From: Eric H. Arman
August 5, 2005
Jonathan G. Katz
Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549-9309
I am a licensed insurance professional and variable product salesperson. I am writing to you because the principal review requirements and redundant suitability standards contained in NASD proposed Rule 2821 are unnecessary, will provide no meaningful additional protection to consumers and will adversely impact my business. I urge the SEC to disapprove the proposal.
I believe that over the last five to ten years we have done a disservice to the consumer by over loading them with disclosures and forms that they need to read, sign and initial. Most of the people I come in contact with complain about the amount of paper they now receive as well as the amount of paperwork required to open account.
As a professional in the financial services industry for over fifteen years, I feel that it is important for my clients to understand what they are buying as well as all of the details and risks involved.I believe that the current amount of information we are now required to provide as well as our expertise is adequate to protect the consumer. I also know that all the forms in the world will not prevent dishonest sales people from being dishonest.
Furthermore, the requirement for review by a principal found in the proposed rule appears to present a bias against these products. In addition, these requirements will lead to constant second guessing of my advice and recommendations (based upon less first hand information than was available to me) as well as significant increases in merit less litigation.
Finally, I believe that the proposal is a "solution in search of a problem"—I do not think the available data supports the NASD's claims that the level of sales problems in the variable annuity marketplace calls for the adoption of the proposed rule. The NASD has not statistically quantified the scope of the problem it is allegedly seeking to solve with the proposed rule. Furthermore, over 95% of the comments received by the NASD regarding the proposal opposed the new rule, and the NASD has not adequately responded to the concerns raised by the vast majority of commentators. For these reasons, I urge the SEC to disapprove NASD proposed Rule 2821. Thank you for your consideration of my views on this matter.
Eric H. Arman