Disclosures

CONFLICT OF INTEREST MANAGEMENT POLICY

 

  1. INTRODUCTION
    This note is intended to provide the reader with a clear statement on the management of Conflicts of Interest that exist or may exist within Leppard and Associates (Pty) Ltd (“Leppard Underwriting”). The policy is drafted in terms of section 3A(2)(a) of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 37 of 2002 (“FAIS”) General Code of Conduct for Financial Services Providers and Representatives, as amended from time to time. As an authorized FSP, Leppard Underwriting is obliged to comply with the prescribed Conflict of Interest provisions of FAIS. All employees of Leppard Underwriting who are involved in the business of Leppard Underwriting are obliged to conduct themselves in a professional manner and in line with this policy. This policy seeks to adopt measures to avoid any Conflict of Interest, identify the existence of any Conflict of Interest, and to disclose the existence of any Conflict of Interest. Further it seeks to set out the process, procedures and internal controls to facilitate compliance with the policy as well as to highlight the consequences of non-compliance with the policy by Leppard Underwriting’s employees. This policy is by no means an exhaustive analysis addressing every Conflict of Interest situation that may arise. The policy is intended to assist employees in making the right decisions when confronted with potential Conflict of Interest issues.
  2. LEPPARD UNDERWRITING BUSINESS
    Leppard Underwriting is a specialist underwriting business, underwriting on behalf of Lombard Insurance Company Ltd (“Lombard” or “Product Provider” as the context requires). Leppard Underwriting is licensed as a Financial Services Provider with the Financial services Board under licence number 18178. In this context Leppard Underwriting is a product supplier and works as an insurance service provider. Leppard Underwriting activity includes the assessment of risks of and exposures to liability to a variety of professional and business risks, the determination of premium and relevant insurance contract conditions, quoting and acceptance of risk, policy issuing, administration and claims management.
  3. OWNERSHIP
    The shareholders of Leppard Underwriting are Lomvest (Pty) limited; SCJ Sinclair; G Standen and ESG von Roretz.
  4. RELATIONSHIPS
    Leppard Underwriting has a number of relationships in connection with its business.
    Key relationships
    1. Leppard Underwriting has a relationship with Lombard as set out above.
    2. Leppard Underwriting has a 32% interest in Abelard Underwriting Agency, an independent insurance underwriting business.
    3. Leppard Underwriting also has relationships with other Financial Services Providers. Leppard Underwriting conducts its business only with insurance brokers or insurance intermediaries who are authorized and are registered Financial Services Providers. These Financial Services Providers have an independent obligation to declare their interests and conflicts.
    4. Leppard Underwriting does not interact with any policyholder directly in selling any product or in the provision of advice but where requested or as appropriate may interact with a policyholder in relation to any matter but especially policy claims, but then only to the extent authorized and in accordance with the Product Providers’ product.
    5. Leppard Underwriting, as part of normal business practice, has relationships with various third party service providers such as loss adjusters, attorneys, accountants, and IT companies. This list is not exhaustive.
    6. Leppard Underwriting also has a relationship with its employees as a result of employment contracts, and the concomitant remuneration policies. All Leppard Underwriting employees are required to complete annually a Conflict of Interest questionnaire, which is aimed at identifying any potential Conflict of Interest that might exist. Any such potential Conflict of Interest disclosed will be assessed and appropriate action taken where necessary.
  5. REMUNERATION
    1. No employee is remunerated solely on the basis of the volume of business produced, although this may be one of the factors taken into consideration when salaries are reviewed annually. Leppard Underwriting has procedures in place to ensure that business is not written for volume rather than quality.
    2. Leppard Underwriting’s remuneration is variable but is dependent on two key elements:
      (a) a management fee as a direct reimbursement of costs aligned to and commensurate with the cost of its daily activity; and
      (b) a participation in the profitability of the insurance business underwritten determined after accounting for intermediary and broker commissions, Lombard management and solvency fee, Leppard Underwriting management fee, reinsurance and claims.
    3. Leppard Underwriting does not receive any remuneration from any Financial Service Providers..
    4. Leppard Underwriting receives more than 30% of its remuneration from Lombard.
  6. LEADERSHIP
    Leppard Underwriting’s Board of Directors oversees the business of Leppard including the compliance with all applicable legislation, and this policy. All employees play a key role in the application of this policy and are expected to demonstrate their personal commitment to this policy and ensure their compliance with it.
  7. THE POLICY APPLIES TO
    All directors, employees and consultants of Leppard Underwriting are required to comply with this policy. The policy applies across the whole spectrum of Leppard Underwriting’s business.
  8. DEFINITION OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST
    A Conflict of Interest, in general terms, arises in any situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity. In a financial services context, Conflict of Interest means any situation in which a Financial Services Provider (“a FSP”) or Representative, has an actual or potential interest that may influence their rendering of a financial service to a client or their deriving a personal benefit in such a situation.
    The guiding principles of this policy are that Leppard Underwriting and its employees must, when rendering intermediary services, act honestly, fairly, with due care, skill and diligence. There must, at all times, be a due regard to the interest of the clients and the integrity of Leppard Underwriting as well as that of the financial service industry as a whole.
  9. WHAT IS FINANCIAL INTEREST
