Our 'News and Notices'
This is our news page where we post announcements which are relevant to our company and to you our valued readers, clients and investors. Although the timeline began many years prior to the first entry on this page, we decided to omit any activities and events in the timeframes during and pre the Covid 19 period.
Many of the posts are current, however have a lifespan of 18 months to display a more current timeline, before they are archived, however will still be accessible on this page of our website via archived links.
We trust you find the content interesting and enlightening and welcome you back at all times.
The Integer Wealth Global team
03 November 2023 - #BANK# ?..#IBAN# ?..#SWIFT# ?..
After several challenges, many meetings and many regulatory compliance hurdles, we have met the requirements to create our first bank in Canada. The name will be confirmed shortly.
More information to follow shortly. Keep watching this space...
03 October 2023 - IWG moves to larger premises at Farnborough Airport
As another chapter closes, so another opens for Integer Wealth Global. The end of an era has arrived as we bid a fond farewell to our UK office at the Old Bond Store in Southampton, as Integer Wealth Global continues to scale and also expand into ever growing office spaces.
We are excited to announce that we have made our new home in the UK, at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire.
This coincides with the access to the Farnborough airport and our business jet, which is based there, with quick access to Europe, the middle east, the USA and beyond.
As we are steadily growing across the world, we will be adding ever more human resources to our family and as a convenient location, which makes this a sought after and prestigious address.
We look forward to our clients visiting us there as also our staff and management making the new address their best working environment.
While the office is being established, we will be hosted temporarily by the IW Group (no relation) however the new address will remain the same being:
Farnborough Business Park
See you there…
08 September 2023 - IWG successfully trademark registers its logo
After several months of suspense from the trademark authorities in the United Kingdom, we are pleased to announce that our logo which represents the coming together of several people, resources and skillsets into a favourable outcome of collective efforts, is now trademark registered.
Trade Mark No: UK00003897205
The trademark is also approved in the European Union, which trademark registration certificate will be immanently submitted to our office, whereafter this post will be amended to reflect that entry too. The trademark document is also added to the 'Due Diligence Disclosure' page.
21 August 2023 - IWG successfully acquires ScalingFunds GmbH
Following the successful launch of the now live ‘Accelero’ operating system platform built by ScalingFunds GmbH (SF), Germany, Integer Wealth Global (IWG) successfully acquired ScalingFunds GmbH 100% shareholding after several months of positive negotiation.
The company was purchased for the specific delivery of IWG’s technological pioneering and steady advancement into the financial, investment, banking and insurance industry sectors, providing new and innovative technologies for both the IWG internal group as also external industry sector clients.
IWG’s strategy is one of internal development for external deployment, and the SF acquisition provides direct benefit to all IWG clients, especially ‘FaaS’ (Fund as a Service) technology and benefit.
Thank you to all ScalingFunds executives, management and staff for making this possible. We look forward to having you in the IWG Group family. See ScalingFunds at https://www.scalingfunds.com
Below is newly appointed Managing Director to ScalingFunds Michael Palman (right side), at the transfer of shares process after signing the final sale agreement, congratulated by the outgoing CEO, founder and previous owner Jakob Drzazga (left side) in Berlin, Germany. (Jakob will remain in SF).
14 August 2023 - We did it.!!!!
After two years and five months, Integer Wealth Global is excited to announce that we have successfully launched the new 'Accelero Investment Platform'.
We are very proud of our development team at ScalingFunds GmbH, the German financial software company recently acquired by Integer Wealth Global, which team designed the Accelero platform for IWG, and which provides SaaS (Software as a Service) as also PaaS (Platform as a Service) technology to the Integer Wealth Global group of companies, as also the IWG group’s valued clients.
The benefits of both the release of the Accelero operating system and the acquisition of ScalingFunds by IWG have been so impactful, that the board of directors of IWG are revising several of the company’s core business models to adapt to and suit to third and fourth tier level tasks with the establishment and management of our clients investment funds, their fund management structures, continual regulatory compliance, as also our investor processes too, for IWG to accelerate all investments into the investment funds which IWG creates for its clients.
