The professional and ethical principles of FIRS members
The Annual General Meeting of the Finnish Investor Relations Society has endorsed, on April 26, 2001, the following principles and codes of conduct, which I as a Society member and IR professional will subscribe and adhere to.
1. The investor's interest is my central concern
The laws, regulations and recommendations concerning investor communications exist in order to protect investors and prevent the abuse of insider information. I am familiar with the norms and will follow their letter and spirit. In performing my duties, I will naturally respect the commercial and shareholder interests of my employer or client.
2. I will not seek personal benefit
I will guard the sensitive information in my possession and will not use it to my own or someone else's benefit. I will never give investment advice or hints concerning my employer or client.
3. I strive to improve the quality of investor communications
I will develop the contents and structure of investor communications, with openness, relevance, comparability and clarity as key criteria. I strive to maintain the same level of openness in all situations, and to ensure that messages supporting the marketing of new securities are equally balanced in presenting future opportunities and risks.
4. I will develop myself and my organisation
I will continuously develop my professional skills as well as my knowledge of my employer or client. I will keep management up-to-date with respect to Investor Relations trends and educate the entire personnel to understand the obligations and restrictions of a publicly quoted company, and to deal with the insider information in their possession in an absolutely confidential and ethical manner.
5. I am unbiased
I am even-handed towards all stakeholders. I will develop the contents and channels of communication in order to ascertain that information is simultaneously available and comprehensible to all. Next to own and specialised channels, mass media remain an important intermediary of investor information and, hence, one of my key audiences.
6. I act with discretion
In all my actions I will observe the contents and spirit of the Securities Trading Act. In uncertain and rapidly changing situations I will stress the long-term outlook. In situations open to interpretation I will not hesitate to seek advice from my employer's or client's legal experts or, when appropriate, from authorities responsible for market supervision.
I will divulge sensitive information to external suppliers of services only when and to the extent required by the technical execution of investor communications. I will stress the confidential nature of the information and make it understood that the individuals in question will be classified as temporary insiders, if warranted by the nature of the project.
When interacting with market parties I will not divulge new information or interpretations that may influence the share price. I may, however, offer complementary technical or market data in keeping with my organisation's general communications policy. I will not try to steer analysts' views and forecasts, but I can discuss the underlying assumptions and point out clear errors.
I will not speculate but stick to facts and official projections. I can rarely tell everything, but what I tell to one person I am prepared to tell everyone, and it has to be true. I will report the main contents of such conversations to management.
Should I make an error of judgement, or should the information I have given, in combination with information obtained elsewhere, result in a new view affecting the share price, I will immediately report the situation to my superior or client.
I will not negatively comment competitors' activities or outlook, except when correcting wrong or misleading information.
I respect news media's right to stories obtained through their own investigations. If such a story is about a confidential project, business secret or any other market-sensitive matter, I will try to influence the timing and manner of publication in keeping with the Securities Trading Act. The leaking of materially important information will immediately set a Stock Exchange communications procedure in motion.