New Canaan Rotary Club Bulletin                                             August 18, 2016
 
The Year of the Bow Tie gets curiouser and curiousier.  Apparently a sudden inspiration to leave New Canaan for Williamsburg overcame President 2.0 and, before he was able to arrange for a stand-in, he found himself well on his way to his destination.  What to do?  How about a broadcast email to the membership stating that he has abandoned his post and entreating someone, anyone, to act in loco presidentus?  Sounds like a plan.  Fortunately President-Elect Valerie filled the void admirably and handled the meeting management like a grizzled veteran.  The 2.0 management style is certainly unique.
 
The very first time Valerie appeared before the Club in her leadership role she correctly requested the introduction of Visiting Rotarians and guests.  Virtually unprecedented.  The unfortunate absence of either diminished her performance not a whit.  Next year could be BIG.
 
Joe Rucci announced that Ed Nordgaard’s memorial service will take place at the First Congregational Church of New Canaan on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 10:00 AM.
 
On the Lobsterfest front Fireman Fred requested a meeting of his formidable staff following the meeting, said to look out for Amy’s email sign-up sheet which should be distributed shortly [he stated the minimum commitment he is expecting will be 6 hours], and entreated the membership to sell, sell, sell.  Then Ducatmeister Richard rose and informed the audience that he has received a disappointing 20% of the receipts he is ultimately expecting based on each member’s ticket allocation.  If you have not as yet given Richard the check for your tickets, GET IT UP!  This would be a good year to abandon our tradition of torturing anyone foolish enough to take on a position of responsibility.  The Lobsterfest is our major opportunity to fund our local, District and international service initiatives for the year.  Just because 2.0 isn’t here is no reason not to support him.
 
The Exchange Committee, Ann and Alex, then reminded the audience that they have successfully completed [and passed] committee level training and that Betsy and [surprisingly] Ben had aced the host family training just in time to welcome Alvaro next week.  As noted in the recent EXTRA edition of the Bullet, Alvaro will be our speaker next week.  If you are in town, be there.  The Committee needs an ambassador from 9:00 until 6:00 next Friday to be responsible for Alvaro – take him on a tour of the town, take him swimming, play golf, etc.  If you can be that person contact Ann [anncheney23@gmail.com] or Alex [alex.e.grantcharov@gmail.com].  It is time to step up and make Alvaro feel welcome in New Canaan.
 
Steve was enlisted to perform the sergeant duties and to no one’s surprise commenced his performance by uttering what has become his mantra, “I got nuthin’.”  Contradicting that initial statement, he then launched into a golf joke that offended every distaff member of the audience, although, truth be told, it was pretty funny.  Fines followed from Dr. John who was transported by the sophisticated cabaret act of George Baker at the pop-up park last evening; Fred a happy for a week in New Orleans [although August may not have been the optimum month to visit]; Rob was happy to have his son back from an academic/adventure experience in the Caribbean; Ann had a meager happy one for a week in New Hampshire; and Chris Snyder by way of B.T. had a sad because he would miss Ed Nordgaard’s infectious smile.  Before retreating to his seat, Steve once again flogged the NC Chamber of Commerce golf tournament at Wee Burn on September 26th.  He promised to continue hectoring the membership from now until then unless he gets some results, so discretion being the better part of valor, someone please step up.  For a mere $5,000 you could be the Spieth Title Sponsor [unless Steve beats you to it].
 
Once again following his President’s lead, Program Chair Ken was absent, so President-Elect Valerie donned her Acting Program Chair hat and introduced the day’s speaker, our very own B.T. Bowler, NCHS Class of 1986, married with three children, Ridgefield resident, and NC based Ameriprise financial advisor for the past 22 years.  His subject was the Fiduciary Rule promulgated by the federal Department of Labor, and thus known as the DOL Rule.  It’s stated purpose is to make transparent to the account owner what fees or friction are associated with her account.  Noble goal.  In its normal efficient fashion, the federal government has managed to condense this objective into an easy to understand, crystal clear document numbering in excess of 1,000 pages.  The SEC is supposed to regulate the financial services business, but in this case the Department of Labor wrote the Rule and, having no enforcement arm of its own, farmed that out to the IRS.  What could possibly go wrong?  B.T. stated that aggregate 401k’s and IRA’s in the U.S. total some $20 trillion dollars.  Various layers of government want a piece of that money and so have been exempted from any compliance constraints placed on the private sector.  There are literally thousands of broker/dealers in the country, most of which will not be able to bear the cost of compliance with the Rule and will be forced to either consolidate with the few remaining large firms or go out of business.  As B.T. moved from one side of the room to the other, playing the different roles of the affected parties, the whole subject became somewhat opaque.  His conclusion, if I understood it, is that the Rule is another example of enormously disruptive regulation fundamentally changing the face of financial services in the country over the next few years.  When the dust settles, he opined, Registered Investor Advisor Valerie will still be standing.  Heavy stuff!
 
Mike Bloomberg