Analystsfocused their questions on assets affected by the U.S. Department of Laborfiduciary rule duringFranklin ResourcesInc.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings call.
Therule will affect an estimated $130 billion in assets under management atFranklin, Chairman and CEO Gregory Johnson said. That number is probably smallerthan affected sums at Franklin's peers, he said, because the company is heavilyconcentrated in retail assets offshore and municipal bond funds. Ofthat total, about $30 billion is tied to 401(k) business, while the remaining$70 billion to $100 billion is in IRA business. About 9% of Franklin's saleshave commissions, he said.
"Butlike everybody in the industry, we're very concerned about [it], and [we're]still trying to understand what a thousand-page document means to ourbusiness," he said.
Despitesome of the "most unworkable" items being adjusted in the rule, Johnson said, thenew standard would still eliminate advice for people with smaller accounts whoneed it most. Echoing comments made across the investment advice space,Johnson expects robo-advice to become more common for savers with comparativelylower account balances.
Johnsonwas optimistic about falling outflows in Franklin's flagship Income Fund, whichsaw $3.5 billion in net outflows in the company's fiscal first quarter.Outflows fell to $1.9 billion in the fiscal second quarter.