13. Professional and ethical standards should be clearly defined and made known to the members of the SWF’s governing body(ies), management, and staff.
The Board of the Guardians has adopted a Board Charter (which includes a Board Code of Conduct), and the Guardians’ Human Resources Policy includes an Employee Code of Conduct. The Codes of Conduct set out the Guardians’ expectations for appropriate ethical and professional behaviour by Board members and staff on various matters including conflicts of interest, political participation, gifts and hospitality, and confidential information. The Guardians’ policy framework also includes policies on Procurement and Outsourcing, Communications and Travel & Sensitive Expenditure.
All staff members have job descriptions which set out a requirement for the individual to take responsibility for compliance with all Guardians’ policies and procedures. Staff are required to attest six-monthly to compliance with their delegations and responsibilities under the Guardians’ policies.
The Employee Code of Conduct includes a Securities Trading Procedure about which staff receive regular training and communications. Staff are required to make a quarterly personal trading declaration and to seek pre-approval for trades in listed and certain other securities.
A register of potential and actual conflicts of interests for board members and staff is maintained. Details of these conflicts are disclosed publicly as part of the Guardians’ annual Parliamentary Select Committee Review, available on our website. Registers of gifts and hospitality are also maintained and published on our website. Analyses of gifts and hospitality received over time are prepared for the Leadership team and staff are regularly reminded of their disclosure obligations.
All permanent staff are required to undertake psychometric testing as part of the Guardians’ recruitment process.
A structured induction process for new Board members and staff is in place, and staff regularly receive refresher training on topics such as fraud awareness, cyber-security, ethics and health and safety requirements.
Post-induction, the Guardians ensures that staff members maintain their professional competence through a structured programme under which each team member has an individual development plan which focuses on their ability to perform their duties in their current role and on maintaining and developing skill sets that are needed to ensure the Guardians is operating in line with global best practice. The Guardians also support continuing professional development for specific functions (as required, for example, by the CFA Institute, NZ Law Society and Chartered Accountants ANZ).
Individual development plans and associated training decisions are aligned with the Guardians’ strategic plan. This process is supported through development discussions at all levels of management with key information being shared with the Employee Policy and Remuneration Committee of the Board.
The percentage of operating expenditure that is spent on training is disclosed in the Annual Report.
Biographies including professional qualifications of Board members are detailed on our website in the Governance section. Biographies including professional qualifications of the Guardians’ Leadership Team, Investment Committee and Risk Committee are detailed on our website in the Management section.
Professional memberships of the Guardians and staff, which frequently involve member codes of conduct or similar membership requirements, are disclosed as part of the Guardians’ annual Select Committee Review, available on our website.
Data on staff members’ academic qualifications is disclosed annually in the Guardians’ Annual Reports.
Adequate legal protection is provided for Board members and staff acting in the good-faith conduct of their official duties through indemnification and insurance as well as statutory immunity from civil liability.
Copies of all Guardians’ policies are published on the Fund’s website at https://www.nzsuperfund.co.nz/publications/policies.