Witan Investment Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registered in England no. 5272533 of 14 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AA. This website is issued and approved by Witan Investment Services Limited, registered in England no. 5272533 of 14 Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AA. The VAT registration number for Witan Investment Services is 863 5738 89.
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- Pillar 3 Disclosure
1.1 Witan Investment Services Limited ("WIS") operates this website on behalf of Witan Investment Trust plc (together we, our and us).
1.2 Witan Investment Trust plc is a public limited company incorporated in England and Wales (company number 00101625). Our registered address is 14 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AA.
1.3 Our contact telephone number is 0207 227 9770 and our contact email address is [email protected].
1.4 Witan Investment Services Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (company number 5272533), having its registered office at 14 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AA. Witan Investment Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA registration number: 446227).
4.1 We make no representations and provide no warranties that:
(a) the website will be made available at any specific time or from any specific geographical location;
(b) your access to the website will be continuous or uninterrupted; or
(c) the website will be accessible or optimised on all browsers, computers, tablets, phones or viewing platforms.
4.2 We reserve the right to suspend access to all or part of the website for any reason, including for business or operational reasons, such as improving the appearance or functionality of the website, content updates, periodic maintenance, or to resolve any issues that we become aware of. Wherever we anticipate that we need to suspend access to the website for a considerable period of time, we will try to provide you with prior notice where reasonably practicable.
4.3 Our website is provided for users in the United Kingdom only. Although it may be possible to access the website from other countries, we make no representation that our website is compliant with any legal requirements in force in any jurisdiction other than the United Kingdom, or that the content available on the website will be appropriate for users in other countries or states. By continuing to view the website you are representing and warranting that you are resident for tax and investment purposes in the United Kingdom.
4.4 We may record telephone calls and other electronic communications for our mutual protection and to improve customer service.
(a) to reflect any changes in the way we carry out our business;
(b) to account for any changes we make to our website, including, without limitation, any new features or functionality we provide, any adjustments to the means by which we provide notices to you, or any changes in the content, purpose or availability of the website;
(c) to accurately describe our current data-processing activities so that you are kept up to date with our latest practices;
(e) to ensure that our documentation complies and remains compliant with any and all current and future applicable laws, regulations and official guidance.
6.1 If we provide you with account information such as a user name, identification number, account code and/or password, you must keep such information confidential and secret and not disclose it to anyone. All account information is provided for use of the named account holder only, and not for any other person. You are responsible for any consequences of unauthorised access to your account due to any disclosure of your account information to any third party.
6.2 Where we provide you with the option to select your own login information, including a password, we recommend that you supply login information unique to your own use of this website, and do not use information from other accounts you may hold with other websites or any easily discoverable information about you. You are responsible for any consequences of unauthorised access to your account due to any disclosure of your login information to any third party.
6.3 You must never use another user’s account without permission. When creating your account, you must provide accurate and complete information. You agree that you will not solicit, collect or use the login credentials of other individuals. We prohibit the creation of, and you agree that you will not create, an account for anyone other than yourself. You also represent that all information you provide to us upon registration and at all other times will be true, accurate, current, and complete. You agree to update your information as necessary to maintain its truth and accuracy.
6.5 If you know or suspect that the confidentiality of your login information has been compromised, for example, by the disclosure of such information to any third party, you must immediately change your password. If you are unable to change your password, you must immediately notify us by email, at [email protected].
7.1 All trade marks, service marks, trade names, logos, copyright and other intellectual property rights in our website and its content are either owned by us or licensed to us. All such rights are protected by intellectual property laws around the world, and all rights are reserved. Any use of the website and its contents, other than as specifically authorised herein, is strictly prohibited. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by us.
7.3 Our website uses the Morningstar, Inc. (Morningstar) ratings on its literature, to which the following copyright notice and disclaimers apply: © 2013 Morningstar. All Rights Reserved. The information, data, analyses and opinions (Information) contained herein: (1) include the proprietary information of Morningstar and its content providers; (2) may not be copied or redistributed except as specifically authorised; (3) do not constitute investment advice; (4) are provided solely for informational purposes; (5) are not warranted to be complete, accurate or timely; and (6) may be drawn from fund data published on various dates. Morningstar is not responsible for any trading decisions, damages or other losses related to the Information or its use. Please verify all of the Information before using it and don't make any investment decision except upon the advice of a professional financial adviser. Past performance is not guarantee of future results. The value and income derived from investments may go down as well as up.
