IFRS 10 Assessing control

B2 To determine whether it controls an investee an investor shall assess whether it has all the following:

  1. power over the investee;
  2. exposure, or rights, to variable returns from its involvement with the investee; and
  3. the ability to use its power over the investee to affect the amount of the investor’s returns.

B3 Consideration of the following factors may assist in making that determination:

  1. the purpose and design of the investee (see paragraphs B5–B8);
  2. what the relevant activities are and how decisions about those activities are made (see paragraphs B11–B13);
  3. whether the rights of the investor give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities (see paragraphs B14–B54);
  4. whether the investor is exposed, or has rights, to variable returns from its involvement with the investee (see paragraphs B55–B57); and
  5. whether the investor has the ability to use its power over the investee to affect the amount of the investor’s returns (see paragraphs B58–B72).

B4 When assessing control of an investee, an investor shall consider the nature of its relationship with other parties (see paragraphs B73–B75).

Purpose and design of an investee

B5 When assessing control of an investee, an investor shall consider the purpose and design of the investee in order to identify the relevant activities, how decisions about the relevant activities are made, who has the current ability to direct those activities and who receives returns from those activities.

B6 When an investee’s purpose and design are considered, it may be clear that an investee is controlled by means of equity instruments that give the holder proportionate voting rights, such as ordinary shares in the investee. In this case, in the absence of any additional arrangements that alter decision-making, the assessment of control focuses on which party, if any, is able to exercise voting rights sufficient to determine the investee’s operating and financing policies (see paragraphs B34–B50). In the most straightforward case, the investor that holds a majority of those voting rights, in the absence of any other factors, controls the investee.

B7 To determine whether an investor controls an investee in more complex cases, it may be necessary to consider some or all of the other factors in paragraph B3.

B8 An investee may be designed so that voting rights are not the dominant factor in deciding who controls the investee, such as when any voting rights relate to administrative tasks only and the relevant activities are directed by means of contractual arrangements. In such cases, an investor’s consideration of the purpose and design of the investee shall also include consideration of the risks to which the investee was designed to be exposed, the risks it was designed to pass on to the parties involved with the investee and whether the investor is exposed to some or all of those risks. Consideration of the risks includes not only the downside risk, but also the potential for upside.

Power

B9 To have power over an investee, an investor must have existing rights that give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities. For the purpose of assessing power, only substantive rights and rights that are not protective shall be considered (see paragraphs B22–B28).

B10 The determination about whether an investor has power depends on the relevant activities, the way decisions about the relevant activities are made and the rights the investor and other parties have in relation to the investee.

Relevant activities and direction of relevant activities

B11 For many investees, a range of operating and financing activities significantly affect their returns. Examples of activities that, depending on the circumstances, can be relevant activities include, but are not limited to:

  1. selling and purchasing of goods or services;
  2. managing financial assets during their life (including upon default);
  3. selecting, acquiring or disposing of assets;
  4. researching and developing new products or processes; and
  5. determining a funding structure or obtaining funding.

B12 Examples of decisions about relevant activities include but are not limited to:

  1. establishing operating and capital decisions of the investee, including budgets; and
  2. appointing and remunerating an investee’s key management personnel or service providers and terminating their services or employment.

B13 In some situations, activities both before and after a particular set of circumstances arises or event occurs may be relevant activities. When two or more investors have the current ability to direct relevant activities and those activities occur at different times, the investors shall determine which investor is able to direct the activities that most significantly affect those returns consistently with the treatment of concurrent decision-making rights (see paragraph 13). The investors shall reconsider this assessment over time if relevant facts or circumstances change.

