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Ms. Kim Allen
International Organization of Securities Commissions
C/ Oquendo 12
Madrid 28006, Spain
Re: IOSCO Work on Point of Sale Disclosure to Retail Investors
Dear Ms. Allen:
National Futures Association ("NFA") appreciates the opportunity to comment on the IOSCO May 2008 Point of Sale Disclosure Issues Paper. NFA is a registered futures association under the Commodity Exchange Act and a self-regulatory organization for the United States futures industry, subject to oversight and review by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC"). If IOSCO should decide at some future point to develop principles for point of sale disclosure by collective investment schemes, those principles should be high-level and should generally meet the objectives described in the issues paper. We believe the paper identifies the correct issues, and the futures regulatory scheme in the U.S. already meets each of the objectives described in that paper.
We do have one substantive comment, however. In footnote 1, the Joint Group notes that in most jurisdictions retail investors are "persons who do not fall within the definition of an 'institutional' or 'professional' investor (e.g., someone who meets certain minimum net worth levels or is a corporation)," and this is the approach the paper takes. Although we agree with the general concept, the Joint Group should not eliminate every corporation or business entity from its definition of "retail investor." While net worth may be an indication of sophistication, corporate status is not. A family-owned business that runs one neighborhood restaurant should have the same protections as the individual who runs the restaurant across the street but has chosen not to incorporate.
This is, in fact, the approach taken in the U.S. For example, certain of the CFTC's requirements do not apply to collective investment schemes limited to qualified eligible participants (QEPs). To be a QEP, a corporation or similar business entity must have assets in excess of $5,000,000 and must also meet a portfolio requirement based on the size of its investments.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the issues paper. If you have any questions, please contact me at 312-781-1335 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen K. Wuertz
Senior Vice President
Planning and Development