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Concerns about a doomsday scenario for broker-dealers and their agents under a uniform fiduciary standard are premature, according to an underwriter for professional liability insurance.

“A fiduciary standard could look a lot of different ways,” cautions Ross Herlands, an underwriter with Aspen Specialty Insurance in New York. “It could result in guidelines that could demand greater disclosure, or it could be much more intrusive,” he said.

Mr. Herlands was commenting on the Securities and Exchange Commission staff study released late Jan. 20 that recommended a “uniform fiduciary standard of conduct” for broker-dealers and investment advisers when selling retail investment products.

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