August 10, 2009
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20549-1090
Re: Proposed Rule 206(4)-5: "Pay to Play" Restrictions File Number S7-18-09
Dear Ms. Murphy:
As a registered investment adviser (RIA) with Runnymede Capital Management, Inc, I would like to express my view of the proposed Rule 206(4)-5: "Pay to Play" Restrictions.
While I strongly support the SECs efforts to prevent "pay to play" practices, I believe that a general ban on the use of legitimate third party marketers is an unreasonable and unjustified response that affects an entire industry segment as a result of the misconduct of a few. The vast majority of advisers working with independent sales and marketing professionals operate in an ethical manner and follow the regulatory rules and regulations currently in place.
The proposed ban on using third parties to solicit government business disproportionately impacts the ability of certain investment advisers, particularly smaller and emerging firms, to compete in the market to provide investment management services to government clients. For many investment managers, both small and large, working with solicitors is a proven and efficient sales approach to effectively introduce strategies to institutional investors, including large public funds. On a whole, Rule 206(4)-3 of the Advisers Act, has served advisers, solicitors and clients well in terms of transparency, disclosure, and setting forth the roles and obligations of the parties in a well-defined solicitation agreement.
The SEC should consider narrowing the prohibition to accommodate government solicitation activities by third parties rather than eliminating the use of all third parties with complete disregard to the merits of such arrangements.
Senior Vice President
Runnymede Capital Management