November 16, 2005
Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549-9303
Dear Mr. Katz:
The Commission's proposed interpretive release regarding client commission practices is extremely helpful. We would appreciate, however, your clarification of one specific issue affecting our clients who are primarily registered investment advisers.
Please note that our organization, National Compliance Services, Inc. (NCS), is not an advocate for any particular position as it relates to client commission practices and soft dollars. Our only objective is to make certain we fully understand the Commission's interpretation, so we can advise our clients properly.
A number of our clients utilize soft dollars to pay for Bloomberg terminals and use the research for investment decision-making on accounts they manage. A literal interpretation of this release appears to preclude advisers from using soft dollars to pay for Bloomberg terminals, since hardware and T1-lines may not be classified as research services. While we certainly understand that the terminal itself and the T1-line are not within the safe harbor found in Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, we would like to confirm that the research delivered by Bloomberg to advisers for investment decision-making on their managed accounts does qualify. If so, an adviser would be permitted to use soft dollars to pay for that portion of the fee.
Accordingly, we respectfully request that the Commission clarify its interpretation as it applies to Bloomberg terminals. We truly appreciate your comments and guidance on this important issue.
Thank you very much.
Rita G. Dew, CRCP
Founder and President
National Compliance Services, Inc.
355 N.E. 5th Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483