NEW YORK - While there are no clearly defined compliance standards for best execution trade practices, firms that do not use electronic commerce networks to conduct any of their trades raise SEC concerns, according to an SEC official.

"[Trade] costs using ECN's are traditionally lower," said Gene A. Gohlke, associate director of the SEC's office of compliance, inspections and examinations. "Even big advisers use them for some of their smaller trades. There might be some reason why a company isn't using [an ECN] but those need to be explained." Gohlke spoke at a seminar here last week sponsored by Glasser Legal Works of New York.

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