Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 3:54 PM
I am a licensed insurance professional and variable product salesperson. I am writing to you concerning the suitability standard and principal review requirements pertaining to the sale of variable annuities contained in NASD proposed Rule 2821.
From my experience with clients, I urge you to simplify and shorten rather than expand the regulatory scope. Frankly, there are only a few clients who can willingly tolerate the current disclosure process as it is too lengthy. Not uncommonly it can take about an hour or more to review with a client the necessary forms, disclosures and signings for a single transaction -- by which time most clients seem exhausted, if not discouraged. Instead I would encourage you to consider amending the process such that it focuses on a simpler, shorter and more straightforward point of sale disclosure to the client of things that he/she needs to know that references to pages in the prospectus where a client can on his/her own time find more detailed information.
I firmly believe people who engage in misleading sales practices should be aggressively prosecuted and subject to appropriate sanctions. However, please be clear that more regulation can mean less clarity, particularly to the client who seem to be suffering enough.
Thus I encourage you to please proceed with prudence as I think the current regulatory and legal system has enough already in it to punish bad actors.