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One who must act for the benefit of another party.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


1. A person appointed to handle another person's finances. A fiduciary holds the assets of another person and is required to act in the best interests of that person; he/she is not allowed to invest for personal profit. See also: Prudent person rule.

2. Describing a duty or obligation to act in the best interest of another person or institution. For example, an elected government might state that it has a fiduciary duty to wisely use the taxes it collects.

3. An unsecured loan.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


A person, such as an investment manager or the executor of an estate, or an organization, such as a bank, entrusted with the property of another party and in whose best interests the fiduciary is expected to act when holding, investing, or otherwise using that party's property.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


A fiduciary is an individual or organization legally responsible for managing assets on behalf of someone else, usually called the beneficiary. The assets must be managed in the best interests of the beneficiary, not for the personal gain of the fiduciary.

However, the concept of acting responsibly can be broadly interpreted, and may mean preserving principal to some fiduciaries and producing reasonable growth to others.

Executors, trustees, guardians, and agents with powers of attorney are examples of individuals with fiduciary responsibility. Firms known as registered investment advisers (RIAs) are also fiduciaries.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


A person who enjoys a relationship of trust or confidence with respect to another such that the law will impose greater than normal responsibilities on the fiduciary for honesty, integrity,candor,and scrupulous good faith even if it means sacrificing the interests of the fiduciary. Typical fiduciaries include attorneys, real estate agents representing principals, trustees, and guardians. Because of the fiduciary relationship between an agent and principal, it is difficult to understand the concept of dual agency, in which the broker may represent both the buyer and seller.A seller's fiduciary must keep all the client's information confidential,not volunteer anything unless absolutely required by law, and attempt to gain the highest possible price for the property. A buyer's fiduciary must ferret out all secrets, volunteer all information regarding anything at all that might affect property values, recommend the most thorough home inspectors, and attempt to obtain the lowest possible price for a property. These positions are extremely difficult to reconcile in one person.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


One who acts for an estate or trust to manage the property of the estate or trust.
Copyright © 2008 H&R Block. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission from H&R Block Glossary
References in periodicals archive ?
Plan fiduciaries who accept a conflicted fund recommendation are considered to have embraced it as their own and are therefore held to have selected that fund investment.
Plan fiduciaries should incur costs that are reasonable in amount and consistent with the responsibilities of the plan.
His account ultimately says that the only difference between fiduciaries and non-fiduciaries is that while we want both to always fulfil their non-fiduciary obligations, we really want fiduciaries to do so.
Secondly, Conaglen's account does not seem true to Equity's practice, because we make fiduciaries liable even if they have fulfilled those other obligations.
While fiduciary norms furnish beneficiaries who entrust others within fiduciary interactions with the means to protect or abuse their interests, the fiduciaries entrusted by the beneficiaries are furnished with significant disincentives to abuse that trust.
Fiduciary law protects important social and economic interactions of high trust and confidence that create an implicit dependency and peculiar vulnerability of beneficiaries to their fiduciaries. (38) While placing ordinary trust and confidence in others will create other forms of obligation, only high trust and confidence reposed within the context of the types of important social and economic relations contemplated above will give rise to fiduciary obligations.
Edison, the appellate court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and found that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties to the plan when investing in retail share classes and failed to consider the less expensive institutional shares.
Leib, Ponet, and Serota acknowledge the differences between private and public fiduciaries: private fiduciaries often make decisions affecting the interest and assets of small and identifiable groups of beneficiaries, while public fiduciaries render general decisions for large classes of citizens whose interests may conflict.
However, level-fee fiduciaries (i.e., advisors who provide services only on an "asset under management basis" or "fixed fee" basis that does not vary based on an investment recommended in connection with advisory or management services to the ERISA plan or IRA) are able to comply with the Best Interest Contract Exemption on a streamlined basis.
Most fiduciaries are engaged in the provision of fiduciary services for or on behalf of a beneficiary or group of beneficiaries.
(8) These rules provide specific expression to the general expectation that fiduciaries will consider only the interests of their beneficiaries.
(11) In theory, privatizing this system increases the number of incompetent veterans receiving help while simultaneously empowering the Fiduciary Program to shift from administering the Program to monitoring fiduciaries.