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Used for listed equity securities. (1) Term used in a securities transaction involving three brokers, as follows: Broker A, a floor broker, executes a buy order for broker B (a member firm broker who has too much business at the time to execute the order). The broker with whom broker A completes the transaction (the sell-side broker) is broker C. Broker A "gives up" the name of broker B, so that the record shows a transaction between broker B and broker C even though the trade is actually executed between broker A and broker C; (2) distribution of commissions to brokerage houses not participating in a trade. This is a grey area of the law governing reimbursement of a broker for services (e.g., research). See: Directed brokerage.
For a broker to execute an order on behalf of another broker. Giving up occurs as a professional courtesy when a broker receives an order from a client that he/she is too busy to execute. It is important to note that the broker who receives the order, rather than the broker who conducts the transaction, is the one who earns the applicable commissions and fees. The term originates from the fact that the broker who executes the transaction must "give up" the commission to other broker.