Being already busy with the next innovative process to come out of IWG, the new and extended ScalingFunds (German Registration HRB 194322 B) team based in Germany and Luxembourg are developing other new and exciting ‘Industry First’ components for IWG to release into the finance, investment and banking sectors soon.
Thank you to all who have participated in this programme, especially Michael, Matthew, Ralph, Imran, Jakob, Peter, Erich and the rest of so many who took part in the creation of this operating platform.
The team of ScalingFunds (now our family), IWG, Accelero and Critical Mass Technologies. What an awesome achievement, thank you all!.
(Marc Bandemer - Group Chairman)
28 July 2023 - Bank Lockout
We hereby notify that the recent delay in payments of our monthly sundry accounts for July 2023, was due to a software error originating from an operating system upgrade at the end of June 2023, which inadvertently prevented our accounts team access to our banking platform after the upgrade.
This occurred at the most crucial time of any month, at month-end, which in this case was the payment transfer cycle from end June through July 2023, and the knock-on effect of the banking lockout has been most prevalent in that our accounts department had to reset all access to our banking platform several times throughout July, and then re-enter and re-validate all our monthly beneficiaries and recipients.
It has taken us almost an entire month to rectify the error and successfully test the system again up to and including today, Friday 28 July 2023.
We sincerely apologise to all effected and thank you for your patience. It was however not of IWG’s doing or origination.
06 July 2023 - IWG Successfully Test the Accelero Platform Functionality
Integer Wealth Global’s Group Chairman Marc Bandemer has issued a pre-launch statement on this, our website under our new ‘Accelero’ page, which link is now accessible on the website's main menu, regarding the imminent launch of our highly anticipated 'Accelero' platform at the end of July 2023.
The Accelero platform, which is in essence a bespoke operating system two years in the making, facilitates both project clients requiring investment through alternative investment funds and investors alike, through the new ‘state of the art’ and ‘best in practice’ online system which generates investment funds and other financial instruments, and facilitates the consequent investments within their primary European jurisdictions with the approval of the regulators and legal frameworks, being of paramount importance to the credibility and acceptance of the Accelero platform within the financial and investment industry.
The platform delivers to Integer Wealth Global, the ability to produce a listed investment fund within 6 to 8 weeks from the time of successful client onboarding, which onboarding being one of the lengthiest time frames in the processing of client and investors information alike, and investment into such opportunities being possible within a single week or two, subject to investor compliance.
The platform increases the value of the Integer Wealth Global Group significantly and will be launched into full operation at the end of July. It is the first of several of such industry related 'first-to-market' platform projects.
19 June 2023 - IWG Partners with Anglo Swiss-European Investment Group
Chairman of the IWG Group 'Marc Bandemer' has secured a strategic agreement with an Anglo-Swiss investment firm which provides a channel of €6,35 billion for IWG investment opportunities. The agreement has been sent to the IWG legal department and will be active by beginning August 2023.
This brings the investment capacity of IWG to €8.6 billion.
19 April 2023 - IWG Partners with CRS Insurance UK
We are excited to have entered into another strategic partnership with CRS Insurance of Southampton in the UK. To provide specific capitalisation facilities to our project clients, IWG has developed several bespoke 'Side Letter' instruments which capitalise projects in advance of the client's investment fund becoming fully functional. These arrangements are based on purpose specific insurance policies which act as collateral to lender and debt based capitalisation of the client projects within their investment funds.
Through this partnership the relationship is extended to Lloyds, Zurich Re-Insurance and Allianz, a prestigious and advantageous achievement alike. We look forward to working with all clients and associated parties in this new opportunity.
(Terms and Conditions Apply)
07 April 2023 - The Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla
All of Integer Wealth Global staff and management congratulate our new sovereign King Charles III and Queen Camilla, on their accension to the British Throne. We wish you both many happy years of successful service to the British and Commonwealth public.
