1. What is EGUS?
- EGUS is the FIA Electronic Give-Up Agreement System. It is a web-based application designed to allow Executing and Clearing Brokers, Traders and Customers to execute the FIA International Uniform Give-Up Agreement and the Cleared Derivatives Execution Agreement electronically.
2. Do you have to be a member of FIA to participate?
- No. EGUS is open to all parties to execute Give-Up Agreements regardless of membership in FIA.
3. Why did FIA take on this project?
- In 2006, FIA/FOA conducted a study to determine what projects could be undertaken by the industry as a whole to improve operational efficiency. Give-ups were the most frequently mentioned area in which firms could work together to improve the process and reduce costs. Even before the study took place, FIA divisions were working on ways to reduce the inefficiencies in executing Give-Up Agreements and improving the fee collection process. The FIA Board felt that the FIA should take on the project rather than allowing a third-party vendor to develop the system so that the industry could control the design, development and costs of maintaining and running the system.
4. What is the nature of FIA Tech’s relationship with the supplier?
- FIA Tech has contracted with Markit Group to provide the web-based electronic platform for EGUS.
5. How was the system funded?
- The FIA Tech Supporting FCMs helped underwrite the system for five years.
6. How is the system currently funded?
- For more information on our current pricing, please read the EGUS Pricing System.
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7. How does my firm get access to the system?
- Each “party” must sign the Adherence to the FIA Tech System User Agreement and return it to the FIA Tech before gaining access to the system. The Adherence Agreement requires the institution to specify a System Administrator and a Billing Contact. New institutions cannot be introduced to the system before a hard copy of the original Adherence Agreement is received by FIA Tech’s DC office. Once the Adherence Agreement is received, FIA Tech will contact firm’s System Administrator directly with further log in information and training.
8. We are a global firm with many affiliates involved in the give-up process. Which entity/affiliate should be named as the institution?
- The system is organized by institutions and parties. Institutions can be a short, generic name such as Best Securities, which encompass all of the affiliates (parties). Institution names have no legal standing and will not show up on agreements; it is just a way of organizing affiliates under an umbrella name. Party names should represent legal entities i.e. Best Securities, Inc., Best Securities, LLC, Best Securities Pty. All documents underneath an institution are visible to all parties. If a firm does not want an affiliate to have access to another affiliate’s documents, then the affiliate needs to be under a separate institution.
9. What if I have an affiliate that is a customer or trader and another affiliate that is a broker?
- The customer or trader affiliate should be listed as a separate party but it can be located under the same institution. If the same party means to act in both customer and trader roles, as well as in the broker role, they would need to be represented in the system as two different parties.
10. What Give-Up Agreement should we now use in connection with new agreements being created?
- While each firm must make its own decision, FIA Tech recommends that you use the new Give-Up Agreements provided on our website. All of these agreements were revised as of December 2006 and April 2008. In addition, the web site lists two updated versions of the EFP Agreement and eight sets of LME Give-Up Agreements. The LME Give-Up Agreements differ only by the names of the various parties set forth in each of the LME Give-Up Agreements.
11. Why haven’t you provided a 3-or 4-party LME Agreement?
- There is no need to create a special Customer or Trader LME Version if both the Executing and Clearing Brokers are LME member firms (and there are no other executing or clearing brokers involved). Firms can simply use the standard Customer and Trader Versions of the Give-Up Agreement. As noted above, if either or both the direct Executing or Clearing Broker is "not" an LME member firm, then the EGUS system has created special LME versions to be used for these situations.
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12. Who can initiate an agreement?
- Any party with storage can initiate an agreement in EGUS. If a party is a preferred initiation, there is a feature in EGUS that allows firms to indicate this preference.
13. Please describe how changes can be made to the text of the Give-Up Agreements?
- EGUS presents each paragraph of the Give-Up Agreement in two columns. The original text is contained in the left column. The right column gives the system user the opportunity to make changes in the language. Any change in the language appears in boldface type on the final version of the agreement, so all parties to the agreement can immediately see changes. Any party on the agreement can make changes before the agreement is executed.