Application examples

Example 1

Two investors form an investee to develop and market a medical product.
One investor is responsible for developing and obtaining regulatory approval of the medical product—that responsibility includes having the unilateral ability to make all decisions relating to the development of the product and to obtaining regulatory approval. Once the regulator has approved the product, the other investor will manufacture and market it—this investor has the unilateral ability to make all decisions about the manufacture and marketing of the product. If all the activities—developing and obtaining regulatory approval as well as manufacturing and marketing of the medical product—are relevant activities, each investor needs to determine whether it is able to direct the activities that most significantly affect the investee’s returns. Accordingly, each investor needs to consider whether developing and obtaining regulatory approval or the manufacturing and marketing of the medical product is the activity that most significantly affects the investee’s returns and whether it is able to direct that activity. In determining which investor has power, the investors would consider:

  1. the purpose and design of the investee;
  2. the factors that determine the profit margin, revenue and value of the investee as well as the value of the medical product;
  3. the effect on the investee’s returns resulting from each investor’s decision-making authority with respect to the factors in (b); and
  4. the investors’ exposure to variability of returns.In this particular example, the investors would also consider:
  5. the uncertainty of, and effort required in, obtaining regulatory approval (considering the investor’s record of successfully developing and obtaining regulatory approval of medical products); and
  6. which investor controls the medical product once the development phase is successful.

Example 2

An investment vehicle (the investee) is created and financed with a debt instrument held by an investor (the debt investor) and equity instruments held by a number of other investors. The equity tranche is designed to absorb the first losses and to receive any residual return from the investee. One of the equity investors who holds 30 per cent of the equity is also the asset manager. The investee uses its proceeds to purchase a portfolio of financial assets, exposing the investee to the credit risk associated with the possible default of principal and interest payments of the assets. The transaction is marketed to the debt investor as an investment with minimal exposure to the credit risk associated with the possible default of the assets in the portfolio because of the nature of these assets and because the equity tranche is designed to absorb the first losses of the investee. The returns of the investee are significantly affected by the management of the investee’s asset portfolio, which includes decisions about the selection, acquisition and disposal of the assets within portfolio guidelines and the management upon default of any portfolio assets. All those activities are managed by the asset manager until defaults reach a specified proportion of the portfolio value (ie when the value of the portfolio is such that the equity tranche of the investee has been consumed). From that time, a third-party trustee manages the assets according to the instructions of the debt investor. Managing the investee’s asset portfolio is the relevant activity of the investee. The asset manager has the ability to direct the relevant activities until defaulted assets reach the specified proportion of the portfolio value; the debt investor has the ability to direct the relevant activities when the value of defaulted assets surpasses that specified proportion of the portfolio value. The asset manager and the debt investor each need to determine whether they are able to direct the activities that most significantly affect the investee’s returns, including considering the purpose and design of the investee as well as each party’s exposure to variability of returns.

Rights that give an investor power over an investee

B14 Power arises from rights. To have power over an investee, an investor must have existing rights that give the investor the current ability to direct the relevant activities. The rights that may give an investor power can differ between investees.

B15 Examples of rights that, either individually or in combination, can give an investor power include but are not limited to:

  1. rights in the form of voting rights (or potential voting rights) of an investee (see paragraphs B34–B50);
  2. rights to appoint, reassign or remove members of an investee’s key management personnel who have the ability to direct the relevant activities;
  3. rights to appoint or remove another entity that directs the relevant activities;
  4. rights to direct the investee to enter into, or veto any changes to, transactions for the benefit of the investor; and
  5. other rights (such as decision-making rights specified in a management contract) that give the holder the ability to direct the relevant activities.

B16 Generally, when an investee has a range of operating and financing activities that significantly affect the investee’s returns and when substantive decision-making with respect to these activities is required continuously, it will be voting or similar rights that give an investor power, either individually or in combination with other arrangements.

B17 When voting rights cannot have a significant effect on an investee’s returns, such as when voting rights relate to administrative tasks only and contractual arrangements determine the direction of the relevant activities, the investor needs to assess those contractual arrangements in order to determine whether it has rights sufficient to give it power over the investee. To determine whether an investor has rights sufficient to give it power, the investor shall consider the purpose and design of the investee (see paragraphs B5–B8) and the requirements in paragraphs B51–B54 together with paragraphs B18–B20.