May you reign with wisdom, gentleness and Godliness.
With humble respect.
The Integer Wealth Global team
09 April 2023 - Easter Greetings
To all our valued clients, investors, staff, management and executives, we wish you a happy Easter, with peace and rest over this special season. † ♥♥
From all of us, at Integer Wealth Global.
14 March 2023 - The new IWG Investment Management Platform
We are excited to announce that after over 2 years in the making, that we are finalising the current migration of our multiple operational tasks onto our brand new digital cloud based platform.
As we use multiple and often manual in-depth processes to onboard and validate fund clients and investors alike, such processes can take significant time to complete accurately and successfully.
To establish an alternative investment fund takes approximately 4 to 7 months to register and list on a relevant stock exchange within the multiple European jurisdictions in which we operate, which in itself is very quick indeed compared to our competitors, as also the various other investment and financial vehicles and related services which we provide which also often take extended and variable amounts of time to complete.
Critical Mass Technology, (CMT) our ‘Information Technology’ division, has been designing and testing our new online cloud-based platform for the past year and will be ready to launch the new platform in demo mode by end June 2023. The platform will carry its own unique brand.
This translates into an alternative investment fund (AIF) to be registered and then listed within a mere few weeks, and all processes will be digital including KYC, KYB and AML process, and all other AIF establishment processes including our investors will be onboarded on the platform too, giving an investment fund that is fully registered and listed, the opportunity to be funded to its first target within ± 3 months of onboarding.
Built in Germany and Luxembourg, the new platform will be accessible through our website and the final launch will be a significant event both in Europe and the UK. We anticipate the full version to be operable by the end of July 2023.
The new platform will be fully interactive and is already connected and approved by the relevant jurisdictional regulators and is also already integrated into the relevant legal systems within the multiple European jurisdictions in which we operate in.
As the platform will electronically establish all of our new client's investment funds in these European jurisdictions through to finalisation, it also provides multiple levels of governance access to all contributors, managers, investors as also our larger strategic partners such as KPMG, PwC and S&P, our legal teams, our treasury, fund managers, risk managers and others alike.
Fund management, financial project management and investor reporting as also real time access by our investors will all be accessible through an array of dashboards which have a selection of detailed information at multiple levels, all in real time.
We have successfully applied for both a European and UK Trade Mark on our brand logo, as also the new name for the platform to secure our intellectual property.
This will place Integer Wealth Global in a significant advantage over similar competitors.
Keep watching this space.
13 February 2023 - IWG becomes an affiliate of the IFRS
We are proud to announce that since the above date, that IWG is now a proud affiliate of the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). The IFRS Foundation is a not-for-profit, public interest organisation established to develop high-quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted accounting and sustainability disclosure standards.
All IWG company financial reporting and management as also all client Alternative Investment Funds and the projects residing within them, will be conducted in accordance with this standard and in parallel to the GAAP standard (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) for the UK & EU.
02 February 2023 – Interruption of email communications
Please note that we are migrating to the new upgraded email servers together with our partners at Microsoft from Thursday 02 February to Sunday 5 February 2023.
The new email system and servers will need to propagate for approximately 72 hours and we will not be able to send or receive emails within this timeframe. We will of course respond to all emails as soon as the new system has propagated completely.
Thank you for your patience and our apologies for any unintentional inconvenience caused.
The Critical Mass Technologies team at Integer Wealth Global.
16 January 2023 - Integer Wealth Global website and platform access issues
Please note that we had to attend to an unplanned server migration recently which prevented access to our websites and platforms from the evening of Friday 13 January to Monday 16 January midday, at which time the information technology team had also performed impromptu server maintenance.
Kindly pardon the interruption to the service and our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
The Critical Mass Technologies team at Integer Wealth Global.
09 December 2022 - Its Christmas time again...
Where has the year gone.? With sleighbells, gluhwein, Santa and reindeer all over the world we too are celebrating the season of good will. Please note that although we never really close, we will be unwrapping our gifts and will close on end of business day on 23 December 2022 and re-open on the 4 January 2023 again.
