I am the Chief Supervisory Officer responsible for variable and registered securities product sales supervision at a major Insurance Affiliated Broker Dearler. I am writing to you concerning the suitability standard and principal review requirements pertaining to the sale of variable annuities contained in NASD proposed Rule 2821. I urge the SEC to disapprove the proposal. Although I am fully supportive of taking appropriate disciplinary action against those that violate securities rules and regulations, this ammendment is not justified. Currently Rule 2310 already contains suitability requirements that apply to all sales of securities, including variable annuities. Why are variable annuities being singled out vs. other securities offered in the industry. Aren't there suitability abuses related to equities, options purchases, pink sheet securities, junk bonds, UITs etc? Variable annuities are an appropriate tax deffered vehicle for many investors. Yet, a small percentage of abuses vs. the whole once again results in a knee jerk reaction by the NASD.
In addition, the requirement for review by a principal found in the proposed rule deviates in several significant ways from the general supervision requirements found in Rule 3010. This requirement appears to present a bias against these products, and will lead to constant second guessing of advice by our securities professionals.
I urge the SEC to disapprove NASD proposed Rule 2821. Thank you for your consideration of my views on this matter.