Code of Ethics
As an investment advisor, we have a fiduciary duty to perform advisory services on our clients’ behalf in a manner that is always in their best interest. The cornerstone of our Code of Ethics is based on this fiduciary premise. This Code will set forth the fundamental principles of conduct and professionalism expected by all employees, officers and directors in discharging their duties. It is not to be considered an all-inclusive document, but a value-laden guide committing such persons to uphold the highest ethical standards, rooted in the most elementary maxim, "Do the right thing!"
The objectives of our Code of Ethics are to deter inappropriate behavior and promote:
- Honest and ethical conduct, including the ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships.
- Full, fair and accurate disclosure in reporting documents with the appropriate regulatory jurisdiction(s) and in any other public communications made by Omni Wealth Advisors, Inc.
- Compliance with applicable governing laws, rules and regulations.
- Prompt internal reporting of any violations to the Code of Ethics.
- Accountability for adherence to our Code of Ethics.
Our employees, officers and directors are expected to apply and uphold the following core values, which are the foundation of our unique purpose and perspective:
The following broad ethical principles are based on our core values of integrity, competence, objectivity, confidentiality, fairness and diligence. These principles set forth ideals to which all employees, officers and directors should aspire.
Value 1: Integrity.
Ethical Principle: You shall behave in a trustworthy manner.
Integrity is the cornerstone for sound judgment and establishing trust with a client. Integrity demands honesty and candor, which must not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. Integrity cannot co-exist with deceit or subordination of one’s principles.
Acting with integrity is not only the responsibility of those persons that may have been placed by clients in positions of trust and confidence; such responsibility is directed to all employees, officers and directors. You are to continually be aware of our mission, values, ethical principles and standards, and perform your duties in such a manner that is not only compliant with the letter but also the spirit of this Code of Ethics.
Value 2: Competence.
Ethical Principle: You shall engage only in those services for which you have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience.
We are all finite beings; you must be aware of your personal limitations. Competence is recognizing one’s level of expertise and only providing service within those boundaries, or only after taking reasonable steps to acquire that level of knowledge, skill or experience, offer such service. You will endeavor to improve your proficiency and commitment to learn and increase your professional knowledge.
Value 3: Objectivity.
Ethical Principle: You shall act without prejudice or bias, and labor in good faith for the best interest of all persons.
Objectivity requires you to act impartially where your behavior toward others is unaffected by your personal feelings. You must protect the integrity of your work, maintain objectivity, and avoid subordination of your judgment that would violate this Code of Ethics. You will endeavor to avoid circumstances where a conflict of interest might exist. If unavoidable, whenever possible, make full disclosure of such conflict(s).
Value 4: Confidentiality.
Ethical Principle: You shall respect the confidentiality of any information entrusted to, or obtained in the course of, your business or professional activities.
Confidentiality is having another’s confidence where you are entrusted with their private affairs. Confidence implies full trust and belief that one is a reliable person worthy of keeping matters private. As an employee, officer or director, you are to maintain at all times the confidentiality of others. You are not to share confidential information with anyone, including family and friends, or with other employees who do not need the information to carry out their duties. You are only to use such confidential information for the business purpose intended.
Value 5: Fairness
Ethical Principle: You shall perform your duties in a manner that is fair, just and reasonable to all persons.
To be fair requires your decisions to be free from bias, dishonesty or injustice and to fully disclose any conflicts of interest. Fairness is treating others in the manner that you would want to be treated. You are not to take advantage of another through manipulation, concealment, abuse of privileged information, misrepresentation of material facts, or any other unfair dealing. To do so would violate this Code of Ethics.
Value 6: Diligence
Ethical Principle: You shall proceed with patience, timeliness and consistency, and do so in a prompt and thorough manner in the service of others.
Diligence is making a constant and earnest effort to attain a given objective. You are to strive for, in this case, a distinguished record of professional service.
The following ethical standards cover a wide range of business practices and procedures relevant to the professional activities of all employees, officers and directors. It does not cover every issue that may arise, but it does stipulate basic principles to guide you in performing your duties. Should an unforeseen situation arise where a policy in our Code conflicts with a law, the law will take precedence over our Code – you must comply with the law and conduct yourself accordingly!
Those who violate the standards specified in this Code of Ethics will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Those situations you believe could violate or lead to a violation of this Code; we have identified guidelines under “Determining Illegal or Unethical Behavior” to assist with making that determination.
