Securities Law & Instruments


Headnote

Application for a ruling pursuant to section 38 of the Commodity Futures Act granting relief from the dealer registration requirement set out in section 22 of the CFA and the trading restrictions in section 33 of the CFA in connection with certain trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges where the Filer is acting as principal or agent in such trades to, from or on behalf of Permitted Clients – relief subject to sunset clause.

Statutes Cited

Commodity Futures Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.20. as am., ss. 22, 38.

October 23, 2018

IN THE MATTER OF
THE COMMODITY FUTURES ACT,
R.S.O. 1990, c. C.20, AS AMENDED
(the CFA)

AND

IN THE MATTER OF
CIH TRADING LLC

RULING
(Section 38 of the CFA)

                UPON the application (the Application) of CIH Trading LLC (the Filer) to the Ontario Securities Commission (the Commission) for:

(a)           a ruling of the Commission, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that the Filer is not subject to the dealer registration requirement in the CFA (as defined below) or the trading restrictions in the CFA (as defined below) in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures (as defined below) on exchanges located outside of Canada (Non-Canadian Exchanges) where the Filer is acting as principal or agent in such trades to, from or on behalf of Permitted Clients (as defined below); and

(b)           a ruling of the Commission, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that a Permitted Client is not subject to the dealer registration requirement in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges, where the Filer acts in respect of trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on behalf of the Permitted Client pursuant to the above ruling;

                AND WHEREAS for the purposes of this ruling (collectively, the Decision):

(a)           the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“CFTC” means the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission;

“dealer registration requirement in the CFA” means the provisions of section 22 of the CFA that prohibit a person or company from trading in Exchange-Traded Futures unless the person or company satisfies the applicable registration provisions of section 22 of the CFA;

“Exchange-Traded Futures” means commodity futures contracts or commodity futures options that trade on one or more organized exchanges located outside of Canada and that are cleared through one or more clearing corporations located outside of Canada;

“IB” means an Introducing Broker registered with the CFTC;

“NFA” means the National Futures Association in the United States;

“NI 31-103” means National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations;

“Permitted Client” means a client in Ontario that is a “permitted client” as that term is defined in section 1.1 of NI 31-103;

“SEC” means the United States Securities and Exchange Commission;

“specified affiliate” has the meaning ascribed to that term in Form 33-109F6 to National Instrument 33-109 Registration Information; and

“trading restrictions in the CFA” means the provisions of section 33 of the CFA that prohibit a person or company from trading in Exchange-Traded Futures unless the person or company satisfies the applicable provisions of section 33 of the CFA; and

(b)           terms used in the Decision that are defined in the Securities Act (Ontario) (OSA), and not otherwise defined in the Decision or in the CFA, shall have the same meaning as in the OSA, unless the context otherwise requires;

                AND UPON considering the Application and the recommendation of staff of the Commission;

                AND UPON the Filer having represented to the Commission as follows:

1.             The Filer is a company formed under the laws of the state of Illinois of the United States of America. The head office of the Filer is located in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

2.             The Filer is a privately held entity owned directly and indirectly by CIH Associates LLC and by its two principals, Perry Scott Iverson and David John Ward.

3.             The Filer is not a reporting issuer in any jurisdiction in Canada.

4.             The Filer is not registered in any capacity under the CFA or the OSA and does not rely on any exemption from registration in Canada.

5.             The Filer is registered as an IB with the CFTC and is a member of the NFA.

6.             The Filer is not a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and does not conduct a securities business in the United States.

7.             The Filer is an IB for CME Group (CME, CBOT, NYMEX, COMEX) and ICE (ICE Futures US and ICE Futures Europe).

8.             Subject to the matter to which this Decision relates, the Filer is not in default of securities or commodity futures legislation in any jurisdiction in Canada. The Filer is in compliance in all material respects with United States commodity futures laws.

Activities

9.             The Filer solicits and accepts orders for trades in Exchange-Traded Futures and either: (a) introduces them to another broker for execution and clearing or (b) executes (under a sponsored access arrangement) and submits for clearing trades in Exchange-Traded Futures for customers on exchanges globally through affiliated or unaffiliated member firms on other exchanges.