    A financial interest can take any of the following forms - cash payment, cash equivalent, voucher, gift, service, advantage, benefit, discount, domestic or foreign travel, hospitality, accommodation, sponsorship, other incentive or valuable considerations. This list is not exhaustive.
    The purpose of business gifts and entertainment in commercial settings is to create goodwill and nurture sound working relationships, rather than to gain any unfair advantage with customers and or a provider’s clients. Reasonable business entertainment and customer gifts of immaterial financial interest are permitted, including promotional events, provided that the offer is consistent with usual business practice and cannot be viewed as bribe or a payoff and certainly cannot be in violation of this policy.
  10. CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THIS POLICY
    Leppard Underwriting’s employees are obliged to report every suspected or actual transgression of this policy to one of the Directors and all employees should avoid any situation that may create or appear to create a situation which could be determined to be a Conflict of Interest. Once there is a Conflict of Interest, employees may find it difficult to perform their duties and/or carry on with their work responsibilities impartially.
    A violation of this policy is a serious matter that could cause harm to Leppard Underwriting and also could result in disadvantaging certain of Leppard Underwriting’s clients.
    Any employee, who fails to comply with this policy, will be subjected to the appropriate disciplinary proceedings in terms of Leppard Underwriting’s Disciplinary Code which could result in the termination of their employment with Leppard Underwriting.
  11. AMENDMENTS TO THIS POLICY
    Leppard Underwriting reserves the right to determine how this policy applies to any particular situation and to amend or modify this policy as it, in its discretion deems appropriate.
    This Leppard Underwriting can do without giving prior notice to or having been in consultation or reaching agreement with any provider. All amendments that Leppard Underwriting may make to this policy shall be communicated to employees.
  12. MEASURES AIMED AT IDENTIFYING CONFLICT OF INTEREST
    It is the responsibility of all employees to maintain the good name and standing of Leppard Underwriting by conducting themselves professionally and in accordance with all rules, regulations and legislation which govern Leppard Underwriting.
    Compliance with all rules, regulations and legislation is the individual responsibility of each employee. Each employee must accept personal responsibility for behaving correctly and in accordance with this policy. Likewise, each employee is obliged to stop or prevent any actions that are contrary to the content of this policy and which could cause any harm to Leppard Underwriting as a result.
    Set out below are various ways in which Conflicts of Interest may be identified:
    • use of the Leppard Underwriting disclosure of interest register will provide information on Conflicts of Interest;
    • annual monitoring of Conflict of Interest disclosure register – Leppard Underwriting conducts an annual Conflicts of Interest review together with its Compliance Officer, who is an independent service provider and reports to the FSB accordingly;
    • regular monitoring of commissions and fees that are paid /received – Leppard Underwriting does not pay any commission to any Financial Service Provider. Such commission is paid by the Product Provider. Leppard Underwriting is connected to this transaction in terms of its authorities. Leppard Underwriting does from time to time entertain Financial Service Providers. The value of such entertainment is restricted to not more than R1000.00 per calendar year in respect of any Representative of any Financial Service Provider. This is managed by way of Leppard Underwriting maintaining a schedule of Representatives reflecting the value spent during the calendar year, such expenditure requiring the prior approval of a Director. No Representative of any Financial Service Provider may receive from Leppard Underwriting any incentive, reward or similar other than as stipulated above. Leppard Underwriting does not provide any preferred status to any Financial Service Provider in relation to any particular product or volume of business produced;
    • monitoring of gifts/interest offered or received by Leppard Underwriting on a continual basis.
      The above is not an exhaustive list of how to identify the existence of a Conflict of Interest.
  13. PROCESS, PROCEDURES AND INTERNAL CONTROLS AIMED AT FACILITATING COMPLIANCE
    Training of all employees on the Conflict of Interest Management Policy will be provided. The relevant legislative provisions will be highlighted during training to highlight the awareness and the importance of compliance with this policy.
    If any employee at is in any doubt as to whether a particular conduct amounts to a Conflict of Interest or not, that employee must contact their immediate supervisor and/or one of the Directors for clarity and guidance.
  14. MEASURES AIMED AT MITIGATING CONFLICT OF INTEREST
    Employees should avoid engaging in activities which will result in a Conflict of Interest. One must not use improper means to, for example, obtain business from a particular representative/broker.
    If employees realise that there is a potential or actual Conflict of Interest, the employee must, timeously and fully disclose any such potential or actual existence of a conflict to Leppard Underwriting by reporting same to their immediate superior and/or one of the Directors.
    Employees who are faced by what is clearly a Conflict of Interest situation, must desist from continuing with any participation in such situation or activities. Should any employee not be certain about an intended transaction of theirs being a possible transgression of this policy, the employee must approach one of the Directors who will evaluate the intended transaction and give guidance.
    Depending on the severity of non- compliance on the part of employees the following actions can be taken:
    • Written warning,
    • Training can be recommended,
    • Coaching,
    • Dismissal.
  15. PUBLICATION AND REPORTING
    This policy is available on Leppard Underwriting’s website. Leppard Underwriting’s annual FAIS Compliance Management report will include a report on accessibility, implementation, monitoring and compliance of this policy.
  16. MANAGEMENT OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST
    This policy forms part of the risk management framework of Leppard Underwriting. All queries regarding this policy can be directed to one of the Directors.