7.4 Our website and other materials also features information relating to the Witan Investment Trust Benchmark, Source: MSCI. The MSCI data is comprised of a custom index calculated by MSCI for, and as requested by, Witan Investment Trust plc. The MSCI data is for internal use only and may not be redistributed or used in connection with creating or offering any securities, financial products or indices. Neither MSCI nor any other party involved in or related to compiling, computing or creating the MSCI data (the “MSCI Parties”) makes any express or implied warranties or representations with respect to such data (or the results to be obtained by the use thereof), and the MSCI Parties hereby expressly disclaim all warranties of originality, accuracy, completeness, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to any such data. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall any MSCI Parties have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages. No further distribution or dissemination of the MSCI data is permitted without MSCI’s express written consent. With effect from August 2020 the source for the Witan Investment Trust Benchmark changed to MSCI, replacing the previous source, FTSE International Limited (FTSE).
7.5 Our website uses the FE Crown Fund Ratings on its literature, to which the following copyright notice and disclaimers apply: ©2018 FE. All Rights Reserved. The information, data, analyses, and opinions contained herein: (1) include the proprietary information of FE, (2) may not be copied or redistribute, (3) do not constitute investment advice offered by FE, (4) are provided solely for informational purposes and therefore are not an offer to buy or sell a security, and (5) are not warranted to be correct, complete, or accurate. FE shall not be responsible for any trading decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from, or related to, this information, data, analyses, or opinions or their use. FE does not guarantee that a fund will perform in line with its FE Crown Fund Rating as it is a reflection of past performance only. Likewise, the FE Crown Fund Rating should not be seen as any sort of guarantee or assessment of the creditworthiness of a fund or of its underlying securities and should not be used as the sole basis for making any investment decision.
8.2 Any prices and other information on this website or a linked website are provided solely to enable you to make your own investment decisions and do not constitute personal recommendations or advice.
8.3 The content on our website is not intended to be construed as advice. You must not rely on any of the content of our website for any purposes whatsoever, and you must seek your own independent professional advice before deciding to take any course of action on the basis, whether in whole or in part, of any of the content available on our website at any time. If you are unsure about the meaning of any information provided on this website, then please consult your financial or other professional adviser. We do not offer investment advice. It is your responsibility to determine the suitability of any investment for you based on your objectives and your personal and financial situation. You are strongly recommended to take independent financial, tax and/or legal advice before entering into any financial transaction or applying for any of our products.
8.4 We make no representations and provide no warranties whatsoever, whether express or implied, that any of the content or materials available on our website from time to time are accurate, up to date or complete.
8.5 An application for any of WIS's investment products should be made having read fully not only the relevant application form, but also, for UK investors, the relevant terms and conditions of the Key Information Document, brochure, and latest annual or semi-annual report applicable to the chosen product. All these relevant documents can be found on this website. It is your responsibility to review such documentation and in any event by making an On-Line Application you will be deemed to be representing that you have read such applicable documentation and agree to be bound by its contents.
8.6 Our affiliates, officers and/or employees may have holdings in WIS’s investment products and may otherwise be interested in transactions that you effect in those products.
8.7 Please remember that past performance of an investment is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market and currency fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax assumptions may change if the law changes, and the value of tax relief (if any) will depend upon your individual circumstances. Investors should consult their own tax advisers in order to understand any applicable tax consequences.
9.1 The content on our website is provided for your personal, private and non-commercial use only. You may print or share the content from our website for lawful personal, private and non-commercial purposes, and you may also make others within your organisation aware of the content on our website. You may not otherwise extract, reproduce or distribute the content of our website without our prior written consent.
9.2 Whenever you print, download, share or pass on content from our website to others, you must not make any additions or deletions or otherwise modify any text from our website, you must not alter or change any images, media or graphics from our website in any way, you may not remove any accompanying text from such images, media or graphics, and you must ensure that all content passed on to any third party is an accurate representation of the content as it appears on our website.
9.3 You are prohibited from using any robots, spiders, data mining or scraping technology or any similar third party tools for the extraction or reproduction of any data or content from our website without our prior written consent.
9.4 Whenever you pass on any content or materials from our website to anyone, you must acknowledge us as the authors of such content or materials (or any other authors wherever credited by us) at the time when you pass on such content or materials.
10.2 You must not, without our prior written consent, access, interfere with, damage or disrupt in any way our website or any part of it, our systems, any of our hardware or equipment or any networks on which our website is hosted, any software that we use to create or modify the website or to make the website available to you, or any hardware, equipment, network, server, software or technology owned or operated by us or any third party.
