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Up to Feb 7 2011Feb 8 2011 onwards

IM-2740. Services in Distribution

This rule is no longer applicable.

The proper application of Rule 2740 requires that, in connection with fixed price offerings, selling concessions, discounts or other allowances be paid only to brokers or dealers actually engaged in the investment banking or securities business and only as consideration for services rendered in distribution.
A dealer has rendered services in distribution in connection with the sale of securities from a fixed price offering if the dealer is an underwriter of a portion of that offering, has engaged in some selling effort with respect to the sale or has provided or agreed to provide bona fide research to the person to whom or at whose direction the sale is made.
A broker or dealer who has received or retained a selling concession, discount or other allowance may not grant or otherwise reallow all or part of that concession, discount or allowance to anyone other than a broker or dealer engaged in the investment banking or securities business and only as consideration for services rendered in distribution. The improper grant or reallowance of a selling concession, discount or other allowance might occur directly or indirectly through such devices as transactions in violation of Rule 2730, or other indirect means such as those described below.
A member granting a selling concession, discount or other allowance to another person is not responsible for determining whether such other person may be violating Rule 2740 by granting or reallowing that selling concession, discount or other allowance to another person, unless the member knew, or had reasonable cause to know, of the violation.
Bona Fide Research Exclusion
While Rule 2740 provides that a member may grant or receive selling concessions, discounts and other allowances only as consideration for services rendered in distribution and may grant such concessions, discounts or other allowances only to brokers or dealers actually engaged in the investment banking or securities business, that Rule also states that a member is not prohibited by Rule 2740 from selling securities at the stated public offering price to persons to whom it provides bona fide research. Accordingly, nothing in Rule 2740 prohibits a member from providing bona fide research to a customer who also purchases securities from fixed price offerings from the member whether or not there is an express or implied agreement between the member providing the research and the recipient that the member will be compensated for the research in cash, brokerage commissions, selling concessions or some other form of consideration.
The definition of bona fide research is substantially the same as the definition of the term research in Section 28(e)(3) of the Act, and as interpreted by the Commission. Members should refer to the Commission's interpretation in Securities Exchange Act Release No. 23170 (April 30, 1986) concerning the definition of research under Section 28(e) for guidance as well as to any interpretations of the Commission or its staff thereafter issued.

Moreover, while the provisions in Rule 2840 concerning bona fide research are intended to permit money managers to receive bona fide research from persons from whom securities are purchased, it is not intended to enable a money manager, who is also a member, to view its money management services as bona fide research. Accordingly, the performance of money management or investment discretionary services themselves are expressly excluded from the definition of bona fide research.

Another factor relating to bona fide research is that the research must be "provided by" the member who receives or retains the selling concession, discount or other allowance. Under Section 28(e) of the Act, the Commission has stated that the "safe harbor" provided by Section 28(e) only extends to research that is "provided by" the broker to whom brokerage commissions are paid. In determining whether the exclusion for bona fide research under Rule 2740 is available in any given instance, members should refer to the interpretations of the Commission and its staff of the similar requirement applicable to Section 28(e).
Whether research is provided by the member will depend on all the facts and circumstances surrounding the relationship of the member and the recipient of the research, relying upon interpretations by the Commission and staff with respect to similar questions under Section 28(e). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 23170 (April 30, 1986).
Indirect Discounts
A member who, itself or through its affiliate, supplies another person with services or products which fail to qualify as bona fide research, or which, in the case of services or products other than bona fide research, are provided by the member or its affiliate to such person or others for cash or for some other agreed upon consideration, and also retains or receives selling concessions, discounts or other allowances from purchases by that person or its affiliate of securities from a fixed price offering is improperly granting a selling concession, discount or other allowance to that person unless the member or its affiliate has been, or has arranged and reasonably expects to be, fully compensated for such services or products from sources other than the selling concession, discount or allowance retained or received on the sale.

A person will be deemed to be providing services or products for cash or other agreed upon consideration if the service or product, or a substantially identical service or product, is provided to any person for cash or for some other agreed upon consideration. A service or product will be deemed to be provided for an agreed upon consideration if there is an express or implied agreement between the person providing the service or product and the recipient thereof calling for the provider of the service or product to be compensated therefor with an agreed upon or mutually understood source and general amount of consideration. Under such circumstances a member or its affiliate providing such service or product would be required to demonstrate that it was fully compensated for the service or product with consideration other than selling concessions, discounts or other allowances received or retained on the sale of securities from fixed price offerings.

A member may show that it or its affiliate received or reasonably expects to receive full consideration, independent of selling concessions, discounts or other allowances, for providing certain services and products, by identifying the arrangement for the consideration (including its source and amount) and, if appropriate, the collection process for obtaining it.
In order to demonstrate that the cash or other consideration is full consideration, records of account should be kept which identify the recipient of the services or products, the amount of cash or other consideration paid or to be paid by such person or its affiliate.
Unless the amount of cash or other consideration agreed upon appears on its face to be unreasonably low, it will not be necessary for the member or its affiliate to demonstrate that the agreed upon price represented fair market price. Likewise, as long as price differentials are based on factors other than the customer's willingness to purchase, or practice of purchasing, securities from the member out of fixed price offerings, it is not necessary, for purposes of Rule 2740, that the member or its affiliate charge the same amount to each person to whom they provide the same or similar services or products.
Amended eff. Jan. 27, 1989.

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