Policy of Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest
1.1. This Policy of Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest of Equityspark aims to establish the circumstances related to Equityspark’s crowdfunding platform which cause or may cause a conflict of interest between the platform and a client, or between clients of the platform (both individual or institutional), as well as the requirements which should be maintained in order to avoid a conflict of interest, and instruments, which are resorted to manage conflicts of interest.
1.2. Management bodies of Equityspark are responsible for putting a framework in place, and implementing systems, controls, and procedures to identify, escalate and manage conflicts of interest.
1.3. Under the same circumstances, persons associated with Equityspark may invest though the platform on equal terms with other clients.
1.4. Every employee and control function of Equityspark is responsible for identifying and escalating potential conflicts of interest so that they may be appropriately managed and resolved.
II. CAUSING OR ABLE TO CAUSE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
2.1. Seeking to determine potential conflicts of interest that might be able to affect financial interests of the platform and a client, or between clients of the platform, Equityspark appoints a team of dedicated employees that should observe the following minimum criteria and assess whether Equityspark, or any person associated with Equityspark, or any person in a control function directly or indirectly associated with Equityspark is exposed to any of the situations listed below, when Equityspark or the related person:
a. may experience a financial advantage or avoid a financial loss at the expense of the individual client and/or the institutional client;
b. has an interest in the result of the rendered service or in the result of a transaction concluded at the expense of individual client and/or the institutional client other than the interest of the individual client and/or the institutional client;
c. receives or will receive from a person (other than the individual client and/or the institutional client) an inducement in relation to a service provided to the individual client and/or the institutional client, in the form of monies, goods or services, other than a standard commission or fee for that service;
d. has a financial or other incentive to favour the investment conditions of a particular investment opportunity to the individual client and/or the institutional client which is not in the best interest of them.
2.2. Conflicts of interest relating to Equityspark can be broadly described as scenarios where:
a. Equityspark favours itself and related persons’ investment opportunities where they have personal holdings over general investment opportunities of institutional clients;
b. Equityspark may assess individual client and/or the institutional client in a biased and subjective manner, compared to individuals who have direct or indirect links with Equityspark;
c. related persons may enter into crowdfunding transactions at their own expense, using the confidential information entrusted to Equityspark.
2.3. Where a conflict of interest may arise, priority should be given to the interests of the individual client and/or the institutional client, then to the interests of Equityspark.
III. MANAGEMENT OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
3.1. Equityspark takes all necessary actions to ensure that the actions taken by Equityspark will be exclusively based on the best interest of individual clients and/or institutional clients.
3.2. In the performance of their functions, all employees of or persons related to Equityspark must ascertain whether there is any conflict of interest, avoid conflicts of interest or withdraw if there are any potential situations that may cause or provoke a conflict of interest.
3.3. If a conflict of interest arises, participation in crowdfunding transactions may be rendered only if the individual client and/or the institutional client clearly expresses his/her consent concerning the provision of crowdfunding services.
3.4. Equityspark takes measures to ensure that:
a. Equityspark’s interests have no unfair advantage over the individual client and/or the institutional client interests and its actions must be compatible with the individual client and/or the institutional client’s interests;
b. personal, financial or other interests of Equityspark, its managers, employees or other associated persons have no influence or appear to have no influence on the provision of services to the individual client and/or the institutional client on behalf of the Equityspark;
c. the interests of one individual client and/or institutional client are not preferred over those of other individual clients and/or the institutional clients.
3.5. Equityspark has appointed an employee who periodically monitors and reviews the management of conflicts of interest and the effectiveness of the current procedures. The employee responsible for the management of conflicts of interest must:
a. periodically review the provisions of the Policy and ensure the compliance with the requirements of applicable laws;
b. inform the employees and related persons of Equityspark, whether a conflict of interest lies in the ongoing situation, as well as advice on how such situation should be managed;
c. perform other actions aimed at the proper and timely identification and management of conflicts of interest.
3.6. Equityspark collects all information that would justify the absence of a conflict of interest, as well as documents and other information that may confirm that the individual client and/or the institutional client was duly informed about the current situation and agrees to further provision of services by Equityspark.
3.7. In the event of a conflict of interest, Equityspark must inform each individual client and/or the institutional client explicitly and clearly, of any conflicts of interest that may have arisen.
3.8. Equityspark must present information to individual clients and/or institutional clients on a durable medium and the information should be clearly understandable to them, in order to make an informed decision on potential collaboration with Equityspark, with respect to which a conflict of interest may arise.
3.9. In the event where a conflict of interest arises between several individual clients and/or several institutional clients, Equityspark coordinates such situation in such way that no individual client and/or the institutional client would benefit from another individual client and/or the institutional client.
IV. BREACH OF POLICY
4.1. In the event employee or control function fails to comply with the above-outlined provisions of this Policy will result in disciplinary measures, including dismissal of Equityspark’s employee or control function.
4.2. In determining the level of disciplinary measures in any particular case, the seriousness and/or frequency of an offense will be taken into account.
4.3. In addition, employees or control function may run the risk of fines, penalties, judgments, damages, and settlements related to regulatory or legal actions against Equityspark and them as individuals.
V. FINAL PROVISIONS
5.1. The Policy must be reviewed and, if required, renewed at least once per year.