April 15, 2009
Deputy Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission 100 F Street, NE Washington, DC 20549
I am an insurance agent and financial and investment manager who has spent many years providing valuable services to and looking out for the interests of my clients. I am writing to express direct and significant concerns I have regarding certain aspects of FINRA's proposal to revise Forms U4 and U5. While certain parts of the FINRA proposal are warranted and appropriate, my specific concern is with that part of the proposal that would revise Forms U4 and U5 to essentially require the reporting of allegations of sales practice violations made against a registered person that are contained in the body of an arbitration claim or lawsuit in which that person is not named as a party to the claim or lawsuit. I must strenuously oppose the imposition of this "guilty before charged" standard which could result in my reputation and livelihood being irreparably damaged by unsubstantiated claims made in a proceeding in which I have not been named as a defendant or respondent. This leaves me with no way to answer the claims that have been made! While I strongly believe that people who engage in unscrupulous or misleading sales practices should be aggressively prosecuted and subject to appropriate and meaningful sanctions, the SEC should not allow someone's reputation to be irreparably damaged by unproven claims or allegations made in a lawsuit or arbitration proceeding in which the individual has not been named as a party.
Furthermore, a named party to a lawsuit or arbitration has an opportunity to refute the allegations against him and "clear his name." I therefore request that you not approve that part of FINRA's proposal that would require the reporting of allegations of sales practice violations made against a registered person that are contained in the body of an arbitration claim or lawsuit in which that person is not named as a party.
Thank you for considering my comments.