I have a client who travels for extended periods of time overseas. Because of that, the client authorized me to make whatever trades I thought were appropriate. He basically gave me discretion. Apparently, when he returned from his most recent trip, he had a question about one of the trades and called the office. I wasn’t in and he spoke with my manager. Despite my having a signed authorization from the client, my manager told me I wasn’t authorized to take discretion. My manager and his supervisors are now considering firing me! Oh, and the account made money as well. I don’t understand this?

Unfortunately, this is more of an internal issue with your broker-dealer than a FINRA issue, although FINRA is likely to get involved if you get fired. It seems that, pursuant to your firm’s policy, commission-based brokerage accounts such as this customer’s were not allowed to be traded on a discretionary basis. Even with the customer’s written authorization, your firm did not accept discretionary accounts. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I would anticipate that your firm will likely terminate you. If they do, FINRA will probably investigate, as the firm is likely to list it as an "involuntary" termination and/or note that you were under an internal review at the time of termination. Either mark will result in a FINRA review and a possible fine and suspension.

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