This policy was approved by the Directors on 14 July 2016.

 

TREATING CUSTOMERS FAIRLY: POLICY STATEMENT

 

There are SIX KEY "TCF" OUTCOMES in terms of the Regulator's Roadmap.
This document sets out our commitment to Treating Customers Fairly.
Our Customer is both the insurance Policyholder and the insurance Broker. We understand the symbiotic relationship between the Policyholder and the Broker.
However anyone dealing with us is entitled to hold us to account and challenge us to perform as we have detailed in the pages that follow.
This is a living document and may alter from time to time. Any alteration will only be made where the result is an improvement and enhancement to Treating Customers Fairly.
This commitment is endorsed by the signature of each director below.


OUTCOME 1 : CULTURE

Our statement:

We are committed to Treating Customers Fairly. Our ethos and general business practice is to maintain a high ethical standard and a belief in mutual respect.

Fulfillment:

Leadership:
We regard Treating Customers Fairly as a reflection of our ethos and brand. It is a natural part of our culture and we consider Treating Customers Fairly as a foundation for Customer loyalty and sustainable business practice.This document has been adopted by all Shareholders and the Board of Directors.Each director, business management leader and member of staff is aware of and has received training relating to the applicable legislation.We have developed a "Leppard Story" which defines our purpose and ambition. The Leppard Story explicitly sets out our commitment to Treating Customers Fairly.

