The purpose of this policy is to assist the employees of the AFRICA ASSIST to identify potential conflicts of interest by providing measures and a framework to identify, manage and avoid exercising conflicts of interests as set out in Board Notice 58 of 2010 issued in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act no. 37 of 2002, including but not limited to a financial interest, an ownership interest, or any relationship with a third party.
AFRICA ASSIST has a duty to act in the customer’s interests when we give advice or provide services to them. This includes remaining independent, objective and professional. It also involves avoiding conflicts of interest, or managing them if they cannot be avoided, and informing our customers about the conflicts that cannot be avoided.
“Conflict of interest” means any situation in which a person has an actual or potential interest that may, in rendering a financial service to a client,:
a) influence the objective performance of their obligations towards such client; or
b) prevent a person from rendering an unbiased and fair financial service to that client,
c) or from acting in the interests of that client, including but not limited to –
• a financial interest;
• an ownership interest;
• any relationship with a third party.
“Financial interest” means any cash, cash equivalent, voucher, gift, service, advantage, benefit, discount, domestic or foreign travel, hospitality, accommodation, sponsorship, other incentive or valuable consideration, other than –
(a) an ownership interest;
(b) training, that is not exclusively available to a selected group of providers or representatives, on –
• products and legal matters relating to those products;
• general financial and industry information;
• specialised technological systems of a third party necessary for the rendering
• of a financial service;
but excluding travel and accommodation associated with that training.
All employees, directors, officers and agents of the AFRICA ASSIST must adhere to this policy.
Training must be provided to all employees and a copy of the policy is published on our website (www.africa-assist.co.za). This policy will be reviewed annually.
All employees have a duty to read and understand this policy and to be aware of potential conflicts of interest.
All employees have a duty to report any conflict of interest to the Compliance Officer who will record it in the Conflict of Interest Management Register.
Any employee who fails to comply with this policy may face a disciplinary enquiry which could result in dismissal.
Duty to Identify, avoid and/or mitigate conflict of interest
When providing services to a client you must ascertain the following:
o you are acting in the client’s best interest and not you own or the company’s best interest;
o you are acting independently, objectively and fairly;
Once a conflict of interest has been identified it needs to be appropriately and adequately managed. The Compliance Officer will assess each conflict, including whether the conflict is actual or perceived, what the value of the conflict or exposure is and the potential reputational risk. Compliance and management will then agree on the controls that need to be put in place to manage the conflict.
It is best to avoid a conflict of interest situation and all employees must avoid being in a position where there is a conflict of interest between your own / Africa Assist interests and the client’s interests.
o If it possible to avoid conflict of interest end it immediately;
o If it can’t be avoided steps must be taken to mitigate such potential or actual conflict and you must report it to the Compliance Officer and provide the reasons therefore;
o The Compliance Officer & Financial Manager will find the appropriate form to disclose the conflict of interest to the client, by delivering written communication to the relevant client, bringing the conflict of interest to the client’s attention;
o AFRICA ASSIST may not offer any financial interest to its representatives for giving preference to the quantity of business secured for AFRICA ASSIST to the exclusion of the quality of the service rendered to clients;
o Compliance monitoring will be conducted by Management and the Compliance Officer who maintains a conflict of interest register;
o Training on conflict of interest management are provided to all employees;
o A copy of the Policy is delivered to every employee of Africa Assist;
o All expenditure which forms part of “immaterial financial interest” will require the written consent of the Chief Financial Officer and must be recorded in the conflict of interest register. “Immaterial financial interest” is a financial interest with an aggregate annual value of R1 000, given by a third party to the same FAIS representative or FSP
o Commission, in accordance with the Short-term Insurance Act, 1998 (Act No. 53 of 1998) (“the STIA”) and Long-term Insurance Act, 1998 (Act No 52 of 1998);
o Fees as provided for in the Short-term Insurance Act, 1998 (Act No. 53 of 1998) (“the STIA”) and Long-term Insurance Act, 1998 (Act No 52 of 1998);
o Fees for rendering a financial service in respect of which neither commission nor the fees provided for in the STIA and LTIA are payable provided the client has specifically agreed to the fees in writing and has discretion to stop them at any time;
o Fees for services rendered to a “third party”, provided the fees are reasonably commensurate with the service rendered;
o Any financial interest with a determinable monetary value not exceeding R1 000 per FAIS representative in any given year;
o Financial interest for which the provider or FAIS representative has paid fair value or remuneration reasonably commensurate to the financial interest;
o Training that is not restricted to a selected group of providers and FAIS representatives on products and legalities thereof; general financial and industry information; specialised technological systems (of a third party) necessary rendering a financial service;
Financial interest allowed, but subject to prior approval and total expenditure not exceeding R1 000 per FAIS representative in any one calendar year.
o Sporting events e.g. golf days
o Hospitality e.g. meals or social events
o Personal gifts of nominal value at special occasions e.g. at the end of the year, at birthdays or anniversaries is allowed provided that the cost of such gift should be included in the calculation of “immaterial financial interest”
o Meals, except meals provided during training that is allowed
o Marketing and advertising, provided a fair value for the service, as would have been charged elsewhere, is charged.