Client Categorization Policy
AGEA is required to categorize its clients into one of the following three categories: retail, professional or eligible counterparty based on Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) Client categorization's requirements.
Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) recognizes that investors have different levels of knowledge, skill and expertise and that regulatory requirements should reflect this and adopts two main categories of client: retail and professional. There is a separate and distinct third category for a limited range of business: eligible counterparty (ECP).
|1.||Retail Clients are afforded the most regulatory protection;|
|2.||Professional Clients are considered to be more experienced, knowledgeable and sophisticated and able to assess their own risk and are afforded fewer regulatory protections;|
|3.||Eligible Counterparties (ECP) are investment firms, credit institutions, insurance companies, UCITS and their management companies, other regulated financial institutions and in certain cases, other undertakings.|
Professional Clients: are considered to possess the experience, knowledge and expertise to make their own investment decisions and assess the risks inherent in their decisions. MiFID recognizes certain persons as having these qualifications and automatically classifies them as professional clients:
|1.||Entities which are required to be authorized or regulated to operate in the financial markets. The list below should be understood as including all authorized entities carrying out the characteristic activities of the entities mentioned: entities authorized by a Member State under the above Directive, entities authorized or regulated by a Member State without reference to the above Directive and entities authorized or regulated by a non-Member State:|
|Other authorized or regulated financial institutions;|
|Collective investment schemes and management companies of such schemes;|
|Pension funds and management companies of such funds;|
|Commodity and commodity derivatives dealers;|
|Other institutional investors.|
|2.||Large undertakings meeting two of the following size requirements on a company basis|
|balance sheet total of EUR 20 million;|
|net turnover of EUR 40 million;|
|own funds of EUR 2 million.|
|3.||National and regional governments, public bodies that manage public debt, central banks and international and supranational institutions;|
|4.||Other institutional investors whose main activity is to invest in financial instruments, including entities dedicated to the securitization of assets or other financing transactions.|
Eligible Counterparties (ECP): are considered to be the most sophisticated investor or capital market participant. The list of entities automatically recognized as ECPs is composed by:
|UCITS and their management companies;|
|pension funds and their management companies;|
|other financial institutions authorized and regulated under Community legislation or the national law of a Member State;|
|national governments and their corresponding offices, including public bodies that deal with public debt;|
|central banks and supranational institutions.|
Moving Between Categories
MiFID provides considerable flexibility to move between categories provided if certain criteria are met. Professional clients and retail clients can move between categories either generally, or in relation to one or more particular services or transactions, or to one or more types of product or transaction.
When a client requests a different categorization, an investment firm has the choice whether to provide services on that basis. If the firm does not agree, the client will need to source services with the desired level of protection elsewhere.
For example, retail clients can request treatment as professional clients and an investment firm must take reasonable care to ensure that a retail client requesting treatment as an "elective" professional client is able to meet the qualitative criteria and, as part of these criteria, a separate quantitative test.
The qualitative assessment requires the firm to undertake "an adequate assessment" of the expertise, experience and knowledge of the client to give "reasonable assurance, in the light of the nature of transactions or services envisaged, that the client is capable of making his own investment decisions and understanding the risks involved".
In assessing the client's expertise, experience and knowledge, the client must satisfy at least two of the following quantitative criteria:
|the client has carried out transactions, in significant size, on the relevant market at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the previous four quarters;|
|the size of the client's financial instrument portfolio, defined as including cash deposits and financial instruments, exceeds EUR 500,000;|
|the client works or has worked in the financial sector for at least one year in a professional position which requires knowledge of the transactions or services envisaged.|
A client must state in writing that it wishes to be treated as a professional client. The investment firm must give a clear written warning of the protection and investor compensation rights the client will lose.
Also per se professional clients can request to be treated as retail clients for one or more particular services or transactions if they are unable to manage the risk involved.
|If a retail client requests to be categorized as a professional client, he will be afforded a lower level of protection;|
|If a professional client requests to be categorized as a retail client, he is seeking a higher level of protection;|
|If an ECP requests to be categorized as a professional client, he is seeking a higher level of protection.|
The investment firm has the right to decline any of the above requests.