B18 In some circumstances it may be difficult to determine whether an investor’s rights are sufficient to give it power over an investee. In such cases, to enable the assessment of power to be made, the investor shall consider evidence of whether it has the practical ability to direct the relevant activities unilaterally. Consideration is given, but is not limited, to the following, which, when considered together with its rights and the indicators in paragraphs B19 and B20, may provide evidence that the investor’s rights are sufficient to give it power over the investee:

  1. The investor can, without having the contractual right to do so, appoint or approve the investee’s key management personnel who have the ability to direct the relevant activities.
  2. The investor can, without having the contractual right to do so, direct the investee to enter into, or can veto any changes to, significant transactions for the benefit of the investor.
  3. The investor can dominate either the nominations process for electing members of the investee’s governing body or the obtaining of proxies from other holders of voting rights.
  4. The investee’s key management personnel are related parties of the investor (for example, the chief executive officer of the investee and the chief executive officer of the investor are the same person).
  5. The majority of the members of the investee’s governing body are related parties of the investor.

B19 Sometimes there will be indications that the investor has a special relationship with the investee, which suggests that the investor has more than a passive interest in the investee. The existence of any individual indicator, or a particular combination of indicators, does not necessarily mean that the power criterion is met. However, having more than a passive interest in the investee may indicate that the investor has other related rights sufficient to give it power or provide evidence of existing power over an investee. For example, the following suggests that the investor has more than a passive interest in the investee and, in combination with other rights, may indicate power:

  1. The investee’s key management personnel who have the ability to direct the relevant activities are current or previous employees of the investor.
  2. The investee’s operations are dependent on the investor, such as in the following situations:
    1. The investee depends on the investor to fund a significant portion of its operations.
    2. The investor guarantees a significant portion of the investee’s obligations.
    3. The investee depends on the investor for critical services, technology, supplies or raw materials.
    4. The investor controls assets such as licences or trademarks that are critical to the investee’s operations.
    5. The investee depends on the investor for key management personnel, such as when the investor’s personnel have specialised knowledge of the investee’s operations.
  3. A significant portion of the investee’s activities either involve or are conducted on behalf of the investor.
  4. The investor’s exposure, or rights, to returns from its involvement with the investee is disproportionately greater than its voting or other similar rights. For example, there may be a situation in which an investor is entitled, or exposed, to more than half of the returns of the investee but holds less than half of the voting rights of the investee.

B20 The greater an investor’s exposure, or rights, to variability of returns from its involvement with an investee, the greater is the incentive for the investor to obtain rights sufficient to give it power. Therefore, having a large exposure to variability of returns is an indicator that the investor may have power. However, the extent of the investor’s exposure does not, in itself, determine whether an investor has power over the investee.

B21 When the factors set out in paragraph B18 and the indicators set out in paragraphs B19 and B20 are considered together with an investor’s rights, greater weight shall be given to the evidence of power described in paragraph B18.

Substantive rights

B22 An investor, in assessing whether it has power, considers only substantive rights relating to an investee (held by the investor and others). For a right to be substantive, the holder must have the practical ability to exercise that right.

B23 Determining whether rights are substantive requires judgement, taking into account all facts and circumstances. Factors to consider in making that determination include but are not limited to:

  1. Whether there are any barriers (economic or otherwise) that prevent the holder (or holders) from exercising the rights. Examples of such barriers include but are not limited to:
    1. financial penalties and incentives that would prevent (or deter) the holder from exercising its rights.
    2. an exercise or conversion price that creates a financial barrier that would prevent (or deter) the holder from exercising its rights.
    3. terms and conditions that make it unlikely that the rights would be exercised, for example, conditions that narrowly limit the timing of their exercise.
    4. the absence of an explicit, reasonable mechanism in the founding documents of an investee or in applicable laws or regulations that would allow the holder to exercise its rights.
    5. the inability of the holder of the rights to obtain the information necessary to exercise its rights.
    6. operational barriers or incentives that would prevent (or deter) the holder from exercising its rights (eg the absence of other managers willing or able to provide specialised services or provide the services and take on other interests held by the incumbent manager).
    7. legal or regulatory requirements that prevent the holder from exercising its rights (eg where a foreign investor is prohibited from exercising its rights).
  2. When the exercise of rights requires the agreement of more than one party, or when the rights are held by more than one party, whether a mechanism is in place that provides those parties with the practical ability to exercise their rights collectively if they choose to do so. The lack of such a mechanism is an indicator that the rights may not be substantive. The more parties that are required to agree to exercise the rights, the less likely it is that those rights are substantive. However, a board of directors whose members are independent of the decision maker may serve as a mechanism for numerous investors to act collectively in exercising their rights. Therefore, removal rights exercisable by an independent board of directors are more likely to be substantive than if the same rights were exercisable individually by a large number of investors.
  3. Whether the party or parties that hold the rights would benefit from the exercise of those rights. For example, the holder of potential voting rights in an investee (see paragraphs B47–B50) shall consider the exercise or conversion price of the instrument. The terms and conditions of potential voting rights are more likely to be substantive when the instrument is in the money or the investor would benefit for other reasons (eg by realising synergies between the investor and the investee) from the exercise or conversion of the instrument.

