Are You Selling a Verb or a Noun?

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Meet a woman driven to change investment regulation and understand why it’s important that she succeeds.

Michelle Richter is a principal at Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC, and executive director of the Institutional Retirement Income Council, Inc. She is also one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. Richter’s intellect incorporates both dimensions of “smart,” which is why she was placed in charge of a Fortune 100 company’s broker-dealer and RIA.

Richter is driven. Her “cause” is reform of regulation that levels the playing field for insurance through the introduction of a 40 Act-equivalent governing insurance advisement. I fully support this because it will result in better outcomes for investors. It will facilitate commercialization of intellectual property that, today, represents unfulfilled potential. To help the advisory profession understand the regulatory inequality that exists, Richter developed her own lexicon, using the “verbs” and “nouns” construct.

I spoke with Michelle on May 22.

I was surprised and enlightened to learn about the construct of the verbs and nouns. I didn't know it was an issue. What brought you to the realization that we needed this?

There were a few things, but mainly, it’s because my experience is as a person who believes in creating value as an intellectual property developer, and that's where I've spent my career. I've worked on a lot of consumer-liability-minimizing concepts, which were good concepts from good people who had good ideas. It became increasingly evident that those ideas couldn't be commercialized.