Delegation to Panel Executive to Decide Straightforward Applications for Approval to Act as an Independent Adviser

Published 1 July 2010

The Panel has delegated to the Panel’s executive staff, the Panel’s power to approve independent advisers under the Takeovers Code. This has been achieved by way of a formal delegation under section 73 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 and is limited to “straightforward” cases only.

The Panel’s policy for the approval of independent advisers sets out the criteria which the applicant must cover in their application to the Panel. These criteria relate largely to the independence of the adviser from the protagonists of the transaction. They also require the applicant to have in place adequate professional indemnity insurance and to have the capacity available to fulfil the advisory role under the Code.

Around half of the adviser applications received by the Panel would fall within the category of being ‘straightforward’.

Process for Panel executive’s approval of straightforward independent adviser applications

The Panel executive will interact with the applicant in the same way for all applications. This ensures that all of the relevant information is provided for the application to be properly considered.

The decision regarding whether to approve the applicant is made by the Panel’s Chief Executive or, in the absence of the Chief Executive or if the Chief Executive is conflicted in respect of the matter, by the Panel’s General Counsel (“the executive decision-maker”).

If an application that falls within the delegation to the Panel executive for approval is, for some reason, not approved by the executive decision-maker, the application is automatically remitted to the Panel to decide whether to approve the adviser.

Timing

The Panel aims to make decisions on independent adviser applications in three working days from the time that all necessary information has been provided by the applicant. This performance measure is met by the Panel in about 85% of the applications it considers.

The delegation to the Panel executive of straightforward adviser approvals is intended to improve turnaround times for the straightforward applications. This should save both time and money for the applicants.

Notification of decision

The delegation to the Panel executive does not alter the fact that the approval of independent advisers is a power of the Panel. The letter sent to applicants advising of the Panel’s decision regarding the application will not indicate whether the decision was made by the Panel executive under delegation or by the Panel itself, unless that information is specifically sought by the applicant.