Pillar 3 Disclosures and Remuneration Code
TORCH PARTNERS CORPORATE FINANCE LIMITED
Registration No: 06440879
FCA Registration No: 195597
The European Union Capital Requirements Directive ('the Directive') created a revised regulatory capital framework for investment services firms. In the United Kingdom, the Directive has been implemented by our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority ('FCA') through the provisions in the FCA General Prudential Sourcebook ('GENPRU') and the FCA Prudential Sourcebook for Investment Firms ('IFPRU').
The FCA capital framework consists of three 'Pillars':
Pillar 1: sets out the minimum capital requirement for firms.
Pillar 2: requires firms, and the FCA, to take a view on whether we need to hold additional capital against firm-specific risks not covered by Pillar 1.
Pillar 3: requires firms to develop a set of disclosures which will allow market participants to assess key information about our underlying risks, risk management controls and capital position
The FCA rules require for Pillar 3 disclosure to be made in a formal disclosure document. This document meets the obligation of the Company with respect to the Pillar 3 requirement. The rules provide that the Company may omit one or more of the required disclosures if it is believed that the information is immaterial. Materiality is based on the criterion that the omission or misstatement of any information would be likely to change or influence the decision of a reader relying on that information.
Where the directors of the Company (together ‘the Board’) have considered a disclosure to be immaterial, we have stated this in the document. In addition, we may also omit one or more of the required disclosures where we believe that the information is regarded as proprietary or confidential. In the view of the Board, proprietary information is that which, if it were shared, would undermine the Company’s competitive position. Information is considered to be confidential where there are obligations binding the Company to confidentiality with its customers, suppliers and counter parties.
The Company has made no omissions on the grounds that it is immaterial, proprietary or confidential.
Risk management policies
The Company is authorised and regulated by the FCA and has permission to provide arranging and investment advisory services on behalf of professional clients and eligible counterparties.
The Board determines the Company's business strategy and risk appetite along with designing and implementing a risk management framework that recognises the risks that the business faces, both presently and in the future. They also determine how those risks may be mitigated and assess on an on-going basis the arrangements to manage those risks
The Board considers the current projections for profitability and regulatory capital management, business planning and risk management on a regular basis. This includes managing the Company's risks though a framework of policy and procedures having regard to relevant laws, standards, principles and rules (including FCA Principles for Business and the FCA rules) with the aim of operating a defined and transparent risk management framework. These policies and procedures are updated as required. The Company has an operational infrastructure appropriate to its size.
The Company's principal financial instruments comprise bank balances, trade creditors and trade debtors. The main purpose of these instruments is to fund the Company's operations. The Company's approach to managing risks applicable to the financial instruments concerned is shown below.
Interest rate risk
The Company's financial assets are not materially exposed to interest rate risk.
Market risk is the risk of any impact upon the Company’s financial condition due to fluctuations in values of, or income from, assets or in interest or exchange rates. The Company does not take positions which materially expose it to market risk.
Credit risk is defined as the risk of loss caused by the failure of a counterparty to perform its contractual obligations. As an advisory firm the Board consider that the key financial risk exposures faced by the Company relate to risk of non-payment of fees and the need to maintain sufficient liquidity to satisfy regulatory capital requirements and working capital needs. The Board therefore attempt to minimise the risk through having clearly defined terms of business with counterparties and stringent credit control over transactions with them.
Liquidity risk is defined as the risk that the Company, although solvent, either does not have sufficient available resources to enable it to meet its obligations as they fall due, or can secure them only at excessive cost.
In respect of bank balances, the Company makes use of money market facilities where funds are available and trade creditors' liquidity risk is managed by ensuring sufficient funds are available to meet amounts due. The
Board regularly monitor cash flow and management accounts to ensure regulatory capital requirements are not breached and that the Company maintains adequate working capital.
Foreign currency risk
The Company's potential risk arises on its exposures, from time to time, to US Dollars and Euros. The Company's income can, in part, be generated in both currencies. The Board is responsible for managing the Company's risk to foreign currency by monitoring the exposure on all foreign currency denominated assets and liabilities. The Board take a prudent approach by holding a healthy level of liquid resources to mitigate any significant fluctuations in the applicable exchange rates.
Operational risk, inherent in all businesses, is the potential for financial and reputation loss arising from failures in internal controls, operational processes or systems that support them. It includes errors, omissions, disasters and deliberate acts such as fraud. The regulated environment in which the Company operates imposes extensive reporting requirements and continuing self-assessment and appraisal. Internal arrangements and processes are in place to continually re-evaluate as the Company seeks to improve its operating efficiencies and these are considered to have been effective to date.
Dependence on key technical personnel
The Company's success is driven by its key technical staff in providing services to its target market. Therefore the Board consider a key risk to be the loss of its key staff and the retention of these individuals is a key objective of the Company through having competitive remuneration policies.