It has most certainly been a year like no other..(again..)
We wish you all the best in the new year which will be a year of recovery, prosperity and greatness. Not because we have learned from the past three very challenging years only, but because we will make it so, and do believe that you will too.
May you receive God's richest blessings this Christmas bring you peace, stillness and joy, and thank you for your support in the past year. After all, His Son is the reason for the season. † ♥♥
Merry Christmas for 2022 and a happy new year for 2023.
The Integer Wealth Global team.
(Please click on the Christmas card below)
21 October 2022 – IWG Opens its First Trading Room
We are proud to announce the opening today of our first trading room in the Integer Wealth Global group. This strategic expansion of our international operations is now fully operational, and we plan to expand this most valuable corporate asset into an international presence, following in the path of our growth strategies into other financial disciplines.
“Thank you to the Cyprus team and the support of our service providers, regulators, colleagues, partners and all who contribute to our growth there and at an international level, without which we cannot achieve these objectives and who’s contributions and support we value so highly.” – Marc Bandemer.
14 October 2022 - Crypto Asset deposits
We are proud to announce that our ‘Treasury’ department has successfully applied for a CASP (Crypto Asset Service Provider) licence. The process has been approved in principle and is pending with the regulator and our treasury, whereafter final release, we will then have the capacity under this licence to accept crypto deposits.
This will enable crypto deposits to be made directly to our ‘Treasury Department’, and the deposit can be transferred into FIAT currency and vice versa.
We will then be able to place the FIAT currency into our own triple ‘A’ grade alternative investment funds as also those of our esteemed client's alternative investment funds alike.
Should you wish to know more about this, our latest strategic development in our international growth trajectory, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Terms and Conditions apply)
03 October 2022 - The Victoria Lily Foundation ♥
We are proud to announce that Integer Wealth Global has become one of the primary benefactors to the ‘Victoria Lily Foundation’, a Bandemer family foundation currently in formation in England and Wales, dedicated to the sustainable support of children, women empowerment and education throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and the world.
The primary source of revenue supporting this initiative is from each of our valued, generous and critically important clients who pledge 0.5% of their investment fund proceeds to the Victoria Lily Foundation for distribution to various charities through a professional governance committee.
The foundation will be fully active in early 2023.
14 September 2022 - The Funeral of our Royal and Sovereign Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II †
Please note that our offices will be closed on Monday 19 September 2022 in respect of and for the funeral of our late Queen Elizabeth II. The day has been announced as a national bank holiday in the United Kingdom. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and, along with the rest of the world, we thank Her Majesty for her extraordinary service. All our operations will resume on Tuesday 20 September 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II - 21 April 1926 to 08 September 2022
08 September 2022 - The Death of our Royal and Sovereign Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II †
It is with great sadness, and together with the rest of the commonwealth and much of the world, that we grieve the death of our Queen Elizabeth II, who was the longest reigning monarch in our lives, as also for the United Kingdom.
With deep regret we state as a company which is made up of our people in all the places, we have a footprint in, that we will continue to keep the example that Queen Elizabeth II set for us, personally and corporately.
We will always love you, our Queen, our Sovereign and our model to all in yours and our beautiful United Kingdom, and beyond.
Your Highness, Queen, sovereign ruler, diesel mechanic, mother, sister, wife, baker, grandmother, great grandmother, hands-on leader and many other roles, Ma’am, we will miss your poise, grace and even while stripping a jeep engine, covered in motor oil and using spanners and wrenches, yet with your ever constant dignity. We will love you for the rest of our lives.
Marc Bandemer and the Integer Wealth Global team.
Queen Elizabeth - 21 April 1926 - 08 September 2022
04 August 2022 - Policy Added for 'Client Restrictive Industry Sectors'
The following policy was added in response of the European Financial Regulator which required a statement on Integer Wealth Global clients activities.
