I am a licensed insurance professional and a manager of registered representatives in my office. 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. I truly feel the proposed requirements will provide no meaningful protection to consumers and will adversely impact my business and that of the agents assigned to me.
Furthermore, proposed Rule 2821 duplicates current supervision and suitability requirements that are already in place. NASD rules (including Rule 2310) already contain suitability requirements that apply to all sales of securities, including variable annuities. If regulators really want to protect consumers, appropriate enforcement of the existing suitability rule rather than adopting a new rule is the answer.
In addition, the requirement for review by a principal found in the proposed rule deviates in several significant ways from the general supervision requirements found in Rule 3010. This requirement presents a bias against these products, and will lead to constant second guessing of the advice and recommendations of the investment professional.
For these reasons, I stronly urge that you reject this proposed new rule.