(a) for any purpose that is unlawful or that in any way breaches any applicable laws or regulations, whether local, national or international;
(b) for any fraudulent purposes whatsoever;
(c) to conduct any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising or direct or indirect marketing to anyone by any means, or to otherwise spam, communicate with or market to anyone any goods, services or business not authorised by us;
(d) to upload, host or transmit any viruses, malware, adware, spyware, worms, Trojan horses, keystroke loggers, spyware, logic bombs, time bombs or any other harmful programs or code which could adversely affect the use or operation of the website, our hardware or systems, or the computers, tablets, phones or other devices of any users or other third parties, or to upload any content or materials containing any such content;
(e) to communicate with, harm or attempt to harm children in any way; or
10.4 You must not submit any information about you to us if you are under the age of 18, or about any other person who is either:
(a) under the age of 18; or
(b) if they are aged 18 or above, where you have not received their prior written consent to submit information about them to us.
10.5 You must not submit to us any information which is considered ‘sensitive personal information’. ‘Sensitive personal information’ is information about you or any other person which reveals your or their racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership or which is genetic data, biometric data, information which concerns your or their health, sex life or sexual orientation.
10.6 If you accidentally or intentionally submit such information to us, you will be considered to have consented to our processing of that information on the basis of Article 9(2)(a) of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/769).
11.1 We do not guarantee that our website does not contain viruses or other malicious software. However, we do make reasonable efforts to prevent such viruses or bugs from being uploaded to our website.
11.2 We shall not be responsible for any bugs or viruses on our website, or any software that might be transferred to your computer from our website, or any consequences which the presence or operation of such programs may have.
11.3 You must ensure that you have in place up-to-date and effective anti-virus protection on your computer or other browsing device.
11.4 You must not upload or otherwise introduce to our website any viruses, malware, spyware, adware, Trojan horses, worms, logic bombs, time bombs, keystroke loggers or any other programs or code that is harmful or malicious.
11.5 You must not use any third parties, software or technology to attempt to gain unauthorised access to our website, our servers, systems, hardware, software or data.
11.6 You must not attempt to perform any denial of service type attack on our website.
11.7 You must not perform any action which would contravene the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
11.8 We may report any breach or suspected breach of this clause 11 (Viruses and other harmful content) to the relevant authorities and may disclose your identity.
12.1 Links to third party content or websites may appear on our website from time to time. We are not responsible for the content of any websites accessible via any link(s) on our website. All content on third party websites is outside of our control, and we do not represent or warrant that such content is related to us or our website, suitable or appropriate for use or viewing, lawful or accurate.
13.1 You may not link to our website without our prior written consent.
13.2 Where you have obtained our consent to link to our website:
(b) wherever you post a link to our website on any other website, you agree that you will do so in an appropriate manner, and not in any way which is defamatory or disparaging towards us, which misrepresents us or our business, or which causes any harm whatsoever to us or our business; and
(c) you must not link to our website in order to suggest any form of joint venture, partnership, collaboration, affiliation, business relationship, approval or endorsement in connection with us where none exists and in any event, without having first obtained our prior written consent.
13.3 We may withdraw permission to link to our website at any time. In the event that we withdraw permission to link to our website and inform you of the same, you must immediately remove or cause to be removed any links to our website.
14.1 We do not exclude our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so, for example, for death or personal injury caused by our negligence. If applicable law does not allow all or any part of the below limitations of liability to apply to you, the limitations will apply to you only to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.
14.2 Subject to the aforesaid, in no event shall we (including our parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, members, employees or agents) under any circumstances whatsoever be liable to you for any loss, damage (whether direct, indirect, punitive, actual, consequential, incidental, special, exemplary, or otherwise) costs, expenses, liabilities or penalties, whether in contract, tort, breach of statutory duty or otherwise, whether foreseeable or unknown, arising from, in connection with or relating to:
(a) your use of our website;
(b) any corruption or loss of data;
(c) any inability to access our website, including, without limitation, any interruptions, suspension or withdrawal of our website (for any reason whatsoever);
(d) any use you make of any content or materials on our website, including any reliance you make on such content or material;
(e) any loss of savings, profits, sales, business or revenue;
(f) any loss of reputation or goodwill;
(g) any loss of savings;
(h) any loss of a chance or opportunity; or
(i) any other secondary, consequential or indirect losses,
and even if we have been advised of the possibility of such loss or damage, without limitation, you assume and shall be liable for the entire cost of all necessary servicing, repair or correction in the event of any such loss, damage, costs, expenses, liabilities or penalties arising.
14.3 We shall not be liable for any damage that you could have avoided by following our advice to apply an update offered to you free of charge or for damage that was caused by you failing to correctly follow installation instructions or to have in place the minimum system requirements advised by us.
