Another Ethics Question (Strictest Law)

Let’s say you have a person living in the US and working for a US firm. His home country is some oppressive dictatorship. His firm asks him to do something that’s clearly illegal in his home country but is perfectly legal in the US and doesn’t violate the CFA code of standards (by itself.) If his firm doesn’t do any business in his home country, is this person required to dissociate with his firm and follow the laws of his home country?

I don’t believe so as the business is being conducted on the USA on behalf of a US firm meaning the US law or the CFA code of standards (whichever is stricter) is the applicable law for this scenario. In other questions where that was an issue seemed to be when either the firm operates in the country with strict laws or the business is transacted in a country with the stricter laws but I could be wrong if someone else wants to voice their thought on this.

The home country’s jurisdiction doesn’t apply to this guy when he’s working in the US, so basically no. It is certainly true if the person is a legal resident of the US that will never return to the home country.

The person is not required to dissociate themselves under these circumstances, but if their actions can be prosecuted on return to the home country, it may be prudent to do so.

There are certain things that are uncertain here. For example, if you smoke pot in Amsterdam, you are technically in violation of the US Controlled Substances Act, even though the US has no jurisdiction over you and it is legal over there. But you may be (under some interpretations that have - as far as I know - never been tested) liable for prosecution when you return to the US. My understanding is that this is actually designed so that drug traffickers can be prosecuted in the US for transport activities abroad, but there is a legal loophole that potentially allows it to be applied to casual users as well.

In reality, you will unlikely have a question this nuanced on the exam, and presumably if this is a dictatorship and has some pretty unreasonable laws that you would be prosecuted for on your return 1) the CFAI would have a hearing process to address reasonableness, and 2) your company would hopefully respect the danger they are putting you in when they request that you do something that is both illegal at home and which you would be liable for should you return.

According to CFAI, doesn’t matter where he lives or works, if the firm is seeking to conduct business in that Country, that Country’s law apply. Plus, as a general rule, CFA usually apply the highest standard to any conducts…in this case, that Country’s law will apply.

Yes, but neither the firm nor the person is doing business in said country, according to the OP.

To facilitate discussion, let’s use an example.

That person’s home country has banned its citizens and residents from the use of all Bloomberg products (after it had some bad dealings with Bloomberg) including the Bloomberg Terminal.

The person in the example is working in the US and the use of the Bloomberg Terminal is an essential function at his job. Would it be unreasonable to say he’s in violation simply by using a Bloomberg Terminal?

This is what the standard says:

"Members and Candidates must understand and comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations

(including the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct) of any government, regulatory organization,

licensing agency, or professional association governing their professional activities. In the event of conflict, Members and

Candidates must comply with the more strict law, rule, or regulation."

So, I guess the question comes down to whether or not the laws of the person’s home country “govern their professional activities”.