Breaking the chains

The structured products distribution model in the US is skewed. Captive channels held within the brokerage arms of a handful of major banks have traditionally stayed relatively closed. Third-party broker dealers, by contrast, have taken products from all issuers, adopting the same approach as independent registered investment advisers (RIAs), which answer only to their own due diligence requirements.

A gradual shift towards open architecture on the part of the biggest distributor banks has been