The Office of General Counsel issued the following informal opinion on September 18, 2002 representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: Foreign Investment Adviser Managing General
Account and Separate Account Assets of Domestic Life Insurer
1. Does the New York State Insurance Law prohibit investment advisers that reside outside of the United States from managing the general account and separate account assets of New York State domiciled life insurance companies?
2. Would the investment guidelines of a New York State domiciled life insurance company contain such prohibition?
1. No. The New York State Insurance Law does not prohibit such arrangements; the residence of the investment adviser, under these facts, is irrelevant.
2. Perhaps. The existence of such restriction may or may not be present within the investment guidelines of a New York State domiciled life insurance company. Its inclusion is at the discretion of the companys board of directors, or a committee thereof.
A SEC registered investment adviser residing in England (the "Adviser") plans to manage the general account and separate account assets of a New York life insurance company (the "Life Company").
The New York State Insurance Law does not address the matter of an investment adviser residing in a foreign country that plans to manage the general account and separate account assets of a New York domiciled life insurance company. Residence is not a factor: the requirements and restrictions of the Insurance Law apply equally to all investment advisers seeking to manage the general account and separate account assets of New York life insurance companies.
Regarding the placement of the Life Companys prohibition that forbids the management of its separate and general account assets by an investment adviser residing outside of the United States, the investment guidelines may or may not contain such restriction. Both the placement and location of this restriction is at the discretion of the Life Companys board of directors, or a committee thereof.
Please note that the Insurance Department bases this opinion solely on the New York State Insurance Law and the facts as presented.
For further information you may contact Senior Attorney Kristian Earl Lynch at the New York City Office.