B24 To be substantive, rights also need to be exercisable when decisions about the direction of the relevant activities need to be made. Usually, to be substantive, the rights need to be currently exercisable. However, sometimes rights can be substantive, even though the rights are not currently exercisable.

Application examples

Example 3

The investee has annual shareholder meetings at which decisions to direct the relevant activities are made. The next scheduled shareholders’ meeting is in eight months. However, shareholders that individually or collectively hold at least 5 per cent of the voting rights can call a special meeting to change the existing policies over the relevant activities, but a requirement to give notice to the other shareholders means that such a meeting cannot be held for at least 30 days. Policies over the relevant activities can be changed only at special or scheduled shareholders’ meetings. This includes the approval of material sales of assets as well as the making or disposing of significant investments.

The above fact pattern applies to examples 3A–3D described below. Each example is considered in isolation.

Example 3A

An investor holds a majority of the voting rights in the investee. The investor’s voting rights are substantive because the investor is able to make decisions about the direction of the relevant activities when they need to be made. The fact that it takes 30 days before the investor can exercise its voting rights does not stop the investor from having the current ability to direct the relevant activities from the moment the investor acquires the shareholding.

Example 3B

An investor is party to a forward contract to acquire the majority of shares in the investee. The forward contract’s settlement date is in 25 days. The existing shareholders are unable to change the existing policies over the relevant activities because a special meeting cannot be held for at least 30 days, at which point the forward contract will have been settled. Thus, the investor has rights that are essentially equivalent to the majority shareholder in example 3A above (ie the investor holding the forward contract can make decisions about the direction of the relevant activities when they need to be made). The investor’s forward contract is a substantive right that gives the investor the current ability to direct the relevant activities even before the forward contract is settled.

Example 3C

An investor holds a substantive option to acquire the majority of shares in the investee that is exercisable in 25 days and is deeply in the money. The same conclusion would be reached as in example 3B.

Example 3D

An investor is party to a forward contract to acquire the majority of shares in the investee, with no other related rights over the investee. The forward contract’s settlement date is in six months. In contrast to the examples above, the investor does not have the current ability to direct the relevant activities. The existing shareholders have the current ability to direct the relevant activities because they can change the existing policies over the relevant activities before the forward contract is settled.

B25 Substantive rights exercisable by other parties can prevent an investor from controlling the investee to which those rights relate. Such substantive rights do not require the holders to have the ability to initiate decisions. As long as the rights are not merely protective (see paragraphs B26–B28), substantive rights held by other parties may prevent the investor from controlling the investee even if the rights give the holders only the current ability to approve or block decisions that relate to the relevant activities.

Protective rights

B26 In evaluating whether rights give an investor power over an investee, the investor shall assess whether its rights, and rights held by others, are protective rights. Protective rights relate to fundamental changes to the activities of an investee or apply in exceptional circumstances. However, not all rights that apply in exceptional circumstances or are contingent on events are protective (see paragraphs B13 and B53).

B27 Because protective rights are designed to protect the interests of their holder without giving that party power over the investee to which those rights relate, an investor that holds only protective rights cannot have power or prevent another party from having power over an investee (see paragraph 14).