10.          Pursuant to its registrations and memberships, the Filer is authorized to solicit, accept, and execute customer orders, and otherwise act as a futures execution-only broker, in the United States. The Filer is also authorized to solicit and accept customer orders and introduce them to an executing broker registered as a futures commission merchant in the United States. Rules of the CFTC and NFA require the Filer to maintain adequate capital levels, make and keep specified types of records relating to customer accounts and transactions including confirmations and statements, and comply with other forms of customer protection rules including rules respecting: know-your-customer obligations, account opening requirements, suitability requirements, anti-money laundering checks and best execution. These rules do not permit the Filer to treat Permitted Clients materially differently from the Filer’s United States customers. In respect of Exchange-Traded Futures, the Filer does not provide clearing services nor is it authorised to receive or hold client money in any jurisdiction.

11.          The Filer proposes to offer certain of its Permitted Clients in Ontario the ability to trade in Exchange-Traded Futures through the Filer, in its role as introducing broker.

12.          The Filer will solicit and accept orders for trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on behalf of Permitted Clients in Ontario in the same manner that it solicits and accepts orders for Exchange-Traded Futures on behalf of its United States clients, all of which are “Eligible Contract Participants” as defined in the United States Commodity Exchange Act. The Filer will follow the same know-your-customer procedures and order handling that it follows in respect of its United States clients. Permitted Clients will be afforded the benefits of compliance by the Filer with the statutory and other requirements of applicable securities and commodity futures regulators, self-regulatory organizations and exchanges located in the United States. Permitted Clients in Ontario will have the same contractual rights against the Filer as United States clients of the Filer.

13.          The Filer will not maintain an office, sales force or physical place of business in Ontario.

14.          The Filer will solicit and accept orders for trades in Exchange-Traded Futures in Ontario only from persons who qualify as Permitted Clients.

15.          The Filer will only offer Permitted Clients in Ontario the ability to effect trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges.

16.          The Exchange-Traded Futures to be traded by Permitted Clients will include, but will not be limited to, Exchange-Traded Futures for interest rate, energy, currency, agricultural and other commodity products.

17.          Permitted Clients of the Filer in Ontario will be able to trade Exchange-Traded Futures through the Filer by communicating with the Filer’s authorized representatives or via the Filer’s proprietary electronic order routing system. Permitted Clients may also be able self-execute trades in Exchange-Traded Futures electronically via an independent service vendor and/or other electronic trading order routing systems.

18.          The Filer may execute a customer’s order on the relevant Non-Canadian Exchange in accordance with the rules and customary practices of the exchange, or engage an executing broker registered as a futures commission merchant to assist in the execution of orders. The Filer will remain responsible for all executions. As the Filer will only perform the execution of a Permitted Client’s contract order and “give-up” the transaction for clearance to the Permitted Client’s carrying broker or clearing broker (each, a Clearing Broker), such broker will also be required to comply with any relevant regulatory requirements, including requirements under the CFA as applicable. Each Clearing Broker will represent to the Filer in an industry standard give-up agreement that it will perform its obligations in accordance with applicable laws, governmental, regulatory, self-regulatory, exchange and clearing house rules and the customs and usages of the exchange or clearing house on which the relevant Permitted Client’s orders will be executed and/or cleared. The Filer will not enter into a give-up agreement with any carrying broker or clearing broker located in the United States unless such broker is registered with the CFTC and SEC.

19.          As is customary for all trades in Exchange-Traded Futures, a clearing corporation appointed by the exchange or clearing division of the exchange is substituted as a universal counterparty on all trades in Exchange-Traded Futures and Permitted Client orders submitted to the exchange in the name of the Clearing Broker or the Filer or, on exchanges where the Filer is not a member, in the name of another carrying broker. The Permitted Client of the Filer is responsible to the Clearing Broker for payment of daily mark-to-market variation margin and/or proper margin to carry open positions and the Clearing Broker is in turn responsible to the clearing corporation/division for payment.

20.          Permitted Clients will pay commissions for trades to the Filer for its role as introducing broker and Permitted Clients shall be responsible to pay any commissions to their Clearing Broker directly, if applicable.

21.          Absent this Decision, the trading restrictions in the CFA apply unless, among other things, an Exchange-Traded Future is traded on a recognized or registered commodity futures exchange and the form of the contract is approved by the Director. To date, no Non-Canadian Exchanges have been recognized or registered under the CFA.

22.          If the Filer were registered under the CFA as a “futures commission merchant”, it could rely upon certain exemptions from the trading restrictions in the CFA to effect trades in Exchange-Traded Futures to be entered into on certain Non-Canadian Exchanges.