14.4 You specifically agree that we shall not be liable for any content or the defamatory, offensive or illegal conduct of any third party and that the risk of harm or damage from the foregoing rests entirely with you.
14.5 You agree that in the event that you incur any damages, losses or injuries arising out of, or in connection with, our acts or omissions, the damages, if any, caused to you are not irreparable or sufficient to entitle you to an injunction preventing any exploitation of any website, service, property, product or other content owned or controlled by us, and you will have no rights to enjoin or restrain the development, production, distribution, advertising, exhibition or exploitation of any website, property, product, service, or other content owned or controlled by us.
14.6 To the extent that any of the provisions of this clause 14 (EXCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY) are unenforceable as outright exclusions of liability, they shall be construed as limitations on liability, limiting our liability to you to the maximum extent permitted by law.
14.7 Some of the information contained on this website may also have been prepared or provided by third parties and may not have been verified by us. We hereby exclude any liability arising out of any preparation or provision of such information for the website and makes no warranty as to the accuracy, suitability or completeness of any such information.
15.1 You (and also any third party for or on behalf of whom you operate an account or activity on the website) agree to defend (at our request), indemnify and hold us harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and attorneys’ fees and costs, arising out of or in any way connected with any of the following (including as a result of your direct activities on the website or those conducted on your behalf):
(a) your uploads, access to or use of the website;
(c) your violation of any third-party right, including, without limitation, any intellectual property right, publicity, confidentiality, property or privacy right;
(d) your violation of any laws, rules, regulations, codes, statutes, ordinances or orders of any governmental and quasi-governmental authorities, including, without limitation, all regulatory, administrative and legislative authorities; or
(e) any misrepresentation made by you.
15.2 You will cooperate as fully required by us in the defence of any claim. We reserve the right to assume the exclusive defence and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you, and you will not, in any event, settle any claim without our prior written consent.
16.1 The website is provided on an “as is”, “as available” and “with all faults” basis. to the fullest extent permissible by law, we do not make any representations or warranties or endorsements of any kind whatsoever, express or implied, as to:
(a) the service;
(b) the website content;
(c) user content; or
(d) security associated with the transmission of information to the website.
in addition, we hereby disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, title, custom, trade, quiet enjoyment, system integration and freedom from computer virus.
16.3 By accessing or using the website you represent and warrant that your activities are lawful in every jurisdiction where you access or use the service.
16.4 We do not endorse content and specifically disclaim any responsibility or liability to any person or entity for any loss, damage (whether actual, consequential, punitive or otherwise), injury, claim, liability or other cause of action of any kind or character based upon or resulting from any content.
16.5 Our website and any products or services available on or via the website (other than Junior ISAs) are not intended for use by individuals under the age of 18.
There are three supervisory pillars set out in the revised Basel Accord, which have been written into European Law through the Capital Requirements Regulation (‘CRR’) and the Capital Requirements Directive (‘CRD’) together referred to as CRD IV, and further developed in the Pillar 2 guidance issued by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (‘CEBS’) and its successor, the European Banking Authority (‘EBA’),.
Collectively Pillars 1, 2 and 3 form an overall framework for prudential supervision of banks, credit institutions and investment firms. The first pillar revises existing minimum regulatory capital standards for three major components of risk that firms face: credit, market and operational risk. The second pillar requires firms to assess the amount of internal capital they consider adequate to cover all of the risks to which they are, or likely to be, exposed. The third pillar requires firms to publish certain details of their risks, capital and risk management process.
The Pillar 3 disclosure must be done in accordance with a formal disclosure policy which sets out our policies for assessing the appropriateness of our disclosures, including their verification and frequency. The rules provide that firms may omit one or more of the required disclosures if we believe that the information is immaterial. Where we have considered a disclosure to be immaterial, we have stated this in the relevant section.
We are also permitted to omit one or more of the required disclosures where we believe that the information is regarded as proprietary or confidential, which if it were shared, would undermine our competitive position. Information is considered to be confidential where there are obligations binding us to confidentiality with our customers and counterparties. Where we have omitted information for either of these two reasons we have stated this in the relevant section and the reasons for this.
Information covered under this Disclosure
In this document we disclose information, unless it is has been determined as immaterial or of a proprietary or confidential nature, on:
- our risk management objectives and policies;
- the scope of application of directive requirements;
- our capital resources;
- our compliance with the rules in IFPRU and on Pillar 2 requirements;
- market risk; and
- our remuneration.