B28 Examples of protective rights include but are not limited to:

  1. a lender’s right to restrict a borrower from undertaking activities that could significantly change the credit risk of the borrower to the detriment of the lender.
  2. the right of a party holding a non-controlling interest in an investee to approve capital expenditure greater than that required in the ordinary course of business, or to approve the issue of equity or debt instruments.
  3. the right of a lender to seize the assets of a borrower if the borrower fails to meet specified loan repayment conditions.

Franchises

B29 A franchise agreement for which the investee is the franchisee often gives the franchisor rights that are designed to protect the franchise brand. Franchise agreements typically give franchisors some decision-making rights with respect to the operations of the franchisee.

B30 Generally, franchisors’ rights do not restrict the ability of parties other than the franchisor to make decisions that have a significant effect on the franchisee’s returns. Nor do the rights of the franchisor in franchise agreements necessarily give the franchisor the current ability to direct the activities that significantly affect the franchisee’s returns.

B31 It is necessary to distinguish between having the current ability to make decisions that significantly affect the franchisee’s returns and having the ability to make decisions that protect the franchise brand. The franchisor does not have power over the franchisee if other parties have existing rights that give them the current ability to direct the relevant activities of the franchisee.

B32 By entering into the franchise agreement the franchisee has made a unilateral decision to operate its business in accordance with the terms of the franchise agreement, but for its own account.

B33 Control over such fundamental decisions as the legal form of the franchisee and its funding structure may be determined by parties other than the franchisor and may significantly affect the returns of the franchisee. The lower the level of financial support provided by the franchisor and the lower the franchisor’s exposure to variability of returns from the franchisee the more likely it is that the franchisor has only protective rights.

Voting rights

B34 Often an investor has the current ability, through voting or similar rights, to direct the relevant activities. An investor considers the requirements in this section (paragraphs B35–B50) if the relevant activities of an investee are directed through voting rights.

Power with a majority of the voting rights

B35 An investor that holds more than half of the voting rights of an investee has power in the following situations, unless paragraph B36 or paragraph B37 applies:

  1. the relevant activities are directed by a vote of the holder of the majority of the voting rights, or
  2. a majority of the members of the governing body that directs the relevant activities are appointed by a vote of the holder of the majority of the voting rights.

Majority of the voting rights but no power

B36 For an investor that holds more than half of the voting rights of an investee, to have power over an investee, the investor’s voting rights must be substantive, in accordance with paragraphs B22–B25, and must provide the investor with the current ability to direct the relevant activities, which often will be through determining operating and financing policies. If another entity has existing rights that provide that entity with the right to direct the relevant activities and that entity is not an agent of the investor, the investor does not have power over the investee.

B37 An investor does not have power over an investee, even though the investor holds the majority of the voting rights in the investee, when those voting rights are not substantive. For example, an investor that has more than half of the voting rights in an investee cannot have power if the relevant activities are subject to direction by a government, court, administrator, receiver, liquidator or regulator.

Power without a majority of the voting rights

B38 An investor can have power even if it holds less than a majority of the voting rights of an investee. An investor can have power with less than a majority of the voting rights of an investee, for example, through:

  1. a contractual arrangement between the investor and other vote holders (see paragraph B39);
  2. rights arising from other contractual arrangements (see paragraph B40);
  3. the investor’s voting rights (see paragraphs B41–B45);
  4. potential voting rights (see paragraphs B47–B50); or
  5. a combination of (a)–(d).

Contractual arrangement with other vote holders

B39 A contractual arrangement between an investor and other vote holders can give the investor the right to exercise voting rights sufficient to give the investor power, even if the investor does not have voting rights sufficient to give it power without the contractual arrangement. However, a contractual arrangement might ensure that the investor can direct enough other vote holders on how to vote to enable the investor to make decisions about the relevant activities.

