This Policy sets out the general position and covers all services we provide.
We and our Affiliates may, without prior reference to you, act in circumstances in which we or one of our Affiliates has a material interest or a relationship of any description with another party which may involve an actual or potential conflict with our duty to you. We will ensure that any transactions are effected on terms which are not materially less favourable to you than if the potential conflict had not existed.
A “conflict of interest” may arise in two situations:
First, if we are providing a service to you and, beyond that, we have a material interest, relationship or arrangement in the transaction or product or service; or
Second, we are acting for you and we or another member of our Group is acting for another client and your two interests materially conflict
We have worked to identify such conflicts of interest that may exist in our businesses. These include:
a) Conflicts principally resulting from the fact that we are a member of a Group in which a member of that Group (whom we call an “Affiliate”) may have a financial or other business interest in the trades we do for you.
b) Conflicts principally resulting from the fact that we provide investment services to other clients.
c) Conflicts principally resulting from the fact that we or an Affiliate, or third party service provider or an employee may also be trading in the same securities as we trade for our clients.
d) More specifically in relation to our services, (as opposed to the rest of our Group):
i. we may act for other clients and may conduct conflicting trading strategies for different clients. In particular, you may have acted upon advice from us to sell assets to fund a particular investment strategy, but the same assets may be purchased within the discretionary managed portfolio service, if investment managers deem that they are suitable. Likewise, investments may be sold without regard to whether they have been recently acquired;
ii. we may sell certain securities from within the discretionary managed portfolio service because they no longer qualify for portfolios that may be subject to different regulations (including ISA regulations or HMRC pension regulations) but which are managed or administered using the same trading platform as the discretionary managed portfolio service.
iii. we may act as principal to transactions conducted on your behalf (but only where we act as trustee of a personal pension scheme);
iv. we may act as your adviser and, contemporaneously, act in a fiduciary capacity as trustee of your Assets and as investment manager for you.
Some of the measures we have adopted to manage identified conflicts are set out below. We consider them appropriate to our efforts to take reasonable care that, in relation to each identified conflict, we act independently to avoid material risk of damage to your interests.
e) Policies and procedures
We have adopted many policies and procedures throughout our businesses to manage recognised conflicts of interests. These policies and procedures will be subject to our normal monitoring and review processes.
f) Information barriers
We have established information barriers which have been implemented to prevent the exchange or misuse of material non-public information obtained by our staff members or our Affiliates. Employees in some business areas are permanent “insiders” (such as corporate finance areas) and others will be made insiders when they acquire inside information. Employees who are insiders are prohibited from inappropriately passing on inside information to those in an "outside" business unit who cannot access the information. Additionally, our staff respect the confidentiality of client information and do not pass it on or use it inappropriately.
g) Segregation of Duties
If a business within the Group has two functions that could lead to conflicts of interest, it may separate the functions into two separately managed businesses or ensure that different senior members of staff manage them.
Remuneration of staff will often be linked to the profits of the Group or the business or department in which the member of staff works without resulting in a conflict of interest. In some cases, however, there may be a conflict which we will always seek to reduce or avoid where possible.
i) Gifts and inducements
We may only give or receive gifts in strict accordance with Group policy. If, in accordance with Group policy, such gifts amount to inducements, they will not be accepted or received.
j) Personal account dealing and outside business activities
To prevent conflicts arising from the use of information obtained from clients, and market abuse generally, all relevant staff are subject to personal account dealing rules which include the requirement to pre-clear any trades they wish to undertake. They are also required to pre-clear any outside business activities which are permitted in limited circumstances
Where there is no other means of managing the conflict or where the measures in place do not sufficiently protect your interests, the specific conflict will be disclosed to enable you to make an informed decision whether to continue with our service in that particular situation.
l) Declining to Act Where we consider that the conflict of interest cannot be managed in any other way, we may decline to act for a client.