Scope of the Disclosure
The disclosures in this document are made in respect of Witan Investment Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). Witan Investment Services Ltd (“WIS”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Witan Investment Trust plc and was originally established to market, administer and service the product plans of clients investing directly into its parent’s investment trust but also other investment trusts. However, during the second half of 2017, after careful consideration, WIS reached the view that it would cease to undertake savings plan management. This was on the basis that this does not represent its core activity and the increasing administrative burden of even operating an outsourced model and the incumbent regulatory risk was too high. It was also considered that dedicated investment platforms could offer WIS’s savings scheme investors broader services and enhanced up to date online capabilities, as evidenced by their growing share of the savings market. Accordingly, following careful and detailed examination of proposals from a range of organisations which specialise in the operation of investment savings accounts, the Board selected Hargreaves Lansdown. The transfer of the savings schemes will reduce significantly the Firm’s operations and regulatory risk. The bulk transfer of the Savings Schemes to Hargreaves Lansdown took place on 11 May 2019. WIS is currently dealing with a rump of savings scheme clients, which is largely made up of deceased accounts. Following the successful transfer of the business to Hargreaves Lansdown, WIS’s regulatory risk exposure is significantly diminished. It will cease to have directly contracted retail clients and will cease to undertake MiFID activities, the most impactful of which is the safeguarding and administration of assets.
Following the implementation of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive Witan Investment Services Ltd was approved by the FCA as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (“AIFM”) on 14 July 2014. Accordingly, in addition to the plan management activities identified above, Witan Investment Services Ltd also provides AIFM management services to its 100% parent, Witan Investment Trust plc, an unauthorised Alternative Investment Fund (AIF). We retain responsibility for both the portfolio and risk management of Witan Investment Trust plc. While retaining control over portfolio and risk management, we employ a multi-manager investment approach (for the diversification benefits it offers its shareholders).
For the purposes of CRD IV, Witan Investment Services Ltd is not consolidated with its parent, Witan Investment Trust plc, providing its own unconsolidated financial returns to the FCA. There are no known current or foreseen practical or legal impediments to the prompt transfer of capital resources or repayments of liabilities between the parent and subsidiary undertaking.
Risk Management objectives and policies
Our risk management policy reflects the FCA requirement that we must manage a number of different categories of risk. These include: credit, market, business, operational, insurance, liquidity and group risk. In respect of this disclosure it is the first four of these risks that are relevant and further information is provided on these risks below.
The extent to which we provide credit to clients and, therefore, the extent to which we are subject to credit risk and how we mitigate this is governed by the terms and conditions of individual agreements with those clients. We do not provide credit, however as we invest cheques on the day of receipt we could be exposed if the cheque failed to clear which could leave us with the difference between what was paid for the shares and sale value. With the closure of the Savings Schemes (as referred to above) this risk has now significantly diminished. Going forward our credit risk is primality based upon our exposure to the banks with whom we deposit money. We only deposit money with approved counterparties and regularly review their credit worthiness.
Under Pillar 1, we do not have any exposure to either foreign exchange risk or position risk, which together make up market risk.
Our Pillar 2 business risk assessment principally takes the form of a fall in assets under management. This is mitigated to an extent by virtue of the fact that the annual fees for the services provided to WIT are levied at a fixed rate rather than on an ad valorem basis. Different economic scenarios are modelled as part of the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) to establish the impact of economic downturns on our financial position.
Most of our risk management efforts are focused on operational risk. This includes everything, from risk to our high-level strategy to risk of administrative errors, fraud and theft. Our policy is to operate a robust and effective risk management process, embedded within the governance and management structures of our business.
Our risk management framework defines what operational risk means to us and this is approved by our Board. The main initiative is the establishment of a ‘Risk Map’ which includes analysis of the key risk areas identified by senior management. These areas cover specific risk items within the following areas: Financial; Strategy; Customer Service; Third Party Outsourcing; Operational; and Legal and Regulatory.
We seek to identify the impact and probability of each risk item and rank it as high, medium or low. We also identify and implement measures to mitigate the risk and monitor any residual risk on an ongoing basis. The Risk Map is appended to the ICAAP which is formally approved by the Board on an annual basis.
The value of share capital and audited reserves is £991,000 at 31st December 2018. Our capital resources are comprised of core Tier 1 capital only and therefore there are no other items or deductions. Our capital requirement has been determined as being the higher of our winding up costs of £117,000 for 2018, our Fixed Overhead Requirement (plus professional negligence capital requirement) of £685,000 and our Funds under Management Capital Requirement (plus professional negligence capital requirement) of £683,000 calculated in accordance with the requirements of the AIFMD as at 31 December 2018. Our Pillar 1 Capital Resources Requirement, based on our Fixed Overhead Requirement (plus professional negligence capital requirement), has been calculated as being £685,000 for 2018.