Rights from other contractual arrangements

B40 Other decision-making rights, in combination with voting rights, can give an investor the current ability to direct the relevant activities. For example, the rights specified in a contractual arrangement in combination with voting rights may be sufficient to give an investor the current ability to direct the manufacturing processes of an investee or to direct other operating or financing activities of an investee that significantly affect the investee’s returns. However, in the absence of any other rights, economic dependence of an investee on the investor (such as relations of a supplier with its main customer) does not lead to the investor having power over the investee.

The investor’s voting rights

B41 An investor with less than a majority of the voting rights has rights that are sufficient to give it power when the investor has the practical ability to direct the relevant activities unilaterally.

B42 When assessing whether an investor’s voting rights are sufficient to give it power, an investor considers all facts and circumstances, including:

  1. the size of the investor’s holding of voting rights relative to the size and dispersion of holdings of the other vote holders, noting that:
    1. the more voting rights an investor holds, the more likely the investor is to have existing rights that give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities;
    2. the more voting rights an investor holds relative to other vote holders, the more likely the investor is to have existing rights that give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities;
    3. the more parties that would need to act together to outvote the investor, the more likely the investor is to have existing rights that give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities;
  2. potential voting rights held by the investor, other vote holders or other parties (see paragraphs B47–B50);
  3. rights arising from other contractual arrangements (see paragraph B40); and
  4. any additional facts and circumstances that indicate the investor has, or does not have, the current ability to direct the relevant activities at the time that decisions need to be made, including voting patterns at previous shareholders’ meetings.

B43 When the direction of relevant activities is determined by majority vote and an investor holds significantly more voting rights than any other vote holder or organised group of vote holders, and the other shareholdings are widely dispersed, it may be clear, after considering the factors listed in paragraph B42(a)–(c) alone, that the investor has power over the investee.

Application examples

Example 4

An investor acquires 48 per cent of the voting rights of an investee. The remaining voting rights are held by thousands of shareholders, none individually holding more than 1 per cent of the voting rights. None of the shareholders has any arrangements to consult any of the others or make collective decisions. When assessing the proportion of voting rights to acquire, on the basis of the relative size of the other shareholdings, the investor determined that a 48 per cent interest would be sufficient to give it control. In this case, on the basis of the absolute size of its holding and the relative size of the other shareholdings, the investor concludes that it has a sufficiently dominant voting interest to meet the power criterion without the need to consider any other evidence of power.

Example 5

Investor A holds 40 per cent of the voting rights of an investee and twelve other investors each hold 5 per cent of the voting rights of the investee. A shareholder agreement grants investor A the right to appoint, remove and set the remuneration of management responsible for directing the relevant activities. To change the agreement, a two-thirds majority vote of the shareholders is required. In this case, investor A concludes that the absolute size of the investor’s holding and the relative size of the other shareholdings alone are not conclusive in determining whether the investor has rights sufficient to give it power. However, investor A determines that its contractual right to appoint, remove and set the remuneration of management is sufficient to conclude that it has power over the investee. The fact that investor A might not have exercised this right or the likelihood of investor A exercising its right to select, appoint or remove management shall not be considered when assessing whether investor A has power.

B44 In other situations, it may be clear after considering the factors listed in paragraph B42(a)–(c) alone that an investor does not have power.

Application example

Example 6

Investor A holds 45 per cent of the voting rights of an investee. Two other investors each hold 26 per cent of the voting rights of the investee. The remaining voting rights are held by three other shareholders, each holding 1 per cent. There are no other arrangements that affect decision-making. In this case, the size of investor A’s voting interest and its size relative to the other shareholdings are sufficient to conclude that investor A does not have power. Only two other investors would need to co-operate to be able to prevent investor A from directing the relevant activities of the investee.

B45 However, the factors listed in paragraph B42(a)–(c) alone may not be conclusive. If an investor, having considered those factors, is unclear whether it has power, it shall consider additional facts and circumstances, such as whether other shareholders are passive in nature as demonstrated by voting patterns at previous shareholders’ meetings. This includes the assessment of the factors set out in paragraph B18 and the indicators in paragraphs B19 and B20. The fewer voting rights the investor holds, and the fewer parties that would need to act together to outvote the investor, the more reliance would be placed on the additional facts and circumstances to assess whether the investor’s rights are sufficient to give it power. When the facts and circumstances in paragraphs B18–B20 are considered together with the investor’s rights, greater weight shall be given to the evidence of power in paragraph B18 than to the indicators of power in paragraphs B19 and B20.

