In this chapter, provisions marked “EU” which derive from recitals to MiFID or the MiFID Org Regulation apply to the equivalent business of a third country investment firm as guidance.
38 (1) Investment firms which provide advice on corporate finance strategy, as set out in Section B(3) of Annex I, and provide the service of underwriting or placing of financial instruments, shall, before accepting a mandate to manage the offering, have arrangements in place to inform the issuer client of the following:
(a) the various financing alternatives available with the firm, and an indication of the amount of transaction fees associated with each alternative;
(b) the timing and the process with regard to the corporate finance advice on pricing of the offer;
(c) the timing and the process with regard to the corporate finance advice on placing of the offering;
(d) details of the targeted investors, to whom the firm intends to offer the financial instruments;
(f) firm’s arrangements to prevent or manage conflicts of interest that may arise where the firm places the relevant financial instruments with its investment clients of with its own proprietary book.
Article 38(2) and (3) of the MiFID Org Regulation sets out requirements to identify all underwriting and placing operations of a firm and to ensure that adequate controls are in place to manage any potential conflicts of interest.
38 (2) Investment firms shall have in place a centralised process to identify all underwriting and placing operations of the firm and record such information, including the date on which the firm was informed of potential underwriting and placing operations. Firms shall identify all potential conflicts of interest arising from other activities of the investment firm, or group, and implement appropriate management procedures. In cases where an investment firm cannot manage a conflict of interest by way of implementing appropriate procedures, the investment firm shall not engage in the operation.
(3) Investment firms providing execution and research services as well as carrying out underwriting and placing activities shall ensure adequate controls are in place to manage any potential conflicts of interest between these activities and between their different clients receiving those services.
39 (1) Investment firms shall have in place systems, controls and procedures to identify and prevent or manage conflicts of interest that arise in relation to possible under-pricing or over-pricing of an issue or involvement of relevant parties in the process. In particular, investment firms shall as a minimum requirement establish, implement and maintain internal arrangements to ensure both of the following:
(a) that the pricing of the offer does not promote the interests of other clients or firm’s own interests, in a way that may conflict with the issuer client’s interests; and
(b) the prevention or management of a situation where persons responsible for providing services to the firm’s investment clients are directly involved in decisions about corporate finance advice on pricing to the issuer client.
Article 39(2) of the MiFID Org Regulation sets out additional requirements concerning the provision of information.
39 (2) Investment firms shall provide clients with information about how the recommendation as to the price of the offering and the timings involved is determined. In particular, the firm shall inform and engage with the issuer client about any hedging or stabilisation strategies it intends to undertake with respect to the offering, including how these strategies may impact the issuer clients’ interests. During the offering process, firms shall also take all reasonable steps to keep the issuer client informed about developments with respect to the pricing of the issue.
Article 40 of the MiFID Org Regulation sets out additional requirements in relation to placing.
40 (1) Investment firms placing financial instruments shall establish, implement and maintain effective arrangements to prevent recommendations on placing from being inappropriately influenced by any existing or future relationships.
(2) Investment firms shall establish, implement and maintain effective internal arrangements to prevent or manage conflicts of interests that arise where persons responsible for providing services to the firm’s investment clients are directly involved in decisions about recommendations to the issuer client on allocation.
(3) Investment firms shall not accept any third-party payments or benefits unless such payments or benefits comply with the inducements requirements laid down in Article 24 of3 Directive 2014/65/EU. In particular, the following practices shall be considered not compliant with those requirements and shall therefore be considered not acceptable:
(a) an allocation made to incentivise the payment of disproportionately high fees for unrelated services provided by the investment firm (‘laddering’), such as disproportionately high fees or commissions paid by an investment client, or disproportionately high volumes of business at normal levels of commission provided by the investment client as a compensation for receiving an allocation of the issue;
(b) an allocation made to a senior executive or a corporate officer of an existing or potential issuer client, in consideration for the future or past award of corporate finance business (‘spinning’);
(c) an allocation that is expressly or implicitly conditional on the receipt of future orders or the purchase of any other service from the investment firm by an investment client, or any entity of which the investor is a corporate officer.