Credit and Market risk
Our credit risk and market risk capital requirements have been calculated as £81,000 and zero respectively as at 31 December 2018. Disclosures in relation to these have been considered immaterial under BIPRU 11.3.5R (Exemption from disclosure: Materiality), as our capital requirement under GENPRU 2.1.45R (Calculation of the variable capital requirement for a BIPRU firm), is our Fixed Overhead Requirement rather than the sum of our credit risk capital requirement and our market risk capital requirement.
Compliance with rules in BIPRU and Pillar 2 rule requirements
Our overall approach to assessing the adequacy of our internal capital is set out in our Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP). The ICAAP process involves separate consideration of risks to our capital combined with stress testing using scenario analysis. The level of capital required to cover risks is a function of impact and probability. We assess impact by modelling the changes in our income and expenses caused by various potential risks over a 1-year time horizon. Probability is assessed subjectively.
Following the risk and capital requirement analysis undertaken by the senior management team, we have concluded that the Firm’s capital resource requirement should be its Funds under Management Capital Requirement by virtue of the fact that this figure exceeds the Funds under Management Capital requirement. We hold net liquid assets of £2,011,000, which is held as cash at bank, which comfortably meets our calculation of the Funds under Management Capital Requirement of £685,000 and, in addition, the Witan Group’s PII policy provides cover up to £20 million.
Since 1 January 2011 we have been required by the FCA to provide information on our remuneration arrangements. In its application of the rules to its Remuneration policy, the Firm has taken account of the FCA’s BIPRU remuneration principles proportionality rule, which permits the application of the total remuneration policies for Remuneration Code Staff, in a way and to the extent that is appropriate to the Group’s size, internal organisation and the nature, the scope and the complexity of its activities.
Our parent company, Witan Investment Trust plc, has an established Remuneration Committee (the ‘Committee’), which meets regularly to consider human resource issues relating to terms and conditions of employment, head count and remuneration for both non-Executive Directors as well as Executive employees. The Committee comprises non-executive directors and meetings are attended by a representative from Compliance or, on occasions when this is not appropriate, the Committee receives Compliance advice on the issues under discussion. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the remuneration policy which is approved by the Board.
Our remuneration arrangements for Executives represent a combination of salary and incentive schemes that are designed to ensure that rewards are linked to the attainment of assigned operational (primarily non-financial) targets to align the interest of the Firm and its employees with those of its clients. Non-salary remuneration is variable, based on Firm and individual performance. We do not pay any compensation tied solely to business development. In certain cases, remuneration is directly linked to the attainment of targets linked to the returns enjoyed by shareholders, where this is appropriate to the individual’s role.
We do not use a pre-set formulaic matrix to determine Executives’ basic remuneration or, except for the parent Company’s Chief Executive Officer where a publicly disclosed formulaic approach (approved by shareholders) forms part of the process, to determine variable remuneration. The determination of remuneration for more senior investment staff is a discretionary process informed by various performance metrics including individual performance measured against tasks set in the performance appraisal process, standard competencies and qualitative annual goal attainment, industry peer group remuneration levels and affordability. We ensure that the variable remuneration bonus pool is set as a conservative percentage of the Firm’s net income. This means that staff remuneration is dependent upon the Firm’s objectives being achieved and it allows it to manage its capital prudently.
Breakdown of Remuneration for the financial year ended 31 Dec 2018:
|Breakdown of aggregate remuneration of staff in respect of whom disclosure is required by Business Area (i) and by Senior Management and Other Staff whose actions have a material impact on the Firm’s risk profile (ii)|
|(i) Business Area||Total Remuneration|
|Investment and Savings Plan Management||£1,392,350|
|(ii) Senior Management||(ii) Other Staff (material impact)||Total|
Summary of conflicts of interest policy
Conflicts of Interest
A regulatory requirement arising from the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive on 1 November 2007, as amended, is the need for us to provide you with a summary description of our policy on conflicts of interest and when a material interest or conflict of interest may or does arise, to disclose to you the manner in which we will ensure your fair treatment.
