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The BC Securities Commission has reached a settlement with a Vancouver-based investment management firm that misused client brokerage commissions.

Genus Capital Management Inc. has agreed to repay $1.67-million to current and former clients and an additional $350,000 to the provincial securities regulator.

The firm’s current clients will be repaid in the form of management fee credits, while former clients will receive cash refunds.

The regulator says the misuse of commissions involved “soft dollars” – credits provided by a broker to an investment manager in return for executing trades on behalf of the manager’s clients.

An investment manager may use the credit for eligible expenses if they are appropriately disclosed.

The commission says Genus used $1.67-million in soft dollars between 2009 and 2016 to pay for the development of in-house software and then transferred the software to a company in exchange for part-ownership of that company and a permanent licence to use it.

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