IM-2110-4. Trading Ahead of Research Reports
This rule is no longer applicable. NASD IM-2110-4 has been superseded by FINRA Rule 5280. Please consult the appropriate FINRA Rule.
The Board of Governors, under its statutory obligation to protect investors and enhance market quality, is issuing an interpretation to the Rules regarding a member firm's trading activities that occur in anticipation of a firm's issuance of a research report regarding a security. The Board of Governors is concerned with activities of member firms that purposefully establish or adjust the firm's inventory position in an exchange-listed security traded otherwise than on an exchange or a derivative security based primarily on a specific exchange-listed security in anticipation of the issuance of a research report in that same security. For example, a firm's research department may prepare a research report recommending the purchase of a particular Nasdaq-listed security. Prior to the publication and dissemination of the report, however, the trading department of the member firm might purposefully accumulate a position in that security to meet anticipated customer demand for that security. After the firm had established its position, the firm would issue the report, and thereafter fill customer orders from the member firm's inventory positions.
The Association believes that such activity is conduct that is inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade, and not in the best interests of the investors. Thus, this interpretation prohibits a member from purposefully establishing, creating or changing the firm's inventory position in an exchange-listed security traded otherwise than on an exchange , or a derivative security related to the underlying equity security, in anticipation of the issuance of a research report regarding such security by the member firm.
In accordance with Article VII, Section 1(a)(ii) of the NASD By-Laws, the Association's Board of Governors has approved the following interpretation of Rule 2110:
Trading activity purposefully establishing, increasing, decreasing, or liquidating a position in an exchange-listed security traded otherwise than on an exchange or a derivative security based primarily upon a specific exchange-listed security, in anticipation of the issuance of a research report in that security, is inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade and is a violation of Rule 2110.
For the purposes of this interpretation, a "purposeful" change in the firm's inventory position means any trading activities undertaken with the intent of altering a firm's position in a security in anticipation of accommodating investor interest once the research report has been published. Hence, the interpretation does not apply to changes in an inventory position related to unsolicited order flow from a firm's retail or broker/dealer client base or to research done solely for in-house trading and not in any way used for external publication.
Under this interpretation, the Board recommends, but does not require, that member firms develop and implement policies and procedures to establish effective internal control systems and procedures that would isolate specific information within research and other relevant departments of the firm so as to prevent the trading department from utilizing the advance knowledge of the issuance of a research report. Firms that choose not to develop "Chinese Wall" procedures bear the burden of demonstrating that the basis for changes in inventory positions in advance of research reports was not purposeful.
Amended by SR-NASD-2005-087 eff. Aug. 1, 2006
Amended by SR-NASD-98-86 eff. Nov. 19, 1998.
Adopted by SR-NASD-95-28 eff. Aug. 15, 1995.
Selected Notice: 95-75.