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Explanation of Proposed Amendments
The Managed Funds Association (MFA) recently raised an issue regarding the security futures disclosure statement. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 provides that, with respect to security futures products, Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), as well as other registrants, must be subject to suitability rules comparable to those that apply to NASD members. The "Know Your Customer" requirements in NFA Compliance Rule 2-30 include the requirement to provide appropriate risk disclosure, so when that rule was amended to include suitability requirements for security futures products, CTAs were included in the provisions of that rule relating to the disclosure statement. As Compliance Rule 2-30 and the related Interpretive Notice currently read, a CTA is required to provide the disclosure statement to the customer in the relatively rare instance where the CTA is the Member soliciting the account.
MFA has questioned this requirement for CTAs, pointing out that investment advisers have no similar requirement. Although someone must provide the disclosure statement to the customer, the Board agrees that the CTA does not have to be the source of that document. In fact, if the account is carried by an NASD member that is itself required by NASD rules to provide the document, NFA's current rule could result in both the CTA and the Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) delivering the document. Therefore, the Board amended NFA Compliance Rule 2-30 and the related Interpretive Notice to remove CTAs from the special risk disclosure requirements for security futures products and to place the obligation to provide the statement on the Member carrying an account solicited by the CTA. The CTA must still, of course, consider how well a customer understands the risks when determining if it is appropriate for the customer to trade security futures products or to use the CTA's trading program for that purpose.