SPA to tackle marketing conventions

The New York-based Structured Products Association (SPA) is recruiting up to five US structured products firms to participate in a 90 day pilot programme to test a new classification initiative. The objective is to demystify structured products for retail investors by making the marketing of products more transparent. UBS and Lehman Brothers are reportedly looking at participating in the scheme.

The initiative “proposes a systematic naming methodology for structured investments in order to alleviate investor confusion, standardise marketing terminology, and consequently increase the total notional of structured investments purchased.” It is largely based on a 2005 study conducted by Morgan Stanley’s Keith Desrochers, who was at JPMorgan at the time.

While the project does not propose that individual issuers abandon their proprietary naming conventions, acronyms or brand equity, the

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