 

Strategy:
In all our business planning and development the Customer is at the centre of our considerations.This is reflected in our "Leppard Story" and is evidenced by our purpose by-line "Protecting Your Reputation".

 

Decisions:
It is expected that all activity is mindful of Treating Customers Fairly.During the course of any day many decisions are made. The following shows how we achieve a fair outcome for Customers.

Risk assessment, selection and pricing;

  • Rating models have been developed that produce pricing based on predetermined and consistent risk profile inputs, business size and indemnity limits required.
  • Variations to the pricing rating models are determined based on claims profiles, Broker input relating to business and risk management practices and Customer loyalty.
  • Quarterly review and ad hoc discussions relating to underwriting standards and risk exposures.
  • Year on year renewal processes that compares prior year pricing to current rating metrics with adjustments made as appropriate.

Claims management, acceptance and rejection;

  • An approach that requires support of any Policyholder and working with the Broker to ensure policy fulfilment.

This is also reflected in our strategic purpose to Protect the Reputation of the Customer.Evidence of this approach is specifically embedded, by example, in our Professional Indemnity Insurance product. In the product wording we define the amount the Policyholder is responsible for in respect of each claim. However this amount only applies if the Policyholder is liable for the loss. This amount does not apply where the Policyholder is not liable.What this means is that we will support the Policyholder as required and Protect the Reputation of the Policyholder at no cost to the Policyholder though commercial considerations do receive attention. We believe this is unique in our market.

  • Prompt acknowledgement and response with clear explanation.
  • Internal legal expertise supported by external legal, forensic and investigative expertise.
  • Claim rejections are strictly supported by legal input, director level decision making and a full explanation is provided to the Customer.

Administration and Finance;

  • Proven systems are in place and these support accurate information. This includes policy and claims records, debtor and creditor controls.

We respond to Customer queries in a timely manner.

 

Controls:
We recognise that we need to monitor and ensure that the Customer is being treated fairly and this is achieved by;

  • Maintaining and having Customer information readily available. This information is updated at least once a year. Access through our systems is unrestricted to authorised personnel and any director has the capacity to intervene and monitor this information at any time.
  • Ensuring that management meetings require Treating Customers Fairly to be a specific agenda item. Management meetings occur bi-monthly. This effort is enhanced through specific quarterly meetings which are intended to co-ordinate effort, compile feedback and review any concerns relating to or opportunities to improve Treating Customers Fairly. These meetings are managed by a director.
  • By comparing policy renewal information and pricing to prior year metrics thus monitoring and ensuring consistency. Referral to management is required where inconsistencies are identified.
  • Claims values and large claim reports are reviewed bi-monthly. On an attest basis claims are reviewed to ensure consistency of approach and fairness.
 

Performance:
We understand that skilled, capable personnel with an alignment to positive behaviour and understanding of Customer needs are key metrics to delivering fair outcomes and a sustainable business proposition.
We achieve this through;

  • Individual performance review. This occurs by way of three specific meetings during each financial period between management and individual personnel. These reviews are by nature orientated to the individual but Treating Customers Fairly is always considered.
  • Monthly companywide discussion and review of our "Leppard Story". This reaffirms our values and what it means to Treat Customers Fairly.
  • Through monthly training sessions where both specific and technical topics are raised. These sessions are also where legislative, market or business changes are highlighted and discussed.
  • Business technology and system training as required.
  • Recruitment practices that require a minimum of two directors involved and an interview process that is directed by pre-set questions including views around Customer service.
  • New employees are inducted via a tailored introduction which defines our ambitions and commitments to Treating Customers Fairly.
  • Awareness and impact of applicable legislation in particular FAIS (fit and proper), TCF (fairness), FICA (money laundering), Short Term Insurance Act (governance) and POPI (information security). This is achieved through the promotion of reading and general discussion.
  • Individual review of understanding of fair practice and in the event of either positive or negative external feedback, reinforcement of good behaviour or reorientation, through learning, in the event of unacceptable behaviour. This is generally shared where possible.
 