14. Can we set up users with read-only access?
- Yes. Each user can be given a separate set of permissions in EGUS. They can be set up with read-only access, access to review agreements, approve agreements or rates schedules. These settings are maintained internally by the EGUS System Administrator at the firm.
15. If we elect to use only one institution and create different parties within that institution, can we establish an administrator for each party rather than for the institution?
- No. The firms can have multiple administrators for the institution, but they cannot have an administrator for each party. All administrators will have access to change information/permissions for all users and parties under the institution.
16. When a new account is added, is the Clearing Broker only required to make this change or must all of the parties to that Give-Up Agreement approve this new account change?
- When a new account is added, all parties to the agreement will be notified. Approval is not needed unless it is an LME Agreement. LME requires that all parties to the agreement approve additional accounts. In the case of LME Agreements, all parties to the agreement must approve the addition of a new account just like they do a new agreement. This is much easier in EGUS because the initiator can simply select the previous agreement, add the new account and send it to the other parties for review and approval.
17. Can we use the Uniform Give-Up Agreements for non-U.S. equity options transactions?
18. Please describe how commission rate schedules will be displayed on the EGUS.
- EGUS makes it possible to download information contained in the Give-Up agreement into internal and vendor systems. System users may upload rate schedules in PDF format, or create rate schedules electronically within EGUS using a standard rate table.
19. Will EGUS information be available to downstream systems like GPS, eGains, ION and Sungard?
- There is currently a common feed that is suitable for eGAINS, GPS and other proprietary systems.
20. What if I have agreements in TIF format?
A. The System will only support PDFs.
21. Does the EGUS System operate on a 24/7 basis or is there any down time for the System?
A. The system is available 24/7. When necessary, MarkitServ conducts maintenance on weekends—close of business U.S. (Friday evening U.S.) to opening of business in Asia (Sunday evening U.S.).
UPLOADING LEGACY AGREEMENTS
22. Please describe what is meant by a “Legacy Agreement.” How can Legacy Agreements be added to the EGUS System for use by all parties?
- Firms may choose to store legacy agreements—agreements executed prior to EGUS going live—on the system. These agreements must be converted to PDF documents for uploading. EGUS has a page where legacy documents must be uploaded—it prompts the user to add the names of the parties and the effective dates of the agreement.
23. Can I upload legacy agreements without notifying the other parties to the agreement?
- FIA Tech does not provide legal advice; however, it does not require permission from the counterparties in order to upload a legacy agreement. Only the counterparties to the agreement can see this agreement.
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24. What Fees are associated with EGUS?
- A. EGUS users must pay a per agreement fee for every executed agreement, and a storage fee based on the number of documents a firm has stored in the system. To review our fees, please read the EGUS Pricing Structure.
25. Who pays the per agreement fee?
- Only the conformed brokers will be charged the Per-Agreement Fee, if there is no conformed executing broker then the conformed clearing broker will pay the Per-Agreement Fee.
26. Does the number of documents executed and stored include those executed by all of my affiliates?
- Yes. An institution is responsible for the charges of all its affiliates.
27. Is a fee charged for uploading legacy agreements?
- The Per Agreement Fee will be charged to the Institution that uploaded the Legacy Agreement, regardless of its role on the agreement.
28. Do customers/traders pay any fees?
- Customer/trader parties have the option of maintaining Storage of EGUS agreements. Customers/traders that choose not to store documents in EGUS will have execution only access at absolutely no cost, and will have seven days after execution to print or email the agreement.
29. Can executing and clearing brokers elect to not pay the storage fee?
- No. All executing and clearing brokers are subject to the storage fee. Consequently, brokers cannot join the system as no charge institutions.
30. How often will system users be billed?
- FIA Tech will bill system users quarterly.
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