Regulatory Impact Statement for Third Amendment to 11 NYCRR 136 (Insurance Regulation 85).

1. Statutory authority: The Superintendent's authority for the adoption of the rule to 11 NYCRR 136 is derived from sections 202 and 302 of the Financial Services Law ("FSL") and sections 301, 314, 7401(a), and 7402(n) of the Insurance Law.

FSL section 202 establishes the office of the Superintendent and designates the Superintendent to be the head of the Department of Financial Services ("DFS").

FSL section 302 and Insurance Law section 301, in material part, authorize the Superintendent to effectuate any power accorded to him by the Insurance Law, the Banking Law, the Financial Services Law, or any other law of this state and to prescribe regulations interpreting the Insurance Law.

Insurance Law section 314 vests the Superintendent with the authority to promulgate standards with respect to administrative efficiency, discharge of fiduciary responsibilities, investment policies and financial soundness of the public retirement and pension systems of the State of New York, and to make an examination into the affairs of every system at least once every five years in accordance with Insurance Law sections 310, 311 and 312. The implementation of the standards is necessarily through the promulgation of regulations.

As confirmed by the Court of Appeals in Matter of Dinallo v. DiNapoli, 9 N.Y. 3d 94 (2007), the Superintendent functions in two distinct capacities. The first is as regulator of the insurance industry. The second is as statutory receiver of financially distressed insurance entities. Article 74 of the Insurance Law sets forth the Superintendent's role and responsibilities in this latter capacity.

Insurance Law section 7401(a) sets forth the entities, including the public retirement systems, to which Article 74 applies.

Insurance Law section 7402(n) provides that it is a ground for rehabilitation if an entity subject to Article 74 has failed or refused to take such steps as may be necessary to remove from office any officer or director whom the Superintendent has found, after appropriate notice and hearing, to be a dishonest or untrustworthy person.

2. Legislative objectives: Insurance Law section 314 authorizes the Superintendent to promulgate and amend, after consultation with the respective administrative heads of public retirement and pension systems and after a public hearing, standards with respect to the public retirement and pension systems of the State of New York.

This rule, which in effect bans the use of an investment tool that has been found to be untrustworthy, is consistent with the public policy objectives that the Legislature sought to advance in enacting Insurance Law section 314, which provides the Superintendent with the powers to promulgate standards to protect the New York State Common Retirement Fund (the "Fund").

3. Needs and benefits: The Second Amendment to 11 NYCRR 136 (Regulation 85), effective November 19, 2008, established new standards with regard to investment of the assets of the Fund, conflicts of interest and procurement. In addition, the Second Amendment created new audit and actuarial committees, and greatly strengthened the investment advisory committee. The Second Amendment also set high ethical standards, strengthened internal controls and governance, enhanced the operational transparency of the Fund, and strengthened supervision by the Department.

Nevertheless, recent allegations regarding "pay to play" practices, whereby politically connected individuals reportedly sold access to investment opportunities with the Fund, compel the Superintendent to conclude that the mere strengthening of the Fund's control environment is insufficient to protect the integrity of the state employees' retirement systems. The Third Amendment to Regulation 85 will adopt an immediate ban on the use of placement agents to ensure sufficient protection of the Fund's members and beneficiaries, and safeguard the integrity of the Fund's investments. Further, the rule defines "placement agent or intermediary" in a manner that both thwarts evasion of the ban while ensuring that such ban not extend to persons otherwise acting lawfully on behalf of investment managers.

4. Costs: The rule does not impose any additional requirements on the Comptroller, and no additional costs are expected to result from the implementation of the ban imposed by this rule. There are no costs to the Department or other state government agencies or local governments. Investment managers, consultants and advisors who provide services to the Fund, which are required to discontinue the use of placement agents in connection with investment services they provide to the Fund, may lose opportunities to do business with the Fund.

5. Local government mandates: The rule imposes no new programs, services, duties or responsibilities on any county, city, town, village, school district, fire district or other special district.

6. Paperwork: No additional paperwork should result from the prohibition imposed by the rule.

7. Duplication: This rule will not duplicate any existing state or federal rule.

8. Alternatives: The Superintendent considered other ways to limit the influence of placement agents, including a partial ban, increased disclosure requirements, and adopting alternative definitions of placement agent or intermediary. The Department considered limiting the ban to include intent on the part of the party using placement agents, or defining "placement agent" in more general terms.

In developing the rule, the Superintendent and State Comptroller not only consulted with one another, but also briefed representatives of: (1) New York State and New York City Public Employee Unions; (2) New York City Retirement and Pension Funds; (3) the Borough Presidents of the five counties of New York City; and (4) officials of the New York City Mayor's Office, Comptroller's Office and Finance Department. These entities agreed with the concerns expressed by the Department and intend to explore remedies most appropriate to the pension funds that they represent.

