IRESS Limited and all companies within its Group (together “IRESS”) conducts its business according to the principle that it must manage conflicts of interest fairly, both between itself and its clients, and between one client and another.
This document applies to all people working for IRESS and sets out our policies and procedures governing conflicts of interest.
A ‘conflict of interest’ is a situation which may prevent services being provided in an independent or impartial manner. Conflicts of interest can arise in a number of circumstances, including between IRESS / an employee / any associate of IRESS, and any of its clients; or between two or more of IRESS’ clients.
Examples of ‘conflicts of interest’ include situations where IRESS, or an employee of IRESS, or a person associated with IRESS:
- is likely to make a financial gain, or avoid a financial loss, at the expense of a client;
- has an interest in the outcome of a service provided to a client;
- has an interest in the outcome of a transaction carried out on behalf of a client;
- has a financial or other incentive to favour the interest of a client or group of clients over the interests of another client;
- carries on the same business as a client; and
- receives, or will receive from a person other than a client, an inducement in relation to a service provided to a client, in the form of monies, goods or services, other than the standard commission or fee for that service.
2. Personal conflcits of interest
Anyone who believes they have or might have a personal conflict of interest or who believes that their actions will or might conflict with the contractual, legal or regulatory duties they have to IRESS or IRESS’ clients or suppliers must inform a director in the jurisdiction in which they operate or a member of the senior executive management team (a “Senior Executive”) without delay and must not thereafter participate in, or in any way seek to influence, any negotiations, discussions or decisions relating to the relevant transaction which is the subject of the conflict without the approval of the Senior Executive.
For the above purposes a personal conflict of interest arises where:
- an employee of IRESS (or any connected person of such employee) has or appears to have a personal interest in any transaction;
- "personal interest" means (whether direct or indirect) any actual or potential advantage, benefit, gain or profit; a personal interest should be assumed where the transaction involves any company, business or entity or person in which the employee or connected person has an involvement;
- "transaction" means any contract, transaction or arrangement to which IRESS is party or in which IRESS is involved or engaged or any negotiations or discussions relating to any proposed such contract, transaction or arrangement;
- "connected person" means a close family relation or business partner; and
- "involvement" means, in relation to the relevant company, business or entity, any interest in any shares (other than any minor (less than 5%) interest in shares quoted on a recognised stock exchange) or the holding of a directorship or other office or a partnership or any other engagement, relationship or interest of a financial or managerial nature. In relation to a person, it means knows them in a personal capacity.
Where a personal conflict is identified it must be managed promptly. This may involve the individual removing themselves from dealing with a particular issue, client or supplier, or it may be that the conflict can be managed by disclosure to all parties and close monitoring. Each occurrence will need to be judged on its own merits.
3. A conflict between iress and its client
Anyone who believes there is or might be a conflict between the interests of IRESS and one of its clients or who believes that IRESS’ actions will or might conflict with the contractual, legal or regulatory duties IRESS has to its clients must inform a Senior Executive without delay.
For the above purposes, a conflict of interest arises between IRESS and its client where:
- There is a conflict between the interests of IRESS and the contractual, legal or regulatory obligations that it owes to its client
- “Interests of IRESS” means that financial benefit, interest or gain would be achieved to the detriment of the business interests of the client
- “business interests” means any business interests of the client whether directly related or not to their contracts, arrangements or dealings with IRESS.
4. A conflict between two or more of iress’ clients
A conflict may also arise where IRESS becomes aware of sensitive information through dealings with clients that could be of use when negotiating contracts with other organisations. If this should occur the employee concerned must inform a Senior Executive without delay. The Senior Executive may decide that the sensitive information or the existence of it should be declared to the relevant client and remove the employee from the negotiations (if appropriate) to ensure there can be no accusations of dishonest practice. It may be possible to manage minor conflicts as long as they are disclosed to all parties.Conflicts of interest may be unavoidable, however it is vital to the interests of IRESS that when they occur they are identified promptly and action is taken to ensure that the conflict is managed.
5. Reporting a conflict
When reporting a conflict the following procedure should be followed:
- The employee must complete the first 4 columns of the attached ‘Conflict of Interest Report’, and forward the Report to a Senior Executive in the jurisdiction in which they operate, copying in a member of the legal team.
- The Senior Executive receiving the report must consider the details of the conflict of interest, and may wish to liaise with the employee (or manager) reporting the conflict to further understand the situation.
- The Senior Executive receiving the report must then complete columns 5 - 7 and forward the completed Report to a member of the legal team.
- The legal team will add the details to the ‘Conflict of Interest Register’, forwarding an up to date copy of the register to the Audit and Risk Committee of IRESS Limited on a quarterly basis.