Notice to Members 03-49

NASD Requests Comment on Proposed Amendments to Rule 3010 to Require Heightened Supervision Plans for Associated Persons with a Specified Threshold of Industry/Regulatory-Related Events

Note: The comment period has been extended to October 31, 2003.

NASD requests comment on proposed amendments to Rule 3010 (Supervision) to require members to adopt heightened supervision plans for those associated persons who have met or exceeded specified threshold numbers of industry/regulatory-related events, or to document their rationale (which must be reasonable) for not doing so. Rule 3010 generally requires members to establish and maintain supervisory systems for each of their associated persons that are reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and NASD rules. However, the rule does not specifically address supervision of associated persons with a history of industry/regulatory-related events. The proposed rule change is intended to bolster investor protection by promoting earlier and more effective detection, and thus prevention, of future sales practice and other regulatory abuses by the associated person(s) requiring heightened supervision. In connection with the heightened supervision requirement, NASD seeks comment on the types and frequency of incidents that should be considered in requiring that persons be subject to heightened supervision plans.

NASD further requests comment on amendments that would require that the registered person responsible for supervising the activities of the associated person(s) subject to the plan approve in writing the heightened supervision plans. As part of the approval of the plan, the supervisor would acknowledge responsibility for execution of the plan. This rule change is intended to ensure effective implementation of the heightened supervision plans and coordination between the personnel responsible for hiring and compliance personnel by encouraging more awareness and careful consideration of a person's background during the hiring process.

Questions regarding this Notice to Members may be directed to Grace Yeh, NASD Office of General Counsel, Regulatory Policy and Oversight, at (202) 728-6939.