02 August 2022 - Howard Walker †
It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague Howard Walker on 2 August 2022. Howard left us at 3pm and is survived by his mother Pat Walker, his children, family, colleagues and dear friends. Howard was 47 years old.
Howard, we shall miss you. Until we meet again.
30 Sept 1974 - 2 Aug 2022
01 August 2022 - IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence strategic partnership
As we are becoming ever sharper in our delivery, smarter in our collective thinking and approach to operational challenges and efficiency, and harder on the time frames to which we deliver our products and services to the international industry, we have almost completed our new online operations platform created by Critical Mass Technologies Ltd, our own home-grown information technology company.
To deliver on the platform with key components such as KYC, AML, banking, taxation and legal validations which regulation in Europe and beyond requires, we have partnered with IBM Watson, an artificial intelligence component which attends to the latter challenges and beyond.
24 July 2022 - Making the news (In the top ten)
We are in the media – 'Estate Innovation', a European real estate platform has chosen Integer Wealth Global as one of the top ten real estate investment companies in Luxembourg. We are most pleased with this and thank you all at Estate Innovation for selecting us. We will endeavour to ever improve our investment service and delivery.
22 July 2022 - IWG acquires Embraer Praetor 600 Business Jet for its pan-European and USA operations
‘There is only one currency worth of life. Time.’, as stated by Marc Bandemer, Group Chairman of Integer Wealth Global. (IWG)
For us to gain faster access to our clients and them to us, we have just acquired the means to do just that. The deal is still wet on the paper, however we have acquired our means to get to meetings, travel to clients, perform site visits and travel between our operational centres much more fluently than what the current commercial airports and airlines can offer. With ever increasing travel challenges across Europe and the world, it made economic sense for IWG to obtain its own travel infrastructure, and so the Embraer Praetor 600 platform has been acquired to perform this precise service.
We look forward to taking delivery of this aircraft shortly.
01 July 2022 - Integer wealth Global licencing application
With the new Integer Wealth Global CY Ltd company registration, we have successfully applied for two new licencing with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission regulator. With many more compliance procedures and policies still to be completed for the final licences to be certified, we are working feverishly to complete the processes and become fully compliant with European regulators.
This is our most critical task as yet since the establishment of the company as a whole and once the licences have been issued, we will publish these on our ‘Due Diligence Disclosure’ page.
16 June 2022 - Integer Wealth Global successfully registers operations company in Cyprus
We are proud to announce that Integer Global Cyprus is now fully registered in Cyprus and have made our operational home in the prestigious Centennial Tower, in Nicosia, Cyprus. Our new registration name and number in Cyprus is ‘Integer Wealth Global CY Ltd’, registration number HE 435455.
Our head office remains in Luxembourg.
10 May 2022 - New Strategic Partnership (Standard & Poors)
One of the most prestigious advances Integer Wealth Global has made within its recent transition from our UK based risk management company, to the fully accredited investment fund management company, it is becoming, the primary function of the company's purpose remains its core root foundation of risk management.
Integer Wealth Global has successfully secured a strategic partnership with international ratings and risk scoring company 'Standard & Poors - Market Intelligence'.
This gives IWG the capacity to provide investors with validated risk profiles of the investment funds which we create for our clients and score the projects and activities within these investment funds, and then rate the investment fund on a whole, providing accurate investment grade ratings on these opportunities with credible projects within these investment funds. (Projects are scored, where investment funds are rated)
This partnership elevates us to a higher level of credibility across our ever-expanding global footprint and underpins our risk management for the benefit of all stakeholders.
28 February 2022 - New Strategic Partnership (Mega Equity)
Further to our internationally expanding footprint, it becomes necessary to increase our operational capacity, and our proud partnering with Mega Equity is vital to our treasury function in this regard. Mega Equity provide a securities brokerage, a range of diverse financial service and a treasury function along with banking operational management and facilities on behalf of many of the Integer Wealth Global clients.
