From: David Noakes
I am writing to express my concerns about the SEC's ongoing review of Rule 12b-1.
I am quite sure that you have heard from many different sources regarding this issue, so I will only speak to an area from my experience, which I feel is one of greatest concern.
When I was a young man, I sold Recreational Vehicles. Every sale had an amount built in that was termed ASA, that was for "after sales assistance". I consider the 12b1fees that I receive as ASA. The 12b1 fee makes a great deal more sense than did that ASA since the 12b1 is acutally received by the person doing the assisting as opposed to one that made a sale many years ago.
To see the value of the 12b1, one only need survey purchasers of variable annuities. Variable annuities pay some of the highest up front commissions and many no longer pay a trail commission. Although the purchaser of a VA has many of the same needs from a broker that a mutual fund purchaser has, they generally receive little or no "ASA" as many brokers see no benefit to retention of the client. When these disgruntled clients begin looking for a new broker, it is a difficult search, as there is no benefit to a broker that then takes the responsibility of advising them.
I am sure that you will give this issue a great deal of thought before proceeding. I would also hope that you would give a great deal of consideration to the people that pay the least and benefit the most from the 12b1 which is the small uneducated investor.