From: Lee Russell
August 6, 2005
Jonathan G. Katz
As a licensed insurance professional and registered representative I am writing to express my disapproval of the proposed NASD Rule 2821.
The principal review and redundant suitability standards do little to provide additional protection to consumers and do more to exhibit a prejudice against variable annuities.
Existing NASD rules presently contain suitability requirements which apply to all sales of securities, including variable annuities. Enforcement of existing rules - rather than adoption of redundant rules - should be the directive to the NASD.
It is reported that in recent years NASD disciplinary actions concerning variable annuities and the people who sell variable annuities have constituted roughly 8 percent of the NASD's total annual disciplinary actions, despite the fact that registered representatives working for broker/dealers affiliated with life insurers--i.e., variable products salespeopleómake up over 50 percent of the total population of registered representatives.
If accurate, those figures suggest there is no need for additional regulations - merely enforcement of existing regulations.
For these reasons, I urge the SEC to disapprove NASD proposed Rule 2821.
Thank you for your consideration.