ACEPI's Decalogue is a set of rules and commitments that the Issuers who are associated to it (“ACEPI's Partners”) have decided to share and respect.
Rules and commitments concern aspects related to the structuring and issuance of certificates, as well as aspects related to the offering of these instruments.
The objective pursued by ACEPI in writing the Decalogue and by its Partners in committing to respect it is to provide investors and financial intermediaries with an higher degree of transparency and information, also in order to promote market efficiency.
Rule #1 – The documentation accompayning each issuance will be transparent, complete and clear.
Documentation provided by the issuers is the primary source of information available for the investor. The issuers commit to produce clear, complete and transparent documentation, with the aim to make potential investors fully aware of the risks the investment may involve, also giving the chance to proceed to investment decisions with the support of all necessary information.
Rule #2 - Information concerning the issuers will be promptly made available.
By issuing a certificate, Issuers commit themselves to future monetary transactions with the buyers of such certificates. Thus, it is critical for the investors to acquire sufficient information about the issuers of the products. Issuers will make available to the investors all relevant information concerning their rating and financial conditions through the most appropriate channels, so as to reach the highest number of stakeholders.
Rule #3 – The functioning of the product will be clearly explained.
Each certificate is characterized by a specific risk-and-return profile, with its peculiar degree of complexity.
Rule #4 – The information concerning underlying assets will be freely available and transparent.
Certificates’ performances are linked to their underlying assets’, which may be stocks, indexes or commodities. Information about some of these assets may be difficult to track for the investors: thus, Issuers will provide (through physical documentation or on their websites) detailed information about the nature of the products and the relevant markets they are traded on, as well as a clear description of the way the value of the certificate is computed. Issuers will also promptly share with the investors their knowledge about events which may affect the composition of the underlying assets or the selection criteria.
Rule #5 – Issuers will provide information about the performance of product after purchase.
Issuers are aware of the investors’ need to monitor in a quick and easy fashion the performance of the purchased products, and commit to satisfy such need through resources available on their websites. Issuers will made available on their websites the certificates’ prices, performance-tracking graphs, and freephone numbers or e-mail address to answer promptly to the investors’ concerns and questions.
Rule #6 – Issuers will provide details regarding the way the price is computed after the issue of the certificate.
Some certificates’ structures can be quite complex, and such complexity may cause difficulties in the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying the determination of the products’ prices after the issue. Issuers will describe the structure of the certificate in the relevant documents, also providing quantitative examples of the possible evolution of the value of the product when market factors change.
Rule #7 – Cost-related information will be easily retreivable.
Since investors typically take their purchasing decisions through an analysis of risk-and-return profiles and costs, issuers will provide a clear prospectus of all costs the investor will bear by purchasing a certificate, including both those implicit in the purchase price and those which may potentially arise throughout the life of the certificate.
Rule #8 – Issuers grant the existence of a secondary market.
The certificates holders’ investment horizon may be shorter than the products’ maturity: this way, investors will want to sell their certificates before maturity. Issuers commit to take action to keep their products liquid enough, also providing through their websites (or external channels, e.g. Reuters or Bloomberg) information about the current prices at which they are willing to buy their products back.
Rule #9- Conflicts of interest
ACEPI’s Partners commit to the highest standards of transparency and fairness in the individuation and management of possible conflicts of interest.
Rule #10 – All ACEPI's partners commits to respect this Decalogue.
ACEPI’s Partners commit to respect all the rules presented in this Decalogue and accept to be subject to periodical monitoring by the Association. This Decalogue is effective as from September 5, 2007 and will take effect for all issues posterior to such date.