This Code of Ethics and Sound Trading Practices (Code) defines the values, principles and internal controls that ACES shall follow in conducting certain business activities. This Code is expressly applicable to ACES employees trading and/or scheduling power, natural gas and other approved commodities (trading staff) and trading control staff.
The Code is intended to complement the internal principles and practices of ACES and to guide its agent activities for its clients associated with transaction execution, managing risk, and providing market liquidity. Compliance with this Code provides assurance to clients, regulators, and other market participants that ACES’ business activities are, and will continue to be, conducted with integrity. In addition, assurance is given that unlawful and unethical trading practices are not tolerated, and that ACES intends to abide by these ethical standards and maintain sound trading practices.
Above all, adopting this Code reaffirms ACES’ commitment to excellence, professionalism and unwavering ethical conduct.
I. Ethical Standards
A. Core Value: Integrity
Conducting business activities with integrity is the essence of ethical conduct. Integrity means conducting business activities in an honorable and principled manner consistent with the ethical standards and sound trading practices set forth herein.
B. Ethical Standards
This Code requires that ACES’ trading staff shall:
- Conduct business in accordance with all applicable reliability standards, and all applicable laws, regulations, tariffs and rules, and in good faith, and with a commitment to honest dealing.
- Not engage in fraudulent behavior.
- Honors the terms and conditions of its clients’ power, natural gas and other approved commodity contracts and trading strategies consistent with its responsibility as the client’s agent.
- Engage only in transactions with legitimate business purposes; such as managing business risk or that otherwise have economic substance. In no event will the trading staff engage in any transactions intended to artificially boost revenues or volumes of any party, or intended to manipulate market prices.
- Not collude with other market participants or otherwise attempt to: (a) Affect the price or supply of power, natural gas and other approved commodities, (b) allocate territories, customers or products, or (c) otherwise unlawfully restrain competition.
- Adhere to ACES’ Code of Conduct, Trading Authority Policy, and company policies dealing with legal compliance (including, but not limited to futures & derivatives, antitrust, insider trading, FERC Standards of Conduct, FERC Anti-Market Manipulation, and FERC Market Behavior Rules), business conduct, personal conduct, conflict of interest and vendor relations.
- Maintain and adhere to internal procedures designed to ensure that: (a) All trades are properly documented in a timely fashion, and (b) No trades are concealed or misrepresented.
- Use a fair market-clearing price at the location of the trade as a transaction price for trades between clients.
II. Sound Trading Practices
A. Core Value: Adherence to Sound Trading Practices and Principles
Power, natural gas and other commodity markets reflect the constantly changing dynamics of supply and demand. Efficient business operations in such an environment demand practices that can manage risk and discover market prices. Such practices must be consistent with the guiding Ethical Standards of this Code.
B. Sound Trading Practices Standards
This Code requires that ACES’ trading staff shall:
- Operate and schedule electric generating facilities and commit or otherwise offer supply in a manner that complies with the rules, regulations and guidelines of the applicable power, natural gas, and other approved commodity markets. Moreover, ACES will not encourage or advise its clients to engage in such activities or misrepresent the operational capabilities of generation facilities, nor to engage in activities intended to unlawfully withhold available supply from the market. ACES may, when permitted by applicable market rules, advise its clients to not to run their electric generating plants or to not offer or schedule such resources or other power supplies: (a) when running, offering, or scheduling the resource or power supply would be uneconomic under the given circumstances, or (b) when such actions would risk jeopardizing public health and safety or damaging their facilities, or (c) in order to comply with facility licensing, environmental or other legal requirements.
- Not participate in transactions or schedule resources with the intent of creating congestion to manipulate prices or to jeopardize the security of dispatch operations.
- Not offer capacity performance or ancillary services products to the market that its clients do not intend to provide
- Not arrange and execute simultaneous offsetting buy and sell trades, i.e., with the same counterparty and identical price, commodity, location and quantity terms, with an intent to artificially distort actual revenues, trading volumes or affect market prices.
- ACES traders are prohibited from submitting equal and offsetting buy and sale orders (e.g., two ACES traders getting matched opposite each other) on a trading platform (e.g., ICE, CME/NYMEX) on behalf of the same ACES’ client.
-  ICE’s July 2021 “Wash Trade FAQ” advisory: “Market participants should have and enforce policies to preclude affiliated traders who enter orders for the same Principal and have access to, or knowledge of each other’s orders, from trading opposite each other.”
- Not discuss the financial condition of a client to current or potential trading counterparties. Refer counterparties with any questions regarding the financial condition of a client to ACES’ Credit department.
- Not submit or communicate any trade information, trade prices, price quotes, or like information directly to market publications and publishers of surveys and price indices, or like entities, either orally or otherwise.
- Not solicit receipt of non-public information regarding transmission, transportation, or storage, except for such information that constitutes legitimate ACES business on behalf of an ACES client.
- Not distribute non-public information regarding transmission, transportation or storage, except for such information that constitutes legitimate ACES business on behalf of an ACES client. For this exception, such distribution is limited to only those parties who are on a need to know basis (e.g., the ACES client, the transmission provider, the pipeline company, the storage resource provider).
III. Information Disclosure and Documentation
A. Core Value: Candid and Complete Disclosure
Markets depend on trust in the accuracy of market information and transparency of market behavior. The confidentiality of commercially sensitive information entrusted to ACES will be maintained.
B. Information Disclosure and Documentation Standards
The trading control staff shall remain separate and distinct from ACES’ trading staff.
ACES’ trading control staff shall:
- Provide market and transaction information to its clients as required by regulators and market monitors in compliance with all applicable rules and requirements, and cooperate as reasonably necessary to assist in their understanding of market operations.
- When reporting transactions, do so in accordance with applicable accounting principles and in a manner that accurately represents the price and characteristics of such transactions.
- Monitor compliance with the trading authority policies designed to ensure that power, natural gas and other approved commodity trading activities are conducted in accordance with such trading authority policies.
- Maintain and adhere to internal procedures designed to ensure (a) that all trades are properly captured in a timely fashion, and (b) that no trades are concealed or misrepresented.
- Maintain documentation on all transactions for an appropriate period of time as required of ACES (under applicable laws and regulations).
IV. Violations and Sanctions
A. ACES has a compliance program to ensure appropriate, timely and ongoing review of power, natural gas and other approved commodity trading practices and such program is designed to promote compliance with this Code.
B. Trading staff violations of this Code are addressed by ACES’ Trading Sanctions Policy. Violations of this Code by trading control staff are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment as determined by the CEO.
*Violations of reliability standards are subject to discipline per ACES’ ERO Sanctions Policy.