August 2, 2010
I have been in the insurance business for thirty years. My recomendation for the SEC is to keep the current system of compliance in place for the insurance industry "Suitability Standard" because it is more comprehensive in scope and effect than the proposed fiduciary standard. The current suitabilty standard requires me and my peers to always act in the best interest of the client. As such I hold many licenses (Life insurance agents license Series 6 (Blue Sky Laws) Variable Products license Series 7 (General Securities)and a Series 65 for Financial Planning.) All my licenses require continuining Education as well as Annual Training in Ethics. My securities registrations require a rigorous tutorial every several years to maintain proficiency. I maintain compliance files on my home state and every state that I am licensed in and must keep these current at all times. My staff and I spend 12-14 hours a month dedicated to complance based on the current Suitability Standard we currently operate under.
If the SEC were to go to a "Fiduciary Standard" it would severly impact my existing practice and the community I have served for the last 30 years. I feel that I would be forced to move to a fee only model, which would compel me to leave a large segment of my clients with out representation. I would have to do this to protect myself from liability issues. Many of my cleints are not fee-based (90%) and most could not pay a fee if asked. If the Fiduciary Standard is imposed I believe this will also increase substantially the costs of doing business not to mention the increased cost for EO coverage. At my stage in my career I would have to decide wheather it is practical to remain in this business or to find another. The thought of leaving my practice and 1200+ existing clients that I still today have a passion for is very disheartening.
The insurance industry and my parent company have done an excellent job in keeping me and my peers compliant. Always doing what is in the best interest of our clients (the consumer). When ever there is a registered representative that does not comly with our compliance standards he/she is dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
My request is that your dileberations on this matter give equal credit to the existing system in place that has served the public well. Thank you for the opportunity to shave my feelings on this verry important matter that will affect me and so many of my peers.
Charles E. McDaniels, CLU, ChFC