1.Compliance with Laws, Rules and Regulations
We operate in a highly-regulated environment, both at the federal and state levels, where compliance with these rules and regulations play a major role in our success. You are expected to be aware of your compliance responsibilities and, in the case of doubt to the applicability of any law, rule or regulation regarding any contemplated course of action, you are expected to seek guidance from your manager or other appropriate person on how to handle the situation. A good rule of thumb for you to follow is, “If in doubt on a course of action, ask first and act later.”
To ensure you are well informed of your responsibility, we make available our Written Policies & Procedures Manual and hold regular training to promote compliance and understanding of the applicability of any law, rule or regulation.
2.Conflicts of Interest
As a fiduciary, we have an affirmative duty of care, loyalty, honesty and good faith to act in the best interests of our clients. A “conflict of interest” exists when personal interests interfere with this responsibility. A conflict situation can arise when you take action or have interests that may make it difficult to perform your work of behalf of others objectively and efficiently. Conflicts can also exist when members of your family receive undisclosed, improper benefits as a result of your position within our firm. Compliance with this standard can be achieved by trying to avoid conflicts of interest and where unavoidable, fully disclosing all material facts concerning such conflicts and resolving those issues before taking any action.
Conflicts of interest are prohibited as a matter of firm policy, except when approved by the President or Chief Compliance Officer. Conflicts of interest may not always be obvious; if you have any questions, you should consult your manager or other appropriate person.
It is both unethical and illegal to buy, sell, trade or otherwise participate in securities transactions while in possession of material information concerning those companies in which such transactions are being made, or to “tip” others who might make an investment decision on the basis of such information, when such information has yet to have been released to the general public. If you have, or could have, access to confidential material information, you are not permitted to use or share that information for securities trading purposes or for any other purpose except in fulfilling your obligations and duties with the firm. You are expected to familiarize yourself with our Insider Trading Policy Agreement and sign that you understand and are in full agreement with such Policy.
You are prohibited from taking for yourself personal opportunities that would not have otherwise been discovered except through your position with our firm. You are not to use corporate property, information, or position for improper personal gain. You are duty-bound to our firm to forward legitimate interest when the opportunity to do so arises.
We seek to outperform our competition fairly and honestly. Stealing proprietary information, possessing trade secret information that was obtained without the owner’s consent, or inducing such disclosures by past or present employees of our firm is prohibited. You will endeavor to respect the rights of and deal fairly with all persons whether affiliated or unaffiliated with our firm.
6.Gifts and Entertainment
The purpose of gifts and entertainment in a commercial setting is to create goodwill and sound working relationships, not to gain unfair advantage. Inappropriate gifts, favors, entertainment, special accommodations or other things of material value could create a conflict of interest, in that, accepting an inappropriate gift from a client could influence your decision-making and, likewise, giving an inappropriate gift to a client might cause them to unjustly feel beholden to the firm.
No gift or entertainment should be offered, given, provided or accepted by you in connection with the firm’s advisory business unless it has first been pre-approved by your manager or other appropriate person.
- Gifts. You are not to accept any gift, service or other item of more than $100.00 in value from any person or entity that does business with or on behalf of our firm. Likewise, you are not to give or offer any gift, service, or other thing of more than $100.00 in value to any existing clients, prospective clients, or any entity that does business with or on behalf of our firm.
- Cash. You may not give or accept cash gifts or cash equivalents to or from a client, prospective client, or any entity that does business with or on behalf of our firm.
- Entertainment. You may not provide or accept extravagant or excessive entertainment to or from a client, prospective client, or any entity that does business or seeks to do business with or on behalf of our firm. You may provide, or accept, tickets to a business entertainment event, such as dinner or a sporting event, of reasonable value, if the person providing the entertainment is present.
We require honest and accurate recording and reporting of information in order to make responsible business decisions. We expect you, consistent with your individual authority and duties, to maintain our books, records, accounts, and financial statements in reasonable detail, and to appropriately reflect our transactions in conformity with applicable legal requirements and to our system of internal controls.
Business records and communications often become public, and you should avoid exaggerations, derogatory remarks, guesswork or inappropriate characterization of people and companies that could be misunderstood. This equally applies to formal reports, internal memos and e-mail. Records should always be retained or destroyed according to our record retention policies.
For more information on the recordkeeping requirements for this Code of Ethics, please refer to the Books & Records section of the Written Policies & Procedures Manual.
8.Personal Securities Transactions
Transactions for clients shall take precedence over transactions in securities or other investments of which you are a beneficial owner so that such personal transactions do not adversely affect clients’ interests. If you make a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of a security or other investment, your clients will be given first priority before you can personally act on your own behalf.