Application examples

Example 7

An investor holds 45 per cent of the voting rights of an investee. Eleven other shareholders each hold 5 per cent of the voting rights of the investee. None of the shareholders has contractual arrangements to consult any of the others or make collective decisions. In this case, the absolute size of the investor’s holding and the relative size of the other shareholdings alone are not conclusive in determining whether the investor has rights sufficient to give it power over the investee. Additional facts and circumstances that may provide evidence that the investor has, or does not have, power shall be considered.

Example 8

An investor holds 35 per cent of the voting rights of an investee. Three other shareholders each hold 5 per cent of the voting rights of the investee. The remaining voting rights are held by numerous other shareholders, none individually holding more than 1 per cent of the voting rights. None of the shareholders has arrangements to consult any of the others or make collective decisions. Decisions about the relevant activities of the investee require the approval of a majority of votes cast at relevant shareholders’ meetings—75 per cent of the voting rights of the investee have been cast at recent relevant shareholders’ meetings. In this case, the active participation of the other shareholders at recent shareholders’ meetings indicates that the investor would not have the practical ability to direct the relevant activities unilaterally, regardless of whether the investor has directed the relevant activities because a sufficient number of other shareholders voted in the same way as the investor.

B46 If it is not clear, having considered the factors listed in paragraph B42(a)–(d), that the investor has power, the investor does not control the investee.

Potential voting rights

B47 When assessing control, an investor considers its potential voting rights as well as potential voting rights held by other parties, to determine whether it has power. Potential voting rights are rights to obtain voting rights of an investee, such as those arising from convertible instruments or options, including forward contracts. Those potential voting rights are considered only if the rights are substantive (see paragraphs B22–B25).

B48 When considering potential voting rights, an investor shall consider the purpose and design of the instrument, as well as the purpose and design of any other involvement the investor has with the investee. This includes an assessment of the various terms and conditions of the instrument as well as the investor’s apparent expectations, motives and reasons for agreeing to those terms and conditions.

B49 If the investor also has voting or other decision-making rights relating to the investee’s activities, the investor assesses whether those rights, in combination with potential voting rights, give the investor power.

B50 Substantive potential voting rights alone, or in combination with other rights, can give an investor the current ability to direct the relevant activities. For example, this is likely to be the case when an investor holds 40 per cent of the voting rights of an investee and, in accordance with paragraph B23, holds substantive rights arising from options to acquire a further 20 per cent of the voting rights.

Application examples

Example 9

Investor A holds 70 per cent of the voting rights of an investee. Investor B has 30 per cent of the voting rights of the investee as well as an option to acquire half of investor A’s voting rights. The option is exercisable for the next two years at a fixed price that is deeply out of the money (and is expected to remain so for that two-year period). Investor A has been exercising its votes and is actively directing the relevant activities of the investee. In such a case, investor A is likely to meet the power criterion because it appears to have the current ability to direct the relevant activities. Although investor B has currently exercisable options to purchase additional voting rights (that, if exercised, would give it a majority of the voting rights in the investee), the terms and conditions associated with those options are such that the options are not considered substantive.

Example 10

Investor A and two other investors each hold a third of the voting rights of an investee. The investee’s business activity is closely related to investor A. In addition to its equity instruments, investor A also holds debt instruments that are convertible into ordinary shares of the investee at any time for a fixed price that is out of the money (but not deeply out of the money). If the debt were converted, investor A would hold 60 per cent of the voting rights of the investee. Investor A would benefit from realising synergies if the debt instruments were converted into ordinary shares. Investor A has power over the investee because it holds voting rights of the investee together with substantive potential voting rights that give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities.