Our policy remains to always manage any conflict in your best interests, to always disclose any conflict where relevant and to not undertake the activity if a conflict cannot be effectively managed (and disclosure would not be appropriate). Our aim is to ensure that there is effective management of conflicts that may arise when our interests and yours differ or where discharging our duties to one client could make it difficult to comply with the duties owed to another client. For instance, a potential conflict could arise in instances where we aggregate your order to purchase or sell shares with those of another client or where we act for both the buyer and seller in a transaction. Additionally, a conflict could arise between our interests and yours when the underlying investment trusts undertake transactions in their own shares. We will ensure that we will not knowingly act on your behalf in relation to a transaction unless we have taken reasonable steps to ensure your fair treatment. Where we are unable to manage a specific conflict, we will notify you of the circumstances in order that you are able to take an informed decision of whether to proceed with the transaction or not.
We operate a Conflicts of Interest Policy which is communicated to all relevant employees and which identifies the types of conflict that may arise and provides instructions on the management of those conflicts. Under the Policy, we maintain a record of identified potential conflicts. Further, we regularly review our business to identify potential conflicts of interest and to assess whether we are taking appropriate steps to manage those that could have an adverse effect on clients. Formal reports are made to the Board and senior management. There are also specific policies and procedures on when and how employees are permitted to undertake personal account transactions, restrictions on the offering and receiving of gifts to or from clients, and an outright ban on any gift that could be construed as an inducement. As part of our conflicts management policy we also consider the way in which our staff are remunerated, in order to ensure that remuneration structures do not create a conflict between incentives given to staff and our clients’ best interests. Any client who wishes, may receive a copy of the full Conflicts of Interest Policy.
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Recent regulations have brought into force, with effect from 30 September 2017, two new corporate offences of “failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion”. The offences are contained in the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which received Royal Assent in April 2017.
The new offences of failure to prevent facilitation of UK and foreign tax evasion are modelled on the offence of “failure to prevent bribery” in the Bribery Act 2010. A body corporate or a partnership (a “relevant body”) may be prosecuted for failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion if:
- a person evades tax;
- an associate of the relevant body, such as an employee, agent or subcontractor, criminally facilitates that evasion while acting in their capacity as an associate of the relevant body; and
- the relevant body is unable to show that they had in place reasonable prevention procedures (or that it was not reasonable for prevention procedures to be in place).
Liability can arise whether or not the relevant body had knowledge of the evasion or facilitation, and whether or not the associate intended to benefit the relevant body.
The Board of the Company has adopted a zero tolerance approach to the criminal facilitation of tax evasion. Accordingly, it expressly prohibits any Director or any associated persons, including suppliers, agents or third parties, when acting on behalf of the Company, from taking any action which would, or could be deemed to, facilitate tax evasion on behalf of the Company.
The Directors of the Company recognise their responsibilities in ensuring that the Company has a robust policy to avoid such practices and to ensure compliance with its legal obligations. The Board requires that it is informed immediately of any identified instances of tax evasion within any of its principal service providers and details of the corrective courses of action taken.
As part of a risk based approach, the Board will carry out an annual risk assessment on matters relating to tax evasion, involving due diligence enquiries in respect of persons who perform or will perform services for or on behalf of the Company, in order to mitigate identified risks. Due diligence records will be kept and be made available for inspection by compliance or statutory auditors.
The Board will review this policy at least on an annual basis and will ensure that it is publicly available on the Company’s website.
Witan Investment Trust plc/Witan Investment Services Limited (“The Group”) is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in our business activities in the UK and overseas. It is our policy to conduct business in an honest way, and without the use of corrupt practices or acts of bribery to obtain an unfair advantage. This is not just a cultural commitment on the part of our organisation; it is a legal requirement.
The actions and conduct of all our officers, partners and employees (collectively, “all personnel”), as well as others acting on our behalf, are essential to maintaining these standards. To that end, all personnel, both permanent and temporary, must read, become familiar and comply with this Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy (“the Policy”) and our written procedures on gifts and inducements included at Appendix IV of the Compliance Manual. We will also review the procedures of any third party providers, agents, consultants and contractors involved in providing services on or behalf to ensure that they have appropriate anti-bribery and corruption arrangements in place. We will only conduct business with firms or entities that we believe adhere to the same principles.
Scope and Purpose
The Group’s anti-bribery and corruption arrangements, included in this policy, cover all personnel and any third parties or agents providing services on its behalf. It also applies in all jurisdictions and covers both the public and the private sector. The policy covers the requirements of the Bribery Act 2010 in the United Kingdom but also other pre-existing legislation around the world such as the the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).
Bribery has been defined in guidance issued by the UK’s Ministry of Justice (“MoJ”) as “giving someone a financial or other advantage to encourage that person to perform their functions or activities improperly or to reward that person for having already done so”. So, for instance, this could cover seeking to influence a decision-maker by giving some kind of extra benefit to that decision maker, whether it be through the payment of a facilitation fee, a political donation or the provision of excessive hospitality.