25 February 2022 - New Strategic Partnership (PwC Cyprus)
With our new operational offices being registered and soon to be opened in Cyprus, under licence and ownership of Integer Wealth Global S.A. in Luxembourg, we are proud to announce the successful onboarding of both our Luxembourg and Cyprus based operations with the prestigious Price Waterhouse Coopers, in Nicosia, Cyprus.
14 January 2022 - New Strategic Partnership (Vertu Projects Ltd)
We are proud to announce our strategic partnership with Vertu Projects Ltd in Cyprus. Vertu Projects provide strategic auxiliary services to the creation and management of our investments and investment funds and are an integral part of the Integer Wealth Global operations structure under our partnership agreement.
01 March 2022 - Integer Wealth Global opens international operations office in Nicosia, Cyprus
Integer Wealth Global is proud to announce that we are now fully operational in our new office in Nicosia, Cyprus. The company has been hard at work migrating the operational functions, previously under ‘Integer Wealth Capital Ltd’ in the UK, to our new offices while keeping operations fluent within our tasks and activities.
05 October 2021 - Integer Wealth Global secures several operational relationships with European stock exchanges.
In a roadshow visit across the European continent in October and December 2021, Marc Bandemer, Group Chairman negotiated and secured several key operational relationships with several stock exchanges in key investment trend jurisdictions throughout Europe.
Operational relationships and memberships are now secured with:
- Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE)
- Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX)
- Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FRA)
- Maltese Stock Exchange (GHM)
- Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE)
- Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX)
- Euronext Stock Exchange - Lisbon, Portugal (ENX). Euronext is a pan-European bourse that operates across Europe and has direct access to the New York and London stock exchanges too.
27 September 2021 - Integer Wealth Global opens new head office in Luxembourg
Integer Wealth Global has now successfully migrated to Europe under a new and revised ‘S.A.’ registration (the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK). After many months of planning and setting up the company our head office is now open and strategically based in prestigious Luxembourg City centre.
31 August 2021 - Integer Wealth Global suspends operations in the UK
We are sad to announce that Integer Wealth Global has suspended all operations in the management company ‘Integer Wealth Global Ltd’ in the UK. Consequently, we have also ceased all operations in ‘Integer Wealth Capital Ltd’ due to the migration of both companies to Luxembourg. We have also vacated our premises at the University of Reading where we have been for many years now. Our new UK representative offices have been moved to Southampton. The address is available on our ‘Contacts’ page.
All operations will continue within the seamless and fluent transfer of all activities, transactions, engagements and responsibilities to our new international offices.
The War in Ukraine - The Integer Wealth Global position
On 24 February, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. As tanks continue to roll in and cities are shelled, business and investors have issued a stream of unprecedented announcements pledging action to reduce risks they might contribute to Russia’s assault on Ukraine. Over 620 companies have halted operations in Russia, however, most of these have low exposure and in total represent only 1 to 3% of revenue from Russian markets.
Nevertheless, this is not what occurred with the wars in Syria, Yemen or the coup in Myanmar, where business action is both limited and muted.
Rapid, radical and decisive action by European and North American governments is undoubtedly what has had the greatest influence. By being quick to denounce the Russian state’s aggression and apply painful economic sanctions on the country and its oligarch’s overseas wealth, they effectively forced the hands of companies operating in the region.
The scale and scope of Western sanctions have created “conditions of legal and financial hostility”. This has spun a web of legal and financial complexity for international business, ballooning transaction costs, and the reputational risk of being accused of violating sanctions, either in error or by design.
Additional pressure has also been applied by the rise of responsible ‘Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) investment, palpable consumer pressure and the power of social movements, such as ‘#MeToo’, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Fridays for Future’ which, combined with the media and social media, have sensitised companies and investors to make ethics more central to their business decisions. While we should celebrate these longer-term shifts in companies’ calculus of human rights risks, nobody should doubt the decisive action that was the UK and other western governments coordinated, economic and legal response.
