From: Michael B. Holman
Ms. Nancy Morris, Secretary
I am a licensed insurance and securities representative holding an NASD Series 7 and 24 license. As part of my past responsibilities I oversaw an OSJ responsible for the supervision of both series 7 and 6 licensed reperesentatives. I represent a large independent broker-dealer affiliated with one of this country's largest insurerers. I have terminated my OSJ oversight of representatives in large part because of the disruptive nature and negative revenue impact that increasing regulatory reguirements have had on our business. We are in fact examining the possibility, after 20 years, of leaving the securities business and having our clients seek other advisors in large part because of the ongoing burder created by the ever increasing compliance requirements. Please do not misunderstand, we are very compliant and pass our stringent company audits every year. But the incursion into our business and the related costs in time and money of operating in an ever increasing regulatory environment is forcing us away from the securities industry and the clients whom we have served in some cases for up to 35 years.
I am opposed to the proposed suitability and principal review of deferred variable annuities as set forth in File #SR-NASD-2004-183. As a registered principal I am already reviewing each variable annuity sale under other suitability and review requirements set forth by the NASD. This proposed additional regulation is a knee-jerk reaction to a very small number of complaints and disciplinary actions received by and taken by the NASD.
What is needed if anything is more enforcement of the already existing rules requiring review and oversight of all securities transactions.
Finally, in what President Bush calls "an ownership society" the constant meddling by regulators in the private affairs of, what are today, relatively sophisticated investors must stop. While there is a need to protect some members of society from those who would take unfair advantage of their lack of knowledge and experience there is a greater need to allow those knowledgable and sophisticated consumers to determine where and when they will assume certain risks. WE must be very careful how we constrain, through well meaning but ill founded regulations, the actions of those private citizens who choose to build individual, private wealth.
I urge the SEC to reject this proposed additional regulation as redundant and creating an additional burden on financial advisors and their clients that serves no purpose.
Michael B Holman, CLU, ChFC