Initially, the Superintendent concluded that only an immediate total ban on the use of placement agents could provide sufficient protection of the Fund's members and beneficiaries and safeguard the integrity of the Fund's investments. The proposed rule was published in the State Register on March 17, 2010. A Public Hearing was held on April 28, 2010. The following comments were received:

Blackstone Group, a global investment manager and financial advisor, wrote to oppose the proposed ban on the use of placement agents by investment advisors engaged by the New York State Common Retirement Fund ("The Fund"). It stated that the rule would lessen the number of investment opportunities brought before the Fund, adversely affect small, medium-sized and women-and minority-owned investment firms seeking to do business with the Fund, and adversely affect a number of New York-headquartered financial institutions doing business as placement agents.

Blackstone suggested the inclusion of the following provisions in the rule instead:

A ban on political contributions by any employee of any placement agent seeking to do business with the Fund;

A requirement that any placement agent seeking do to business with the Fund be registered as a broker dealer with the SEC and ensure that its professionals have passed the appropriate Series qualifications administered by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA");

A requirement that any placement agent seeking to do business in New York register with the Department; and

A requirement that any placement agent representing an investment manager before the Fund fully disclose the contractual arrangement between it and the manager, including the fee arrangement and the scope of services to be provided.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ("SIFMA"), representing hundreds of securities firms, banks, and asset managers, commented that the proposed rule (1) inadvertently limits the access of smaller fund managers to the Fund; (2) restricts the number and types of advisers that could be utilized by the Fund; (3) creates an inherent conflict between federal and state law that would make it impossible to do business with the Fund while complying with both; and (4) adds duplicative regulation in an area already substantially regulated at the state level and that is primed for further federal regulation through the imminent imposition of a federal pay-to-play regime on all registered broker-dealers acting as placement agents. In addition, SIFMA provided language that it believes would be consistent with the existing federal requirements on the use of placement agents. SIFMA requested that the Department either exclude from the proposed rule those placement agents who are registered as broker-dealers under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or delay the enactment of the proposed rule until the federal and state placement agent initiatives are finalized.

The Superintendent did consider other ways to limit the influence of placement agents, including a partial ban, increased disclosure requirements, and adopting alternative definitions of placement agent or intermediary. The Department considered limiting the ban to include intent on the part of the party using placement agents, or defining "placement agent" in more general terms. At the time, the Superintendent concluded that only an immediate, total ban on the use of placement agents could provide sufficient protection of the Fund's members and beneficiaries and safeguard the integrity of the Fund's investments.

9. Federal standards: The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a "Pay-To-Play" regulation for financial advisors on July 1, 2010, which may have an impact on the issues addressed in the proposed rule.

10. Compliance Schedule: The emergency adoption of this regulation on June 18, 2009 ensured that the ban would become enforceable immediately. The ban needs to remain in effect on an emergency basis until such time as an amended regulation can be made permanent.

Regulatory flexibility analysis for small businesses and local governments for the Third Amendment to 11 NYCRR 136 (Insurance Regulation 85).

1. Effect of the Rule: This rule strengthens standards for the management of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System and New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (collectively, "the Retirement System"), and the New York State Common Retirement Fund ("the Fund").

The Second Amendment to 11 NYCRR 136 (Insurance Regulation 85), effective November 19, 2008, established new standards with regard to investment of the assets of the Fund, conflicts of interest and procurement. In addition, the Second Amendment created new audit and actuarial committees, and greatly strengthened the investment advisory committee. The Second Amendment also set high ethical standards, strengthened internal controls and governance, enhanced the operational transparency of the Fund, and strengthened supervision by the Department.

Nevertheless, recent allegations regarding "pay to play" practices, whereby politically connected individuals reportedly sold access to investment opportunities with the Fund, compel the Superintendent to conclude that the mere strengthening of the Fund's control environment is insufficient to protect the integrity of the state employees' retirement systems. The Third Amendment to Insurance Regulation 85 will adopt an immediate ban on the use of placement agents to ensure sufficient protection of the Fund's members and beneficiaries, and safeguard the integrity of the Fund's investments. Further, the rule defines "placement agent or intermediary" in a manner that both thwarts evasion of the ban while ensuring that such ban not extend to persons otherwise acting lawfully on behalf of investment managers.

These standards are intended to assure that the conduct of the business of the Retirement System and the Fund, and of the State Comptroller (as administrative head of the Retirement System and as sole trustee of the Fund), are consistent with the principles specified in the rule. Most among all affected parties, the State Comptroller, as a fiduciary whose responsibilities are clarified and broadened, is impacted by the rule. The State Comptroller is not a "small business" as defined in section 102(8) of the State Administrative Procedure Act.

