The rules that govern annuities meetings aren’t new, but they’re being enforced more strictly than ever. During a discussion about National Association of Securities Dealers regulations at the Northeast chapter meeting of the Insurance Conference Planners Association, held at The Sagamore, Bolton Landing, New York, in early January, planners were warned that non-compliance with NASD meeting guidelines could put their companies on the hot seat.
"We look at every meeting request that comes in, particularly as we acquire small companies that aren’t used to this compliance," said one financial services planner.
The most important rule: training and education meetings that involve investment products have to include at least six hours of education in order to be considered a legitimate meeting. In addition, companies cannot pay for entertainment, even after the six hours of education are over, or for any guest expenses.
The better educated financial services planners are about the NASD guidelines, the more effectively they can work within them and still produce a memorable experience for meeting attendees. For example, attendee gifts cannot exceed a total of $100 yearly, but if a gift has a logo on it, it is considered to have no value. And an outside sponsor is allowed to host group meals for attendees and guests.