So what should business, our clients and investors do, not just in response to current Russian aggression in Ukraine, but also to mitigate risk longer term, for no one could say the human rights risks of operating in Russia are new.?
As companies respond to the sanctions, they must ensure they implement international human rights standards for business.
The ‘UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights’ (UNGPs) which are clear on the need for heightened due diligence duties in conditions of conflict. By doing so, IWG companies will also be practicing our future duties on human rights and environmental due diligence, which will become a legal necessity when the draft European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive is finalised.
We expect the same of our clients and investors alike.
Due diligence action plans for companies depend greatly on a company’s nature. In the context of this invasion, there are at least three types:
- Business or products linked to sectors which enrich Putin’s circle or sustain the military and security apparatus. This clearly includes oil, gas, strategic minerals and surveillance software. It could also include uniforms, high-energy biscuit rations for troops or business support functions. Many are directly affected by sanctions. Unscrupulous companies, clients and even investors may remain, but may be exposed under international humanitarian law to being complicit in war crimes as the Lafarge ruling in France’s Supreme Court may illustrate. This is why we have seen the corporate exodus led by this category of companies, from BP and Chevron in the first days, to Rio Tinto and many others some three weeks later.
- Western aspirational brands, from Carlsberg to Zara, and Esther Lauder, all have withdrawn their brands or shuttered their outlets, most of them ‘temporarily’. The aim is to create conspicuous international isolation in Russia which may help as an antidote to the Russian media’s downplay of what they deem ‘special military operations’. The action helps the company avoid the sanctions tangle, enhances reputation with consumers, investors and employees, and is visible cooperation with the governments of their primary markets and jurisdictional origin. The purveyors of medicines and essential food and similar are in a different category. Their withdrawal could harm Russian civilians whose essential welfare should be upheld, whether or not they support their government’s invasion, according to the Geneva Conventions. Pharmaceutical brands and food manufacturers, like Danone and Nestlé, have said they will freeze new investment but will continue to operate in Russia, but are facing increasing calls (including from President Zelensky of Ukraine) to cut all ties.
- For companies leaving Russia (or Ukraine), their responsibility does not end with this decision. Under international standards they, as we at IWG, have a duty to minimise the harm their exit creates for workers and communities affected. We have seen some better practice such as Zara which has closed its stores, but is providing a support package for its 9,000 Russian staff and Carlsberg who have done similarly. But many companies have yet to explain their action to minimise harm to civilians.
There are many scenarios for how this invasion will unfold, but like the Covid pandemic, one of the key lessons for our business is enlightened self-interest, combined with a commitment to uphold international human rights standards, and is most likely to deliver resilience and long-term benefits.
This approach will be further strengthened in the next year by new regulatory standards for human rights due diligence in Europe and the United Kingdom and the rise of responsible (ESG) investment as IWG expands across the globe.
With the sad anniversary of the unprovoked invasions of Ukraine by the aggressor Russia, Integer Wealth Global S.A. (Luxembourg) (IWG),the holding company for its member companies has convened with legal and financial services consultants in both Europe and the United Kingdom on this new policy in regard to engaging and conducting business with Russian related businesses.
It is the position of IWG that its management, its staff, its clients both project and investors stand with the people of Ukraine.
The conflict, however long or short it may be, has set in motion many sanctions by the global community and IWG is no exception therein.
Recognising this ‘act of aggression’ and that international armed conflict is underway, businesses and investors operating or investing in the region, and especially those with links to the Russian state, must avoid contributing to violations of international humanitarian law.
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP’s) and related materials provide guidance, outlining the need for heightened human rights due diligence processes and adopt a conflict-sensitive approach due to the severe risk of gross human rights abuses.
A conflict-sensitive approach emphasises effectively preventing, managing and addressing conflict, including by seeking to understand conflict dynamics and related risks.
Please see further details on the link below at:
Factors such as weakened state governance, increased presence of security forces and armed groups, emergency measures, complex operating environments, and a history of grievances and injustices can further increase the risk that a company’s, client or investor’s actions may exacerbate conflict or contribute to human rights abuses.
