Smith, an analyst in a local asset management firm, covers Brazil equities and directs brokerage to Brazil who pays Smith’s briefing trip to Brazil through a soft dollar arrangement. Smith is not sure that the broker’s execution is competitive and he decides to use commission dollars to pay for his hotel expenses. Does Smith violate the Code and Standards?
Yes, Smith violates Standard III(A) by not knowing whether the commissions charged by Brazil are reasonable and using commission dollars to pay hotel expenses.B.
Yes, Smith violates Standard III(A) only by using commission dollars to pay hotel expenses.C.
No, Smith doesn't violate Code and Standards.
A is correct.
Smith violates Standard III(A) by not exercising her duty of loyalty to her clients. He should have determined whether the commissions charged by Brazil are reasonable in relation to the benefit of the research provided by the trip. The hotel expenses should not be paid for with commission dollars, which is client's asset.