Alliance Fund Managers (AFM) is MSIF’s in-house fund management company which manages all MSIF’s funds on its behalf.
AFM endeavours at all times to deliver an excellent service and hopes that there is no cause for complaint or sense of dissatisfaction by any third party.
The FCA is responsible for monitoring adherence to these standards. AFM conforms to the FCA’s standards and has never been in breach of any procedures, adopting the FCA’s definition of complaint as “any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not”.
In the event that a complaint is brought against AFM by an investee company, the AFM Complaints Policy clearly sets out the principles on how all complaints are handled.
(i) AFM ensures that all complaints are handled consistently, courteously and in a timely manner;
(ii) AFM must satisfy or exceed the regulatory requirements for complaints
(iii) AFM must aim to improve customer service.
Complaints to AFM can be received from several different sources, verbally or in writing, and will be handled in accordance with the following procedures:-
(i) The recipient of the complaint provides the Investment Support Manager (ISM) with the details, either verbally or by a copy of the relevant correspondence.
(ii) The ISM enters the details on the Complaints Log and will be responsible for maintaining the log and advising the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
(iii) An acknowledgement letter is issued by the ISM to the complainant within 48 hours.
(iv) An investigation is undertaken following which a formal response is drafted by the recipient for clearance by the CEO. The response is logged by the ISM and filed with the original complaint. The Compliance Officer (CO) receives a copy of the complaint and the response.
(v) Depending on the nature of the complaint it may also be appropriate for the CO to engage directly in the process and/or AFM’s insurers.
(vi) The response should inform the complainant that if they are dissatisfied, they may ask for the complaint to be reviewed, within 28 days of the date of the initial response, in accordance with AFM’s escalation process. In the first instance this is the CEO, followed by the Chairman of AFM Board.
(vii) In the event that the complainant asks for a review by the CEO or subsequently the Chairman then a review of files and discussion with the relevant individuals will take place. The relevant person will draft a further response to be sent. The response will also be logged by the ISM and a copy passed to the CO.
(viii) Should a complaint be received from an MP, MEP or Partner it is dealt with as above, with a copy of the complaint forwarded to the AFM nominated Director who has a special liaison role with MPs MEPs and Partners.
(ix) If the complaint is against the CEO, the Chairman of the AFM Board will oversee the complaint.
All replies regarding investment business regulated by the FCA include a reference that it is open to the complainant to report the matter to the Investment Ombudsman should they remain dissatisfied with the outcome.