(a) Special compensation. A broker or dealer registered with the Commission under section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o) (the “Exchange Act”):
(1) Will not be deemed to be an investment adviser based solely on its receipt of special compensation (except as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section), provided that:
(i) Any investment advice provided by the broker or dealer with respect to accounts from which it receives special compensation is solely incidental to the brokerage services provided to those accounts (including, in particular, that the broker or dealer does not exercise investment discretion as provided in paragraphs (b)(3) and (d) of this section); and
(ii) Advertisements for, and contracts, agreements, applications and other forms governing, accounts for which the broker or dealer receives special compensation include a prominent statement that: “Your account is a brokerage account and not an advisory account. Our interests may not always be the same as yours. Please ask us questions to make sure you understand your rights and our obligations to you, including the extent of our obligations to disclose conflicts of interest and to act in your best interest. We are paid both by you and, sometimes, by people who compensate us based on what you buy. Therefore, our profits, and our salespersons' compensation, may vary by product and over time.” The prominent statement also must identify an appropriate person at the firm with whom the customer can discuss the differences.
(2) Will not be deemed to have received special compensation solely because the broker or dealer charges a commission, mark-up, mark-down or similar fee for brokerage services that is greater than or less than one it charges another customer.
(b) Solely incidental to. A broker or dealer provides advice that is not solely incidental to the conduct of its business as a broker or dealer within the meaning of section 202(a)(11)(C) of the Advisers Act or to the brokerage services provided to accounts from which it receives special compensation within the meaning of paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section if the broker or dealer (among other things, and without limitation):
(1) Charges a separate fee, or separately contracts, for advisory services;
(2) Provides advice as part of a financial plan or in connection with providing financial planning services and:
(i) Holds itself out generally to the public as a financial planner or as providing financial planning services;
(ii) Delivers to the customer a financial plan; or
(iii) Represents to the customer that the advice is provided as part of a financial plan or in connection with financial planning services; or
(3) Exercises investment discretion, as that term is defined in paragraph (d) of this section, over any customer accounts.
(c) Special rule. A broker or dealer registered with the Commission under section 15 of the Exchange Act is an investment adviser solely with respect to those accounts for which it provides services or receives compensation that subject the broker or dealer to the Advisers Act.
(d) Investment discretion. For purpose of this section, the term investment discretion has the same meaning as given in section 3(a)(35) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(35) ), except that it does not include investment discretion granted by a customer on a temporary or limited basis.
[70 FR 20454, Apr. 19, 2005]
Title 17 published on 2012-04-01
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