Do online investors need regulatory safety net?

Panel to discuss “suitability rule,” other Internet brokerage issues

WASHINGTON (October 25, 1999) – Do online investors need the same regulatory safety net as investors who place orders with their stock brokers over the telephone? That will be the question discussed and debated at a roundtable of regulators, industry executives, policy makers and consumer advocates on November 1 in Washington, D.C.

The panel will ask whether the “suitability rule” should apply to online brokerage services. Today, millions of U.S. investors make their own investment decisions and send them to the market via their home or office computers. The suitability rule requires brokers to recommend only those investments that are appropriate for a client, taking into account factors such as the client’s age, income, goals and tolerance for risk.

The panel is the idea of Bradley Skolnik, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and Indiana Securities Commissioner. Skolnik will moderate the discussion.

The panel will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Monday, November 1 in the Executive Forum on the lower level of the Monarch Hotel (formerly the ANA Hotel), 2401 M Street, in Washington DC (near Georgetown).

Panelists will be:

  • Laura S. Unger, Commissioner, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
  • Elisse B. Walter, Chief Operating Officer, NASD Regulation, Inc.
  • William H. Mohr, Deputy Bureau Chief, Investor Protection & Securities Bureau, New York Attorney General’s Office
  • W. Hardy Callcott, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Charles Schwab & Co.
  • Henry W. Carter, Vice-President & Chief Compliance Officer, E*Trade Securities, Inc.
  • Kenneth S. Spirer, First Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
  • Matthew Andresen, President, The Island ECN, Inc.
  • Steven B. Caruso, Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association
  • Robert Cresanti, Counsel, Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah)

The panel is free and open to the public, but due to limited space reservations are recommended. Please contact Cheryl Besl in the NASAA Corporate Office at 202.737.0901 ext. 120 or via e-mail at clb@nasaa.org.

1999 Headlines, Newsroom