Standard IV(B)–Additional Compensation Arrangements

Q. Jurgen is a portfolio manager. One of her firm’s clients has told Jurgen that he will compensate her beyond the compensation provided by her firm on the basis of the capital appreciation of his portfolio each year. Jurgen should:
A. Turn down the additional compensation because it will result in conflicts with the interests of other clients’ accounts.
B. Turn down the additional compensation because it will create undue pressure on her to achieve strong short-term performance.
C. Obtain permission from her employer prior to accepting the compensation arrangement.

The correct answer is C. This question involves Standard IV(B)–Additional Compensation Arrangements. The arrangement described in the question—whereby Jurgen would be compensated beyond the compensation provided by her firm, on the basis of an account’s performance—is not a violation of the Standards as long as Jurgen discloses the arrangement in writing to her employer and obtains permission from her employer prior to entering into the arrangement. Answers A and B are incorrect; although the private compensation arrangement could conflict with the interests of other clients and lead to short-term performance pressures, members and candidates may enter into such agreements as long as they have disclosed the arrangements to their employer and obtained permission for the arrangement from their employer.

My question is how will the undue pressure from such arrangement be okay?

It’s OK as long as she gets written permission from all parties involved.

In this case, I’d argue that all of her other clients could very likely be “parties involved”, so she would very likely have to get written permission from them, as well as from her employer.

It’s still confusing for me. This is taken from the same Standard IV(B)

Compensation arrangements should not link analyst remuneration directly to investment banking assignments in which the analyst may participate as a team member. Although they are talking about investment bank in this instance but I think the concept is the same.

The concept is not remotely the same.

They’re talking about, say, incentive compensation for an advisor to push a stock or bond issued by an IB client, when that stock or bond may not be in the best interest of the investor.

The previous case is talking about incentive compensation from an investor, presumably for acting in that investor’s best interest.

Two very different scenarios.

Thanks Magician, Ethics doesn’t cease to confuse even if you’ve gone through it over and over