Reward:
Leppard Underwriting is strategically positioned as a specialist underwriting business contracted by Lombard Insurance. Leppard Underwriting is exclusively a product supplier in the specialist liability insurance market. Leppard Underwriting is precluded from providing advice to the Policyholder.
To support this position, to avoid conflict of interest and as evidence of fairness;

  • Leppard Underwriting has a written Conflict of Interest policy.
  • Leppard Underwriting's remuneration and profits are directly related to the underwriting profit of the "book of business". This business is gained exclusively through the Broker market channel.
    Leppard Underwriting does not receive any commission related to the selling of or advice to the policyholder. To do otherwise would create a behaviour of bias to our product and would be a conflict and not in the interests of the policy holder.
  • We pay Brokers a commission as prescribed by legislation. We may agree to pay Brokers an additional amount for work we would otherwise have to perform ourselves. This additional remuneration would link strictly to the cost of delivery and a reasonable return.
  • We subscribe to the legislative conflict of interest values as prescribed in terms of any entertainment or similar expenses in building relationships with insurance brokers. This is embedded in our Conflict of Interest policy and is monitored monthly.
  • Internally we do not pay any bonuses or staff remuneration based on volume of business or any other remuneration that may influence undesirable behaviour or effort contrary to Treating Customers Fairly or creates Conflict of Interest.
  • Our employee remuneration policy is restricted to an annual package and in the event of a positive business financial return there may be an additional bonus in July each year. This bonus is linked to personal performance, individual metrics and includes any external feedback on both positive and negative behaviour.


OUTCOME 2 : PRODUCTS and SERVICES

Our Statement: All our products and services are intended to meet Customer needs.
Fulfilment:

We are precluded from providing advice to Policyholders. We therefore do not engage in any practice that may persuade any Policyholder to enter into a policy contract. However we are concerned that any policy we issue does in fact respond to the Policyholder's needs.
We achieve this by;

  • Continuously reviewing our products through claim experience, Policyholder and Broker feedback, market practice, legislation and risk exposures as they vary and develop.
  • Any Broker will be supported with direct explanation as to the meaning of our policy wordings and how it may respond in certain instances.
  • Our policy wordings are written in plain language and are easy to understand.
  • Responding to Broker communication as to cover requirements.


OUTCOME 3 : INFORMATION

Our Statement:

When contracting with us we will communicate clearly and keep you appropriately informed before, during and after the time of contracting.

Fulfilment:

Although we rely on brokers to provide relevant information to any policy holder we contribute to the delivery of fairness by;

  • Providing renewal reminders to brokers six weeks before renewal dates and following up with further reminders all geared to the policy renewal date.
  • Confirming the consequence of not renewing or maintaining insurance coverage in the event a policy lapses due to non-renewal or in the event of cancellation.
  • Issuing policies in plain language with clear definitions in bold lettering for key terms used.
  • Highlighting the need to provide all material information relating to the description of an insured's business and activity, claims history and other key risk assessment information.
  • Clearly setting out policy premium terms and when payment is due and what happens in the event of non-payment of premium.
  • Confirming how and when to report claims.
  • Setting out in our disclosure notice all the information necessary for any Policyholder to identify who we are, who we are associated with and how and what we earn.


OUTCOME 4 : ADVICE

Our statement:

Although we do not provide advisory services, we recognise our product requires advisory support. We will contribute to this advisory support and where possible ensure that it is suitable and takes account of Policyholder circumstances.