(4) Investment firms shall establish, implement and maintain an allocation policy that sets out the process for developing allocation recommendations. The allocation policy shall be provided to the issuer client before agreeing to undertake any placing services. The policy shall set out relevant information that is available at that stage, about the proposed allocation methodology for the issue.
(5) Investment firms shall involve the issuer client in discussions about the placing process in order for the firm to be able to understand and take into account the client’s interests and objectives. The investment firm shall obtain the issuer client’s agreement to its proposed allocation per type of client for the transaction in accordance with the allocation policy.
41 (1) Investment firms shall have in place systems, controls and procedures to identify and manage the conflicts of interest that arise when providing investment service to an investment client to participate in a new issue, where the investment firm receives commissions, fees or any monetary or non-monetary benefits in relation to arranging the issuance. Any commissions, fees or monetary or non-monetary benefits shall comply with the requirements in Article 24(7), 24(8) and 24(9) of Directive 2014/65/EU and be documented in the investment firm’s conflicts of interest policies and reflected in the firm’s inducements arrangements.
(2) Investment firms engaging in the placement of financial instruments issued by themselves or by entities within the same group, to their own clients, including their existing depositor clients in the case of credit institutions, or investment funds managed by entities of their group, shall establish, implement and maintain clear and effective arrangements for the identification, prevention or management of the potential conflicts of interest that arise in relation to this type of activity. Such arrangements shall include consideration of refraining from engaging in the activity, where conflicts of interest cannot be appropriately managed so as to prevent any adverse effects on clients.
(3) When disclosure of conflicts of interest is required, investment firms shall comply with the requirements in Article 34(4), including an explanation of the nature and source of the conflicts of interest inherent to this type of activity, providing details about the specific risks related to such practices in order to enable clients to make an informed investment decision.
(4) Investment firms which offer3 financial instruments issued that are3 by themselves or other group entities to their clients and that are3 included in the calculation of prudential requirements specified in Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council¹, Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council² or Directive 2014/59/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council³, shall provide those3 clients with additional information explaining the differences between the financial instrument and bank deposits in terms of yield, risk, liquidity and any protection provided in accordance with Directive 2014/49/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council.
¹ Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 (OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p.l)
² Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on access to the activity of credit institutions and the prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms, amending Directive 2002/87/EC and repealing Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC (OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p.338)
³ Directive 2014/59/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing a framework for the recovery and resolution of credit institutions and investment firms and amending Council Directive 82/891/EEC, and Directives 2001/24/EC, 2002/47/EC, 2004/25/EC, 2005/56/EC, 2007/36/EC, 2011/35/EU, 2012/30/EU and 2013/36/EU, and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 and (EU) No 648/2012, of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 173, 12.6.201, p190)
423 (1) Where any previous lending or credit to the issuer client by an investment firm, or an entity within the same group, may be repaid with the proceeds of an issue, the investment firm shall have arrangements in place to identify and prevent or manage any conflicts of interest that may arise as a result.
(2) Where the arrangements taken to manage conflicts of interest prove insufficient to ensure that the risk of damage to the issuer client would be prevented, investment firms shall disclose to the issuer client the specific conflicts of interest that have arisen in relation to their, or group entities’, activities in a capacity of credit provider, and their activities related to the securities offering.
(3) Investment firms’ conflict of interest policy shall require the sharing of information about the issuer’s financial situation with group entities acting as credit providers, provided this would not breach information barriers set up by the firm to protect the interests of a client.
Investment firms shall keep records of the content and timing of instructions received from clients. A record of the allocation decisions taken for each operation shall be kept to provide for a complete audit trail between the movements registered in clients’ accounts and the instructions received by the investment firm. In particular, the final allocation made to each investment client shall be clearly justified and recorded. The complete audit trail of the material steps in the underwriting and placing process shall be made available to competent authorities upon request.