will reasonably assist the investment manager in the provision of its services to its customers on whose behalf the orders are being executed and do not, and are not likely to, impair compliance with the duty of the investment manager to act in the best interests of its customers.
Where the goods or services relate to the execution of trades, an investment manager should have reasonable grounds to be satisfied that the requirements of the rule on use of dealing commission (COBS 11.6.3 R) are met if the goods or services are:
linked to the arranging and conclusion of a specific investment transaction (or series of related transactions); and
provided between the point at which the investment manager makes an investment or trading decision and the point at which the investment transaction (or series of related transactions) is concluded.
Where the goods or services relate to the provision of research, an investment manager will have reasonable grounds to be satisfied that the requirements of the rule on use of dealing commission (COBS 11.6.3 R) are met if the research:
whatever form its output takes, represents original thought, in the critical and careful consideration and assessment of new and existing facts, and does not merely repeat or repackage what has been presented before;
has intellectual rigour and doesnot merely state what is commonplace or self-evident; and
involves analysis or manipulation of data to reach meaningful conclusions.
Examples of goods or services that relate to the provision of research that the FSA does not regard as meeting the requirements of the rule on use of dealing commission (COBS 11.6.3 R) include price feeds or historical price data that have not been analysed or manipulated to reach meaningful conclusions.
Examples of goods or services that relate to the execution of trades or the provision of research that the FSA does not regard as meeting the requirements of either evidential provisions COBS 11.6.4 E or COBS 11.6.5 E include:
services relating to the valuation or performance measurement of portfolios;
connectivity services such as electronic networks and dedicated telephone lines;
subscriptions for publications;
travel, accommodation or entertainment costs;
order and execution management systems;
office administrative computer software, such as word processing or accounting programmes;
membership fees to professional associations;
purchase or rental of standard office equipment or ancillary facilities;
direct money payments;
publicly available information; and
The reference to research in the rule on use of dealing commission (COBS 11.6.3 R) is not confined to investment research as defined in the Glossary. The FSA's view is that research can include, for example, the goods or services encompassed by investment research, provided that they are directly relevant to and are used to assist in the management of investments on behalf of customers. In addition, any goods or services that relate to the provision of research that the FSA regards as not acceptable under COBS 11.6.6 G or COBS 11.7.6 R should be viewed as not meeting the requirements of COBS 11.6.3R (2), notwithstanding that their content might qualify as investment research.
This section applies only to arrangements under which an investment manager receives from brokers or other persons goods or services that relateto the execution of trades or the provision of research. It has no application in relation to execution and research generated internally by an investment manager itself.
An investment manager that enters into arrangements under this section must make adequate prior disclosure to customers concerning the receipt of goods or services that relate to the execution of trades or the provision of research. This prior disclosure should form part of the summary form disclosure under the rule on inducements (COBS 2.3.1 R).
The prior disclosure required by this section should include an adequate disclosure of the firm's policy relating to the receipt of goods or services that relate to the execution of trades or the provision of research in accordance with the rule on use of dealing commission (COBS 11.6.3 R).
The prior disclosure should explain generally why the firm might find it necessary or desirable to use dealing commission to purchase goods or services, bearing in mind the practices in the markets in which it does business on behalf of its customers. While the appropriate method of making such a disclosure is for the firm to decide, this could, for example, be achieved in a client agreement.
In assessing the adequacy of prior and periodic disclosures made by an investment manager under this section, the FSA will have regard to the extent to which the investment manager adopts disclosure standards developed by industry associations such as the Investment Management Association, the National Association of Pension Funds and the London Investment Banking Association.