Fulfilment:

Our strategic position is as a product supplier but we assist in the advisory process and fairness by;

  • Registering and entering into agreements with Brokers. These agreements clearly set out responsibilities and obligations on the part of Brokers and define their advisory duties. The same agreement sets out our duties and obligations.
  • Conducting an assessment as to the capabilities of the Broker in relation to our specific products.
    This assessment acknowledges that the Policyholder has chosen the Broker and has performed his own due diligence.
    This assessment also relies on the regulatory framework in place that requires Brokers to register and be approved practitioners.
    Our input relates to our knowledge of the broker and where relevant we will support the Broker with training and direct input in relation to risk profiles submitted to us.
  • Only dealing with authorised representatives. This is managed through our registration process when the representatives of the Brokers are nominated by the Broker.
  • Intentionally intervening in the event we witness the Broker has misunderstood or where the Broker requires assistance in defining risk exposures and potential insurance solutions.


OUTCOME 5: SERVICE DELIVERY PERFORMANCE

Our Statement:

Our products will fulfil Customer expectations and will be supported through the provision of quality support services. Where expectations and fulfilment are at odds we will clearly communicate the reasons.

Fulfilment:

As we are precluded from dealing with the public or any Policyholder directly, we are reliant on and work with Brokers to deliver policy fulfilment and service.
We fulfil our obligations by;

  • Entering into agreements with Brokers that confirm our obligations and commitments.
  • We have established clear business processes to ensure service delivery. These are mapped in graphical form.
  • We have agreed internal target metrics to deliver;
  • Policy quotations in a timely manner. These include proposed policy wordings, clarity on special conditions and requirements, payment options and terms and regulatory information.
  • Response times to claims reported from acknowledgement to initial decisions regarding claims management and subsequent follow through.
  • Monitoring any feedback from Brokers. This feedback is dealt with as and when given and any service method change is implemented where and if required.
  • Ensuring we have the capacity to continue to deliver service in the event of disaster. This is evidenced and delivered by way of a written Risk Management review which occurs quarterly and in addition a written clear disaster management plan which is integrated into our risk mitigation activity.
  • When we appoint external specialists to assist us, service is monitored on a case by case basis. In every appointment we continue to take ownership and responsibility for service delivery.


OUTCOME 6:CLAIMS, COMPLAINTS and CANCELLATION

Our statement:

We will ensure that there are no unreasonable or unnecessary constraints when any Policyholder wishes to;

  • register claims with us,
  • complain to or about us or
  • alter or cancel their contract with us.
Fulfilment:

Our evidence in delivering on this outcome follows;

Claims

  • The process to register a claim is embedded in our policy documentation.
  • As we work in the arena of liability insurance, claims can be complex and take time to manage. This is managed by working with the Policyholder and with the Broker of record.
  • We do not outsource ownership and responsibility to manage claims.
  • No claim is rejected without internal and external legal input and decision making at director level.

Complaints

  • We view complaints as a learning experience and consequently welcome this form of feedback as an opportunity to improve Customer service and in particular to enhance Treating Customers Fairly.
  • We have a complaints process that details how we deal with complaints and who will deal with complaints. Any complaint is dealt with at director level.
  • We do not prescribe how these complaints may be made. Anyone who has a complaint is at liberty to complain in any way they wish. In addition to our normal contact information we also have a dedicated e-mail address: complaints@leppard.co.za.
  • We maintain a register of complaints. We share this register internally and use the lessons learnt for improvement. This is done during our monthly companywide meetings.
  • We set out in our Disclosure Notice all the necessary details relating to reporting complaints and to contact our Regulator.

Contract changes

  • Our policy contracts may be cancelled on notice of 20 business days' notice. This notice period has been chosen as it is aligned to the Consumer Protection Act.
  • We are contractually barred from cancelling a policy contract except in the instances of non-payment of premium and an attempt or actual fraud against us on the part of the policy holder.
  • The ramification of a cancellation is specifically communicated to the policy holder, via the broker, to ensure that the consequences are clearly understood.
  • Any request to alter the policy in any way is received from the broker on behalf of the policy holder. We will not unreasonably reject any request for a change but should we do so this will be accompanied by a clear and detailed explanation.