This rule will affect investment managers and other intermediaries (other than OSC employees) who provide technical or professional services to the Fund related to Fund investments. The rule will prohibit investment managers from using the services of a placement agent unless such agent is a regular employee of the investment manager and is acting in a broader capacity than just providing specific investment advice to the Fund. In addition, the rule is also directed to placement agents, who as a result of this rule, will no longer be engaged directly or indirectly by investment managers that do business with the Fund. Some investment managers and placement agents may come within the definition of "small business" set forth in section 102(8) of the State Administrative Procedure Act, because they are independently owned and operated, and employ 100 or fewer individuals.

The rule bans the use of placement agents in connection with investments by the Fund. This may adversely affect the business of placement agents, who will lose opportunities to earn profits in connection with investments by the Fund. Nevertheless, as a result of recent allegations regarding "pay to play" practices, whereby politically connected individuals reportedly sold access to investment opportunities with the Fund, the Superintendent has concluded that an immediate ban on the use of placement agents is necessary to protect the Fund's members and beneficiaries and to safeguard the integrity of the Fund's investments.

This rule will not impose any adverse compliance requirements or result in any adverse impacts on local governments. The basis for this finding is that this rule is directed at the State Comptroller; employees of the Office of State Comptroller; and investment managers, placement agents, consultant or advisors - none of which are local governments.

2. Compliance requirements: None.

3. Professional services: Investment managers, consultants and advisors who provide services to the Fund, and are required to discontinue the use of placement agents in connection with investment services they provide to the Fund, may need to employ other professional services.

4. Compliance costs: The rule does not impose any additional requirements on the Comptroller, and no additional costs are expected to result from the implementation of the ban imposed by this rule. There are no costs to the Department of Financial Services or other state government agencies or local governments. However, investment managers, consultants and advisors who provide services to the Fund, which are required to discontinue the use of placement agents in connection with investment services they provide to the Fund, may lose opportunities to do business with the Fund.

5. Economic and Technological Feasibility: The rule does not impose any economic and technological requirements on affected parties, except for placement agents who will lose the opportunity to earn profits in connection with investments by the Fund.

6. Minimizing adverse impact: The costs to placement agents are lost opportunities to earn profits in connection with investments by the Fund. The Superintendent considered other ways to limit the influence of placement agents, including a partial ban, increased disclosure requirements, and adopting alternative definitions of placement agent or intermediary. But in the end, the Superintendent concluded that only an immediate total ban on the use of placement agents could provide sufficient protection of the Fund's members and beneficiaries and safeguard the integrity of the Fund's investments.

7. Small business and local government participation: In developing the rule, the Superintendent and State Comptroller not only consulted with one another, but also briefed representatives of: (1) New York State and New York City Public Employee Unions; (2) New York City Retirement and Pension Funds; (3) the Borough Presidents of the five counties of New York City; and (4) officials of the New York City Mayor's Office, Comptroller's Office and Finance Department.

A public hearing was held on April 28, 2010. Comments were received from two entities recommending that the total ban on the use of placement agents be modified. The Department will continue to assess the comments that have been received and any others that may be submitted.

Rural Area Flexibility Analysis for the Third Amendment to 11 NYCRR 136 (Insurance Regulation 85).

1. Types and estimated numbers of rural areas: Investment managers, placement agents, consultants or advisors that do business in rural areas as defined under State Administrative Procedure Act Section 102(10) will be affected by this rule. The rule bans the use of placement agents in connection with investments by the New York State Common Retirement Fund ("the Fund"), which may adversely affect the business of placement agents and of other entities that utilize placement agents and are involved in Fund investments.

2. Reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements, and professional services: This rule will not impose any reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements on public or private entities in rural areas, with the exception of requiring investment managers, consultants and advisors who provide services to the Fund to discontinue the use of placement agents.

3. Costs: The costs to placement agents are lost opportunities to earn profits in connection with investments by the Fund.

4. Minimizing adverse impact: The rule does not adversely impact rural areas.

5. Rural area participation: A public hearing was held on April 28, 2010. Comments were received from two entities recommending that the total ban on the use of placement agents be modified. The Department will continue to assess the comments that have been received and any others that may be submitted.

Statement explaining why a job impact statement for the Third Amendment to 11 NYCRR 136 (Insurance Regulation 85) is not necessary.

The Department of Financial Services finds that this rule will have little or no impact on jobs and employment opportunities. The rule bans investment managers from using placement agents in connection with investments by the New York State Common Retirement Fund ("the Fund"). The rule may adversely affect the business of placement agents, who could lose the opportunity to earn profits in connection with investments by the Fund. Nevertheless, in view of recent events about how placement agents conduct business on behalf of their clients with regard to the Fund, the Superintendent has concluded that an immediate ban on the use of placement agents is necessary to protect the Fund's members and beneficiaries, and to safeguard the integrity of the Fund's investments.