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EFG Hermes recognizes its responsibility to support the protection and advancement of human rights and to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking and their associated outcomes, such as the laundering of illicit gains, do not take place within our sphere of influence. EFG Hermes has been a participant in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) since 2011 and became a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2018. EFG Hermes’ goal is to uphold the UNGC principles on human rights by engaging with stakeholders and committing to policies that minimize risk on human rights issues and improve living standards in the communities where it operates. Key areas of engagement are as follows.
EFG Hermes believes that protecting the rights of its employees is of paramount importance. In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Labour & Human Rights, EFG Hermes articulated two statements to complement its existing policies: A Statement on Human and Labour Rights affirming compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries we operate in and a Statement on Health and Safety which aims to fulfil all corporate and legal health and safety responsibilities and provide a healthy and safe environment for all employees, visitors and customers. Where our internal standards supersede what is mandated by law, we will always apply what enhances employee rights and entitlements. Where local laws may stand in the way of the application of our standards for human rights, we will ensure we comply with the laws while having conversations with the related organizations to find ways of ensuring adherence to our human rights standards.
Compliance and Risk Management
EFG Hermes believes that having sufficient information about our clients is the best way to minimize the Firm’s risk of being used for illicit activities such as the processing of funds gained from human trafficking or modern slavery. It also protects EFG Hermes against fraud and enables EFG Hermes to recognize suspicious activity. EFG Hermes anti-money laundering (AML) policy is based upon the strict adherence to the following procedures:
EFG Hermes’ thorough due diligence processes, which are applied to individual and corporate clients alike, ensure that no new businesses are undertaken prior to compliance scrutiny, verification and approval. Our due diligence processes are implemented across business lines at EFG Hermes to ensure that our investment platforms are not used for illegal transactions. Potential clients are required to fill out a detailed questionnaire, and investor names are checked against domestic and international sanctions lists like the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), European Union and United Nations lists to protect the Firm from entering into business with persona non grata individuals. Our due diligence documents are protected by strict access regulations and documentation standards.
EFG Hermes Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy aims to educate EFG Hermes employees on fraud and corruption, set the framework for fraud prevention and anti-corruption actions, and define each employee’s role in fighting any potential fraud and corruption within EFG Hermes. This policy applies to all employees irrespective of their position with the Firm and should be read in conjunction with the EFG Hermes Code of Conduct. Compliance with this policy is mandatory and non-compliance may lead to disciplinary action including dismissal.
EFG Hermes ensures all salaries fulfil any legal minimum wage requirement in all the countries we operate in.
EFG Hermes conducts five mandatory training courses for all employees on Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Anti-fraud, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Cybersecurity, and Responsible Investment on an annual basis.
EFG Hermes’ Supplier Code of Conduct requires its suppliers to uphold all applicable laws and regulations regarding labour and human rights, health and safety, environmental protection, and ethical practices wherever they make products or perform services for EFG Hermes. This Code goes beyond mere compliance with the law by drawing upon internationally recognized standards to advance social and environmental responsibility. Any violations of the code jeopardize the supplier’s business relationship with EFG Hermes.
EFG Hermes is also committed to mitigating the socio-economic factors that may trigger vulnerability to human trafficking or modern slavery. The International Labour Organization (ILO) identifies issues such as income shocks and poverty as the main economic factors that push individuals into forced labour. Other reasons contributing to risk and vulnerability include lack of education, illiteracy, gender and migration. EFG Hermes’ approach to tackling these root causes involves two lines of attack:
Corporate Social Responsibility
The EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development is committed to implementing sustainable integrated development projects in rural areas to provide economic opportunities, education and decent living standards for those most vulnerable to forced labour.
EFG Hermes is committed to serving underprivileged communities by offering comprehensive microfinance solutions to owners of very small businesses across Egypt who would otherwise have no access to growth capital or banking sector services and who might resort to abusive lending or indenture, both gateways to forced labour.
EFG Hermes will continue to combat modern slavery and human trafficking wherever appropriate within its sphere of influence and operation as part of its commitment to uphold human rights and to create a better world for future generations.