From: Mitchell F. Keil, CFP
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 applaud your efforts to provide additional safeguards to the public in promulgating rule 2821. The public must be protected from the unscrupulous and dishonest practices of reps selling variable annuities. The suitability issue is well addressed in your proposed rule and I have no quarrel with these provisions. But I do feel that the burden of providing additional and adequate supervision of VA sales practices by local principals and HO based principals is excessive. From a practical point of view your proposed rules regarding this supervision may be unworkable and expose otherwise conscientious principals to the loss of their livelihood because of the impossible burden to review each and every variable annuity transaction in the manner you require. Principals are already overworked and under the gun to review many areas of rep conduct that are too easy to circumvent by a truly unscrupulous individual. This additional layer of review would compound the difficulty each principal encounters in contacting clients and verifying the suitability of security sales. I would suggest that the use of a detailed NASD approved disclosure form to accompany each sale wherein each specific feature and cost is outlined and initialed by the client would assist the principal in supervising these sales and reduce the review burden. These disclosure forms would look much like the currently required disclosures used in the sale of Long Term Care insurance policies to those over the age of 65. These disclosure forms would provide a workable means to insure that the suitability requirements of rule 2821 are adhered to and provide firms and principals with clear guidance and the NASD with enforceable rules that do curtail unscrupulous practices.
Thank you for considering my comments.
Mitchell F. Keil, CFP