The Company is authorised and regulated by the FCA and is subject to specific regulatory capital requirements. The Company is not a member of a group for regulatory purposes and so is not subject to consolidated supervision and has no specific regulatory requirements.
Securitisation risk is the risk that the capital resources held by a firm in respect of assets which it has securitised are inadequate having regard to the economic substance of the transaction, including the degree of risk transfer achieved. This is not applicable to the Company, which does not securitise assets currently.
Pension obligation risk
Pension obligation risk is defined as the risk to a Company caused by its contractual or other liabilities to or with respect to a pension scheme (whether established for its employees or those of a related company or otherwise).
The Company does not run a defined benefit pension scheme and is not therefore currently exposed to pension obligation risk.
Pillar 1 requirement
The Company is classified for regulatory and capital purposes as an IFPRU €50,000 limited licence firm and as such its capital requirement is the greater of:
(i) a base capital requirement of Euro 50,000;
(ii) the sum of market and credit risk requirements; and
(iii) the Fixed Overhead Requirement (‘FOR’).
The Company's Pillar I capital currently comprises ordinary share capital and retained profits. The Company's Pillar 1 requirement is determined by its FOR as the market and credit risk are considered relatively small in comparison (standing at £187,930 at 31 December 2015).
The FOR requirement is currently £1,166,830 against which, at 31 December 2015, the Company held total capital resources of £2,396,686 (at 31 December 2014: £1,866,511).
The Company's capital falls into Tier 1 capital as defined by GENPRU. It does not currently have any capital falling into any other Tier categories and there are no plans to issue financial instruments falling within these Tiers in the foreseeable future. The Company is capitalised at a level in excess of the minimum required regulatory level and the Board monitor management accounts and cash liquidity statements on a frequent basis to ensure that an adequate buffer of capital is maintained at all times.
Pillar 2 requirement
The Company undertakes an annual Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP). The ICAAP is a substantial report on the Company's business and risk environment. The ICAAP considers risk appetite, risk types, risk mitigants, a three year scenario analysis and stress testing of those scenarios.
Given the nature of the Company's activities, the Company's capital requirement normally consists of the FOR, although market and credit risks are reviewed periodically in line with regulatory filing requirements.
The Company applies a standardised approach to credit and market risk, but as the risk is relatively small, it is the Board’s opinion that no additional capital is required in excess of its Pillar 1 capital requirement.
The ICAAP process also considers the impact on the Company in a theoretical ‘winding down’ scenario and whether additional capital is required, above and beyond the FOR, to mitigate the risk that the Company does not have sufficient resources to wind up the business in an orderly manner. Having assessed this unlikely scenario, the Board have determined that the capital required does not exceed the Company’s FOR.
The Company expects to maintain its capital position in excess of its FOR, for the foreseeable future.
The FCA, through CRDIV requires firms to disclose information on their remuneration policies and pay outs on an annual basis under the Pillar 3 disclosures. The Board is of the opinion that the Company follows remuneration policies and procedures that are consistent with the requirement of the Remuneration Code (‘Code’) and which do not promote or encourage undue risk taking.
The rules of the Code are contained in the FCA's Remuneration Code located in the SYSC Sourcebook of the FCA's Handbook. The Code covers an individual's total remuneration, fixed and variable. The Company incentivises staff through a combination of the two. The Company's policy is designed to ensure that it complies with the Code and that its compensation arrangements:
- are consistent with and promote sound and effective risk management;
- do not encourage excessive risk taking;
- include measures to avoid conflicts of interest; and
- are in line with the Company's business strategy, objectives, values and long-term interests.
The Company does not have a formal remuneration committee as it is not required to establish one under the proportionality principles of the Code.
Enshrined in the European remuneration provisions is the principle of proportionality. The FCA has sought to apply proportionality in the first instance by categorising firms into 3 levels. The Company falls within FCA proportionality Level 3 and as such this disclosure is made in line with the requirements for a Level 3 Firm.
Application of the requirements
For the year ended 31 December 2015, gross salaries totalled £2,519,131 (2014: £3,154,316).
Both Company directors and senior management are considered to be Code Staff as defined by the FCA. The total gross compensation paid to Code Staff during the financial year ended 31 December 2015 was as follows;
- £396,400 paid to directors, which includes a variable discretionary element of 11.6%.
- £865,253 paid to senior management, which includes a variable discretionary element of 12.8%.
Remuneration policy is controlled by the Board and is designed to attract, retain, and motivate the employees needed to run the business of the Company in a way which is consistent with the risk. Remuneration is considered to be in line with the market rates of pay and there is not a bonus culture which may encourage individuals to take higher risks due to strong links between pay and performance. Any bonuses awarded are considered to be prudent and do not in any way limit the Company's ability to strengthen its capital base.