                AND UPON the Commission being satisfied that it would not be prejudicial to the public interest to do so;

                IT IS RULED, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that the Filer is not subject to the dealer registration requirement in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges where the Filer is acting as principal or agent in such trades to, from or on behalf of Permitted Clients provided that:

(a)           each customer effecting trades of Exchange-Traded Futures is a Permitted Client;

(b)           the executing broker and the clearing broker have each represented and covenanted to the Filer, and the Filer has taken reasonable steps to verify, that the broker is or will be appropriately registered under the CFA, or has been granted exemptive relief from registration under the CFA, in connection with the Permitted Client effecting trades in Exchange-Traded Futures;

(c)           the Filer only introduces and/or executes trades in Exchange-Traded Futures for Permitted Clients on Non-Canadian Exchanges;

(d)           at the time trading activity is engaged, the Filer:

(i)            has its head office or principal place of business in the United States;

(ii)           is registered as an IB with the CFTC;

(iii)           is a member of the NFA; and

(iv)          engages in the business of an IB in Exchange-Traded Futures in the United States;

(e)           the Filer has provided to the Permitted Client the following disclosure in writing:

(i)            a statement that the Filer is not registered in Ontario to trade in Exchange-Traded Futures as principal or agent;

(ii)           a statement specifying the location of the Filer’s head office or principal place of business;

(iii)           a statement that all or substantially all of the Filer’s assets may be situated outside of Canada;

(iv)          a statement that there may be difficulty enforcing legal rights against the Filer because of the above; and

(v)           the name and address of the Filer’s agent for service of process in Ontario;

(f)            the Filer has submitted to the Commission a completed Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service in the form attached as Appendix A;

(g)           the Filer notifies the Commission of any regulatory action initiated after the date of this ruling in respect of the Filer, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the Filer, by completing and filing with the Commission Appendix B hereto within ten days of the commencement of any such action; provided that, the Filer may satisfy this condition by filing with the Commission (A) a copy of any notice filed by the Filer pursuant to CFTC Regulation 1.12(k), (l) or (m) at the same time such notice is filed with the CFTC and the NFA, and (B) on a quarterly basis, (1) a copy of the regulatory actions appearing on the Filer’s NFA Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC) page and (2) a copy of any disclosures that would be required to be reported by the Filer in the Regulatory Disclosures section of the Filer’s Annual Registration Update to the NFA;

(h)           if the Filer does not rely on the international dealer exemption in section 8.18 of NI 31-103 (the IDE), by December 31st of each year, the Filer pays a participation fee based on its specified Ontario revenues for its previous financial year in compliance with the requirements of Part 3 and section 6.4 of OSC Rule 13-502 Fees, as if the Filer relied on the IDE;

(i)            by December 1st of each year, the Filer notifies the Commission of its continued reliance on the exemption from the dealer registration requirement granted pursuant to this Decision; and

(j)            this Decision shall terminate on the earliest of:

(i)            the expiry of any transition period as may be provided by law, after the effective date of the repeal of the CFA;

(ii)           six months, or such other transition period as may be provided by law, after the coming into force of any amendment to Ontario commodity futures law (as defined in the CFA) or Ontario securities law (as defined in the OSA) that affects the dealer registration requirements in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA; and

(iii)           five years after the date of this Decision.

AND IT IS FURTHER RULED, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that a Permitted Client is not subject to the dealer registration requirement in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges where the Filer acts in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on behalf of the Permitted Client pursuant to the above ruling.

 

October 23, 2018

“Philip Anisman”
Vice-Chair or Commissioner  
Ontario Securities Commission
“William Furlong”
Vice-Chair or Commissioner  
Ontario Securities Commission

 

APPENDIX “A”

SUBMISSION TO JURISDICTION AND APPOINTMENT OF AGENT FOR SERVICE

INTERNATIONAL DEALER OR INTERNATIONAL ADVISER EXEMPTED FROM REGISTRATION UNDER THE COMMODITY FUTURES ACT, ONTARIO

[Editor’s Note: This Appendix was corrected online on November 6, 2018.]

1.             Name of person or company (“International Firm”):

2.             If the International Firm was previously assigned an NRD number as a registered firm or an unregistered exempt international firm, provide the NRD number of the firm:

3.             Jurisdiction of incorporation of the International Firm:

4.             Head office address of the International Firm:

5.             The name, e-mail address, phone number and fax number of the International Firm’s individual(s) responsible for the supervisory procedure of the International Firm, its chief compliance officer, or equivalent.

