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IM-2110-3. Front Running Policy

This rule is no longer applicable. NASD IM-2110-3 has been superseded by FINRA Rule 5270. Please consult the appropriate FINRA Rule.

It shall be considered conduct inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade for a member or person associated with a member, for an account in which such member or person associated with a member has an interest, for an account with respect to which such member or person associated with a member exercises investment discretion, or for certain customer accounts, to cause to be executed:
(a) an order to buy or sell an option or a security future when such member or person associated with a member causing such order to be executed has material, non-public market information concerning an imminent block transaction in the underlying security, or when a customer has been provided such material, non-public market information by the member or any person associated with a member; or
(b) an order to buy or sell an underlying security when such member or person associated with a member causing such order to be executed has material, non-public market information concerning an imminent block transaction in an option or a security future overlying that security, or when a customer has been provided such material, non-public market information by the member or any person associated with a member; prior to the time information concerning the block transaction has been made publicly available.
The violative practice noted above may include transactions which are executed based upon knowledge of less than all of the terms of the block transaction, so long as there is knowledge that all of the material terms of the transaction have been or will be agreed upon imminently.
The general prohibitions stated above shall not apply to transactions executed by member participants in automatic execution systems in those instances where participants must accept automatic executions.
These prohibitions also do not include situations in which a member or person associated with a member receives a customer's order of block size relating to both an option and the underlying security or both a security future and the underlying security. In such cases, the member and person associated with a member may position the other side of one or both components of the order. However, in these instances, the member and person associated with a member would not be able to cover any resulting proprietary position(s) by entering an offsetting order until information concerning the block transaction involved has been made publicly available.
The application of this front running policy is limited to transactions that are required to be reported on the last sale reporting systems administered by Nasdaq, Consolidated Tape Association (CTA), or Option Price Reporting Authority (OPRA). The front running policy also applies to security futures transactions regardless of whether such products are reported pursuant to such systems. Information as to a block transaction shall be considered to be publicly available when it has been disseminated via the tape or high speed communications line of one of those systems, a similar system of a national securities exchange under Section 6 of the Act, an alternative trading system under Regulation ATS, or by a third-party news wire service.
A transaction involving 10,000 shares or more of an underlying security, or options or security futures covering such number of shares is generally deemed to be a block transaction, although a transaction of less than 10,000 shares could be considered a block transaction in appropriate cases. A block transaction that has been agreed upon does not lose its identity as such by arranging for partial executions of the full transaction in portions which themselves are not of block size if the execution of the full transaction may have a material impact on the market. In this situation, the requirement that information concerning the block transaction be made publicly available will not be satisfied until the entire block transaction has been completed and publicly reported.
Amended by SR-NASD-2002-40 eff. Oct. 15, 2002.
Adopted by SR-NASD-87-45 eff. Dec. 30, 1987.

Selected Notice: 96-66.

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