To provide guidance to responsible business assessing their situation, the ‘Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’ referred to materials developed by the ‘Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance and the International Committee of the Red Cross’ on guidance and ‘Good Practices’ for companies operating in conflict-affected contexts and to understand when and where the rules and principles of international humanitarian law apply. In situations of armed conflict, additional legal obligations may apply to all industry sector companies and their personnel, including financial services.
International humanitarian law covers the entire territory of the states involved in a conflict, regardless of whether or not combat takes place there. It encompasses both international and non-international conflicts, including situations of military occupation.
Be aware of the potential for liability in relation to international humanitarian law. Companies, as legal entities and through associated individuals, have increasingly been brought before international tribunals and national jurisdictions for violations of international humanitarian law.
Failure to comply may result in civil and criminal liabilities, or in serious cases, prosecutions for war crimes, crimes against humanity, or other violations of the Geneva Conventions.
IWG and its member company’s commit to complying with international humanitarian law and update and adjust our company policies accordingly, ensuring all company staff and management, directors and shareholders are made aware of this commitment and share relevant information on corporate compliance with international humanitarian law.
Consider that any conflict does not absolve companies of their responsibility to comply with human rights standards.
IWG ensures that our company operations, actions, and personnel (including security providers) neither violate international humanitarian law nor intensify violence in conflict-prone regions through our business dealings, and that we are aware that company operations, business relationships, and financial and resource flows can exacerbate conflict.
IWG analyse and implement plans to address and reduce these risks, in partnership with affected communities, experts, humanitarian groups, and other stakeholders.
IWG Further undertake heightened due diligence when operating in conflict affected contexts or situations where there is risk of or potential conflict of risk occurring.
IWG undertake a conflict sensitive approach to analysing impacts and engaging with communities, particularly those in vulnerable situations (including women, minorities, children, and marginalised groups).
IWG reassess needs and impacts as conflict emerges or dynamics change. In some situations, full impact assessments may not be possible, but IWG will seek to identify actual and potential impacts on human rights and conflict dynamics to the best extent possible within the context.
IWG will carefully weigh the human rights implications of withdrawing from the conflict-affected context versus the human rights implications of staying, should IWG find itself engaged with such a client, their clients or any investors of any kind.
If a company's operations exacerbate the conflict or cause or contribute to immitigable human rights harms, it may be necessary to withdraw in order to avoid causing harm. Contrary if a company provides key services, withdrawing may have more negative than positive impacts. Be aware that as changes occur over time, the balance of positive versus negative effects may shift.
IWG have a clear exit strategy. Even if the client or their investment fund or vehicle does not intend to withdraw from its involvement with Russia at whatever level, it should prepare an exit strategy in advance, should the circumstances change. It should create plans to ensure the security of both departing and remaining employees and contractors and provide IWG with such plans as soon as possible.
As safely as possible, provide notice to communities, suppliers, workers, and other partners. Enact a plan to mitigate the loss of employment and income for employees and contractors, with consideration of both short-term and long-term strategies that make sense in the local context. If the company supports community activities and programs, consider short-term and long-term plans to address any gaps that arise from leaving (for example, short-term aid and long-term handover plans).
IWG will support such exits by advising on implementing a monitoring strategy, advise on assessing signals that the security environment is changing, including for example new possible military operations, the imposition of emergency laws or a rhetoric of hate towards specific groups. Coordinating with NGO security networks, established during times of conflict, can be useful in this regard.
Businesses are not neutral actors. Their presence is not without impact. Even if business does not take a side in the conflict, the impact of their operations would influence conflict dynamics.
In solidarity with Ukraine, all western allies who condemn the Russian invasion of a European sovereign nation, Integer Wealth Global confirms herewith that we as a company and our people, have not and will not have any economic engagement with Russia either direct or indirect and will reject any client or investor who have existing ties or are planning to conduct or engage economically with Russia, to three tiers deep.