructs that a prudent person is one who exercises the degree of skill, care and diligence that a reasonably prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.
Under the Uniform Prudent Investor Act of 1994, the prudent investor rule replaced the prudent person rule (the prudent person rule is also known as the prudent man rule
1998) (indicating that the assumption behind the Prudent Man Rule
is that "trust beneficiaries are highly risk averse and therefore prefer to receive a lower expected return in exchange for taking fewer risks").
The Sarbanes-Oxley legislation sweeps away decades of jurisprudence based on Delaware law and standards for corporate responsibility such as the Prudent Man rule
. In 1830, Judge Samuel Putnam set down a general canon for corporate behavior: "Those with responsibility to invest money for others should act with prudence, discretion, intelligence, and regard for the safety of capital as well as income." Sarbanes-Oxley replaces the Prudent Man rule
with strictures that violate our Constitutional freedoms and do little to actually prevent future scandals.