Newswise — The Center for Financial Responsibility at Texas Tech University has formed an initiative to answer the key question that faces financial advisers in light of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule issued last week requiring financial advisers to act in the “best interest” of their clients. The rules provided much in the way of regulation, but little in the way of definition or guidance about what constitutes acting in the best interest.

To answer that question, the Center for Financial Responsibility and personal financial planning professor John Gilliam created the Best Interest Initiative. The initiative will allow researchers in the Department of Personal Financial Planning to study what best interest means and how advisers can practice under these rules, plus begin to help the industry formulate and define “best practices” under these important new parameters on financial advisers.

“No one has defined best interest,” Gilliam said. “The Department of Labor rule uses the term but doesn’t specify what the terms mean.”

Texas Tech’s Personal Financial Planning program, regarded as one of the key academic thought leaders in the industry, is a natural fit to undertake this important research, which Gilliam believes will be vital to protect consumers and help the industry become stronger.

The Center for Financial Responsibility seeks strategic partners interested in meaningful research that will explore the parameters of the “Best Interest” rule announced by the DOL last week.

For more information contact Gilliam. He is looking for organizations and individuals with interest in the financial planning community and protecting consumers to partner with and fund the research.

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at Texas Tech Today Media Resources or follow us on Twitter.

CONTACT: John Gilliam, associate professor, Department of Personal Financial Planning, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-8864 or [email protected]