Dartmouth's Conflict of Interest Policies
Published in print on October 31, 2010
Conflict of Interest Policy, Effective June 2007, Revised January 2009 General Principles: A potential conflict of interest occurs when an individuals personal or private interests might lead an independent observer reasonably to question whether the individuals professional actions or decisions are influenced by considerations of significant personal interest, financial or otherwise.
Definitions: Trustee shall include any current Trustee and any active Trustee emeritus serving on any committee of the Board of Trustees.
Compliance: Matters under this policy concerning Trustees shall be reported to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for appropriate action.
Dartmouth Form 990 for the year ending June 30, 2009: A special and rigorous conflict-of-interest policy applies to endowment investments with firms in which related parties (e.g., Trustees or non-Trustee Investment Committee members) have a financial interest. Under the New Hampshire Pecuniary Benefit Law (Revised Statute Annotated, Chapter 7:19-a) and the Colleges Policy on Pecuniary Benefit Transactions and Related Party Investments, such investments are strictly regulated. Before such an investment may be made, the Colleges Investment Office must submit to the Board of Trustees an analysis (1) documenting the past performance of funds managed by the firm in question; and (2) comparing the terms of the proposed investment with the terms of other recent similar investments not involving related parties. The analysis must also document that Dartmouths investment would not comprise more than 10% of the fund and that other institutional investors have committed to participate in the same fund.
Based on this information, the proposed investment is considered first by the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees and then by the full Board. In each instance, any Trustee or non-Trustee Investment Committee member associated with the firm involved in the investment must be recused from the discussion and vote. The investment may not be made unless the Investment Committee and the Board each give their approval by a two-thirds vote. Approval requires a finding that the proposed investment is fair and reasonable to the College and that it is no less favorable than the terms of similar recent investments made by the College not involving related parties. In accordance with State law, a notice of the proposed investment identifying the related party, the investment firm, and the amount of the investment is then filed with the State Attorney Generals Office and published in the local daily newspaper.