August 6, 2010
To SEC, to whom it may concern. On 9-1-2010 I will enter my 27th year in the insurance and financial services industry. I currently hold a life and disablilty license and a series 6 and 63, I'm a Registered Representative of NYLIFE Securities, LLC. I currently have 4 govering authorities oversee how I transact my business. This note is in regard to your recent action examining the effectiveness of regulations governing broker-dealers and investment advisors.
My office is examined every year as spot check on my client files and I'm required to annually take our Firm Element training and money laundering online class. I also meet on an annual basis with our compliance officer and complete a multi-page questionaire on the rules and regulations I'm required to follow.
In my 26 year career and 1000's of clients, I'm proud to say, I've only had 1 complaint to our insurance commissioners office and have a consistantly clean reveiw with our compliance officer.
I only say all of this to express my concern of having yet another layer of regulation imposed on me. I frankly take some offense at the notion that under my current regulation that I don't "act in the best interest of my clients". I have multiples of repeat business and referrals to other friends and family members of exsisting clientele. I have some long term history of people "trusting" me and the products and services I provide them. Would a new fiduciary standard have me "act in their best interests" any better? I submit it would not.
As in any industry, there are a few bad eggs. So I suggest you clean their house under the current regulations and various authorities that could do just that. A new regulation would be costly for the governing authorities, both state and federal. The companies, I know with my own broker-dealer there is an enormous cost to control. The representatives office themselves. My staff and I spend a number of hours each year just keeping up on compliance issues. And the public will not be any better served.
One last comment, if the behavor/charactor of those "bad eggs" doesn't change, then no amount of regulation will matter. They will find a way to "not act in the best interset of the public" and ultimatly the public will not be served better. The public will only be subjected to more paperwork and regulation as we, their representative, will have to impose on them.
Please consider my comments and be cautious of a sweeping change that would put all of us in one size fits all regulatory enviroment.
Jeffery J. Johnston, CLU