The intention of the policy is to ensure that all financial transactions and activities undertaken by us and on our behalf do not violate global anti-bribery laws and do not represent unethical conduct. Violations of the Bribery Act can have significant consequences for you as an individual, us as a firm and any individuals associated with our business. This can include criminal investigations and prosecution, significant financial penalties, loss of reputation and business; and for individuals, substantial personal fines and potential imprisonment with a maximum term of 10 years.
Failure to comply with our Policy and any related arrangements could result in disciplinary action taken against you, including the termination of your employment and notification of your actions to the relevant authority.
Demonstrating the existence of “adequate procedures” is the main defence to an allegation of failure to prevent bribery and the guidance has set out six guiding principles within the Act which the Boards of the Group should consider. These are:
Proportionality: a group’s procedures to prevent bribery by persons associated with it are proportionate to the bribery risks it faces and to the nature, scale and complexity of its activities. They are also clear, practical, accessible, effectively implemented and enforced.
Top level commitment: the directors are committed to preventing bribery by persons associated with the company. They foster a culture within the organisation in which bribery is never acceptable.
Risk assessment: the group assesses the nature and extent of its exposure to potential external and internal risks of bribery on its behalf by persons associated with it. The assessment is periodic, informed and documented.
Due diligence: the group applies due diligence procedures, taking a proportionate and risk based approach, in respect of persons who perform or will perform services for or on behalf of the organisation, in order to mitigate identified bribery risks.
Communication: the group seeks to ensure that its bribery prevention policies and procedures are embedded and understood throughout the organisation through internal and external communication, including training that is proportionate to the risks it faces.
Monitoring and review: the group monitors and reviews procedures designed to prevent bribery by persons associated with it and makes improvements where necessary.
Hospitality and promotional expenditure: the Government has confirmed that it does not intend that genuine hospitality or similar expenditure that is reasonable and proportionate should be caught by the Bribery Act.
The Boards of the Group have adopted a zero tolerance approach to instances of bribery and corruption. Accordingly it expressly prohibits any Director or associated persons when acting on behalf of the Group, accepting, soliciting, paying, offering or promising to pay or authorise any payment, public or private, in the United Kingdom or abroad to secure any improper benefit for themselves or for the Group.
The Directors of the Group recognise their responsibilities in ensuring that the Group has a robust policy to avoid such practices and to ensure compliance with its legal obligations. The Boards have requested that they are informed immediately of any identified instances of bribery or corruption within any of its principal service providers, and that a copy of the anti Bribery and Corruption Policy and a report detailing any identified instances of bribery or corruption and details of the corrective courses of action taken are provided for their review on an annual basis.
As part of a risk based approach, the Boards will carry out an annual risk assessment on matters relating to bribery, involving due diligence enquiries in respect of persons who perform or will perform services for or on behalf of the Group, in order to mitigate identified risks. However, the Boards confirm that such a review will be carried out more frequently if, for example, Witan Investment Trust’s investment policy were to change, if a perceived low risk country of investment became a higher risk or if a new investment manager, manager or other principal service provider were appointed. Due diligence records will be kept and made available for inspection by compliance or statutory auditors.
We have apportioned responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of this Policy to Witan Investment Services Ltd’s (“WIS”) Compliance Oversight Officer, as the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Officer (“the Compliance Officer”). However, the Policy is reviewed and approved by the senior management of the Group on an annual basis.
Senior management is responsible for ensuring that this Policy together with any related procedural arrangements and future updates is communicated to all personnel and where relevant to any third parties. Senior management is also responsible for ensuring that all personnel are adequately trained and are fully cognizant of the requirements of the Policy.
The Compliance Officer will be responsible for determining whether additional anti-bribery and corruption training will be necessary for specific personnel and or third parties or persons arising from specific proposed activities on our behalf. Such training will be implemented and must be completed prior to the commencement of any such activities. General anti-bribery and corruption training must be completed on an annual basis.
Engagement policy and Stewardship Code statement
Directive (EU) 2017/828 as implemented by the Shareholder Rights Directive (Asset Managers and Insurers) Instrument 2019 (“SRD II”) came into force in the United Kingdom on 10 June 2019. Witan Investment Services Limited is reviewing its current policies on stewardship in light of the requirements of SRD II and the revised UK Stewardship Code (published in October 2019). Once completed, WIS will publish its revised engagement policy pursuant to SRD II on this webpage.
Last updated: November 2019