- Initial Public Offerings and Private Placements. You are prohibited from investing in an Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) or any private placement, unless first authorized by your manager. Not allowing such investment for your personal account will preclude any possibility that you have improperly profited from your position with our firm. Most clients rarely have the opportunity to invest in these types of securities and, therefore, your investment in such securities offerings could raise questions as to whether you misappropriated any investment opportunity that should first be offered to eligible clients.
If you are a manager, you are to keep records of any decisions, and the reasons supporting the decisions, authorizing any person to directly or indirectly acquire beneficial ownership in any security in an IPO or a private placement.
- Watch List. We will maintain a Watch List, defined as a current list of securities in which such trading and investment is subject to close scrutiny by your manager and the Chief Compliance Officer. A security will be placed on the Watch List if there is a known relationship between you and any issuer and the management of any issuer. You are required to report any such relationships to your manager. Although trading securities on the Watch List is not prohibited, each trade is subject to an addition review.
- Restricted Lists. We will maintain a Restricted List consisting of a current list of securities in which you and/or client transactions are prohibited. A security will be placed on the Restricted List if, at any time, it becomes known to the Chief Compliance Officer that you or any other employee, officer or director is in possession of material, non-public information. You are required to report any material, non-public information you possess or are aware of to your manager to report to the Chief Compliance Officer. A security will be deleted from the Restricted List once it is determined the information we possess has been fully disseminated to the public, thus removing the necessity for the prohibition of trading in the security. The Restricted List will be distributed to you and other affiliated persons each time a security is added to or deleted from the list.
You are to strictly adhere to our policies regarding personal securities transaction. If you are defined as an “access person”, you are required to prepare securities holdings and transactions reports for a required period. See “Persons Covered by the Code” under “Establish a Code of Ethics” in the “Trading Practices” section of the Written Polices & Procedures Manual for more information on the definition of access person.
You are expected to exercise care in maintaining the confidentiality of any confidential information entrusted to you by us or our clientele, except where disclosure is authorized or legally mandated. Confidential information includes all non-public information that might be of use to competitors, or otherwise harmful to us or our clientele. The obligation to preserve confidential information continues even after employment or other service ends.
10.Protection and Proper Use of Omni Wealth Advisors, Inc. Assets
You should endeavor to protect assets of the firm and ensure their efficient use. Our equipment should not be used for unapproved personal business, though incidental personal use may be permitted. Any suspected incident of fraud or theft should be immediately reported for investigation as hereinafter described under caption “Reporting Illegal or Unethical Behavior.”
Your obligation to protect our assets includes all our proprietary information. Proprietary information includes intellectual property such as trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights, as well as business, marketing and service plans, databases, records, salary information and any unpublished financial data and reports. Unauthorized use or distribution of this information violates this Code.
Determining Illegal or Unethical Behavior
We must work to ensure prompt and consistent action against violations of this Code of Ethics. However, there are instances where it is difficult to know if a violation has occurred. Since we cannot anticipate every situation that will arise, it is important that we have a way to approach any new dilemma. These are steps to consider when making that judgment call:
- Make sure you have all the facts. In order to reach the right conclusion, you must be as informed as possible.
- Ask first, act later. If you are unsure of what to do in a given situation, seek guidance before you act.
- Question your actions. What specifically am I being asked to do? Does it seem unethical or improper? These questions will enable you to focus on the situation you are facing, and the alternatives you have. Use your judgment and common sense; if something seems unethical or improper, it probably is.
- Clarify your responsibilities. In most situations, there is shared responsibility. Are your colleagues informed? It may help to get others involved and discuss the problem.
- Discuss the problem with your manager. This is the basic guidance for all situations. In many cases, your manager will be more knowledgeable about how to address the problem. Remember that it is your manager’s responsibility to assist with problem solving.
- Seek assistance from firm resources. In the event it is not appropriate to discuss an issue with your manager, or where you do not feel comfortable approaching your manager with your questions, you can discuss your problem with other managers, the Chief Compliance Officer or the President.
- Reporting violations. You may report violations of our Code in confidence and without fear of retaliation. If your situation requires your identity be kept secret, your anonymity will be protected.
Reporting Illegal or Unethical Behavior
You are required to report any illegal or unethical behavior in violation of this Code of Ethics to your manager or the Chief Compliance Officer. Violations can also be reported to any manager, officer or director if your concerns are directly related to those persons in authority over you. Any report of questionable conduct or violation will be treated confidentially to the extent permitted by law and investigated promptly and appropriately. All employees, officers and directors are expected to cooperate fully in internal investigations of misconduct.
You may submit a good faith concern regarding questionable conduct or suspected violation without fear of dismissal or retaliation. We will not permit retaliation of any kind by our officers and directors against good faith reports or complaints of violations to this Code or other illegal or unethical conduct.