NFA fines introducing broker Ocean Solutions $140,000 for conflict of interest and more

Rick Steves

Among other violations, Ocean Solutions and SVP James W. Ronan were found to have failed to disclose to customers the conflict of interest presented by the firm and Ronan brokering trades on behalf of an affiliate in which the firm and Ronan had a management and/or ownership interest.

The National Futures Association has ordered Florida-based introducing broker Ocean Solutions to pay a $140,000 fine for a number of violations of the regulator’s rules.

Ocean Solutions’ NY-based Senior Vice President James W. Ronan was also ordered to pay a $60,000 fine.

Ocean Solutions is a broker of commodities and commodity derivatives

Ocean Solutions LLC’s core business is the brokering of commodities and commodity derivatives, including but not limited to, petroleum and related products, metals, forward freight derivatives, and other financial products relating thereto. The firm identifies and executes unique and profitable opportunities for its customers.

The decision issued by an NFA Hearing Panel is based on a complaint issued by NFA’s Business Conduct Committee and a settlement offer in which Ocean Solutions and Ronan neither admitted nor denied the Complaint’s allegations.

According to the complaint, Ocean Solutions violated a number of NFA rules, including:

  • NFA Compliance Rule 2-4 by failing to disclose to customers the conflict of interest presented by the firm and Ronan brokering trades on behalf of an affiliate in which the firm and Ronan had a management and/or ownership interest;
  • NFA Compliance Rules 2-4 and 2-26 by disclosing confidential customer information to other customers of the firm.
  • NFA Compliance Rule 2-10(a) by failing to keep records of oral and written pre-trade communications;
  • NFA Bylaw 301(b) by failing to register the firm’s chief executive officer as an AP and an NFA Associate;
  • NFA Compliance Rule 2-9(a) by failing to diligently supervise the firm and its employees.

The Hearing Panel concluded that Ocean Solutions and Ronan violated NFA Compliance Rules 2-4 and 2-26, and that Ocean Solutions violated NFA Bylaw 301(b) and NFA Compliance Rules 2-10(a) and 2–9(a).


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