Name:

E-mail address:

Phone:

Fax:

6.             The International Firm is relying on an exemption order under section 38 or section 80 of the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario) that is similar to the following exemption in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations (the “Relief Order”):

  [ ] Section 8.18 [international dealer]

  [ ] Section 8.26 [international adviser]

  [ ] Other [specify]

7.             Name of agent for service of process (the “Agent for Service”):

8.             Address for service of process on the Agent for Service:

9.             The International Firm designates and appoints the Agent for Service at the address stated above as its agent upon whom may be served a notice, pleading, subpoena, summons or other process in any action, investigation or administrative, criminal, quasi-criminal or other proceeding (a “Proceeding”) arising out of or relating to or concerning the International Firm’s activities in the local jurisdiction and irrevocably waives any right to raise as a defence in any such proceeding any alleged lack of jurisdiction to bring such Proceeding.

10.          The International Firm irrevocably and unconditionally submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative tribunals of the local jurisdiction in any Proceeding arising out of or related to or concerning the International Firm’s activities in the local jurisdiction.

11.          Until 6 years after the International Firm ceases to rely on the Relief Order, the International Firm must submit to the regulator

(a)           a new Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service in this form no later than the 30th day before the date this Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service is terminated;

(b)           an amended Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service no later than the 30th day before any change in the name or above address of the Agent for Service; and

(c)           a notice detailing a change to any information submitted in this form, other than the name or above address of the Agent for Service, no later than the 30th day after the change.

12.          This Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the local jurisdiction.

Dated: _______________

__________________________________________________
(Signature of the International Firm or authorized signatory)

__________________________________________________
(Name of signatory)

__________________________________________________
(Title of signatory)


Acceptance

The undersigned accepts the appointment as Agent for Service of _______________ [Insert name of International Firm] under the terms and conditions of the foregoing Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service.

Dated: ____________________

__________________________________________________
(Signature of the Agent for Service or authorized signatory)

__________________________________________________
(Name of signatory)

__________________________________________________
(Title of signatory)

This form, and notice of a change to any information submitted in this form, is to be submitted through the Ontario Securities Commission’s Electronic Filing Portal:

https://www.osc.gov.on.ca/filings

 


APPENDIX “B”

NOTICE OF REGULATORY ACTION

[Editor’s Note: This Appendix was corrected online on November 6, 2018.]

1.             Has the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates1 of the firm entered into a settlement agreement with any financial services regulator, securities or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar agreement with any financial services regulator, securities, commodity futures or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar organization?

Yes _____ No _____

If yes, provide the following information for each settlement agreement:

Name of entity

Regulator/organization

Date of settlement (yyyy/mm/dd)

Details of settlement

Jurisdiction

2.             Has any financial services regulator, securities, commodities futures or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar                 organization:

 

Yes

No

(a)           Determined that the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm violated any securities or commodity futures regulations or any rules of a securities, commodity futures or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar organization?

___

___

(b)           Determined that the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm made a false statement or omission?

___

___

(c)           Issued a warning or requested an undertaking by the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

___

___

(d)           Suspended or terminated any registration, licensing or membership of the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

___

___

(e)           Imposed terms or conditions on any registration or membership of the firm, or predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

___

___

(f)            Conducted a proceeding or investigation involving the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

___

___

(g)           Issued an order (other than an exemption order) or a sanction to the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm for securities or derivatives-related activity (e.g. cease trade order)?

___

___

If yes, provide the following information for each action:

Name of entity

Type of action

Regulator/organization

Date of action (yyyy/mm/dd)

Reason for action

Jurisdiction

3.             Is the firm aware of any ongoing investigation of which the firm or any of its specified affiliates is the subject?

Yes _____ No _____

If yes, provide the following information for each investigation:

Name of entity

Reason or purpose of investigation

Regulator/organization

Date of investigation commenced (yyyy/mm/dd)

Jurisdiction

Name of firm:

Name of firm’s authorized signing officer or partner

Name of firm’s authorized signing officer or partner

Signature

Date (yyyy/mm/dd)

Witness

The witness must be a lawyer, notary public or commissioner of oaths.

Name of witness

Title of witness

Signature

Date (yyyy/mm/dd)

This form is to be submitted through the Ontario Securities Commission’s Electronic Filing Portal:

https://www.osc.gov.on.ca/filings

1       In this Appendix, the term “specified affiliate” has the meaning ascribed to that term in Form 33-109F6 to National Instrument 33-109 Registration Information.