The Pitfalls of Fiduciary Status: An Executive Roundtable for Plan Sponsors & Service Providers

Epstein Becker Green

250 Park Avenue
The Boardroom
New York, NY 10177

Who Should Attend:
Employment Counsel
HR Executives

Discussion Leaders:
Paul A. Friedman 
Member of the Firm, Epstein Becker Green

John Houston Pope
Member of the Firm, Epstein Becker Green

Cathy M. Niden
Managing Director and Principal, NavigantEconomics

Roundtable Moderator:
Elizabeth J. Shampnoi
Associate Director, Navigant

Hosted by:
Michelle Capezza
Member of the Firm, Epstein Becker Green

This exclusive roundtable will offer insight into developing protective strategies as well as the processes and analyses employed by the courts and the DOL to assess fiduciary status. It is an open discussion and executive guests are welcome to share their experiences, offer suggestions, and gain new ideas for dealing with the issues.

National attention has been directed at the battle lines drawn in anticipation of the release of revised Department of Labor ("DOL") regulations concerning the assessment of fiduciary status under ERISA. Among those most invested are businesses in the financial services industry, who have made public their intention to fight "tooth-and-nail" to maintain their exemption from fiduciary liability under the DOL's 1975 regulation. It is reasonable to expect that the DOL's proposed rule to broaden ERISA fiduciary status may have far-reaching consequences for the service provider industry:

  • Impacting both the number and type of service providers available to ERISA plans
  • Increasing costs stemming from the proposed rule to be borne by ERISA service providers
  • Increased costs stemming from the proposed rule to be borne by ERISA service providers
  • Reduction in services to ERISA retirement plans

In addition to these anticipated changes, employers, directors, officers, service providers and financial institutions should be aware that courts have adopted an expansive definition of the term "fiduciary" by focusing on actions rather than titles. As a result, these entities are increasingly becoming the targets of fiduciary lawsuits, often thrown into the fray without the protections afforded by fiduciary insurance.

Given the legislative and judicial climate, entities concerned about exposure to such suits must develop appropriate strategies focused on actions, not titles, for evaluating and minimizing their risk of classification.

For registration information, please contact
Christine Eschenauer at (212) 351-4668 or email at
[email protected].