Power when voting or similar rights do not have a significant effect on the investee’s returns

B51 In assessing the purpose and design of an investee (see paragraphs B5–B8), an investor shall consider the involvement and decisions made at the investee’s inception as part of its design and evaluate whether the transaction terms and features of the involvement provide the investor with rights that are sufficient to give it power. Being involved in the design of an investee alone is not sufficient to give an investor control. However, involvement in the design may indicate that the investor had the opportunity to obtain rights that are sufficient to give it power over the investee.

B52 In addition, an investor shall consider contractual arrangements such as call rights, put rights and liquidation rights established at the investee’s inception. When these contractual arrangements involve activities that are closely related to the investee, then these activities are, in substance, an integral part of the investee’s overall activities, even though they may occur outside the legal boundaries of the investee. Therefore, explicit or implicit decision-making rights embedded in contractual arrangements that are closely related to the investee need to be considered as relevant activities when determining power over the investee.

B53 For some investees, relevant activities occur only when particular circumstances arise or events occur. The investee may be designed so that the direction of its activities and its returns are predetermined unless and until those particular circumstances arise or events occur. In this case, only the decisions about the investee’s activities when those circumstances or events occur can significantly affect its returns and thus be relevant activities. The circumstances or events need not have occurred for an investor with the ability to make those decisions to have power. The fact that the right to make decisions is contingent on circumstances arising or an event occurring does not, in itself, make those rights protective.

Application examples

Example 11

An investee’s only business activity, as specified in its founding documents, is to purchase receivables and service them on a day-to-day basis for its investors. The servicing on a day-to-day basis includes the collection and passing on of principal and interest payments as they fall due. Upon default of a receivable the investee automatically puts the receivable to an investor as agreed separately in a put agreement between the investor and the investee. The only relevant activity is managing the receivables upon default because it is the only activity that can significantly affect the investee’s returns. Managing the receivables before default is not a relevant activity because it does not require substantive decisions to be made that could significantly affect the investee’s returns—the activities before default are predetermined and amount only to collecting cash flows as they fall due and passing them on to investors. Therefore, only the investor’s right to manage the assets upon default should be considered when assessing the overall activities of the investee that significantly affect the investee’s returns. In this example, the design of the investee ensures that the investor has decision-making authority over the activities that significantly affect the returns at the only time that such decision-making authority is required. The terms of the put agreement are integral to the overall transaction and the establishment of the investee. Therefore, the terms of the put agreement together with the founding documents of the investee lead to the conclusion that the investor has power over the investee even though the investor takes ownership of the receivables only upon default and manages the defaulted receivables outside the legal boundaries of the investee.

Example 12

The only assets of an investee are receivables. When the purpose and design of the investee are considered, it is determined that the only relevant activity is managing the receivables upon default. The party that has the ability to manage the defaulting receivables has power over the investee, irrespective of whether any of the borrowers have defaulted.

B54 An investor may have an explicit or implicit commitment to ensure that an investee continues to operate as designed. Such a commitment may increase the investor’s exposure to variability of returns and thus increase the incentive for the investor to obtain rights sufficient to give it power. Therefore a commitment to ensure that an investee operates as designed may be an indicator that the investor has power, but does not, by itself, give an investor power, nor does it prevent another party from having power.

Exposure, or rights, to variable returns from an investee

B55 When assessing whether an investor has control of an investee, the investor determines whether it is exposed, or has rights, to variable returns from its involvement with the investee.

B56 Variable returns are returns that are not fixed and have the potential to vary as a result of the performance of an investee. Variable returns can be only positive, only negative or both positive and negative (see paragraph 15). An investor assesses whether returns from an investee are variable and how variable those returns are on the basis of the substance of the arrangement and regardless of the legal form of the returns. For example, an investor can hold a bond with fixed interest payments. The fixed interest payments are variable returns for the purpose of this IFRS because they are subject to default risk and they expose the investor to the credit risk of the issuer of the bond. The amount of variability (ie how variable those returns are) depends on the credit risk of the bond. Similarly, fixed performance fees for managing an investee’s assets are variable returns because they expose the investor to the performance risk of the investee. The amount of variability depends on the investee’s ability to generate sufficient income to pay the fee.

B57 Examples of returns include:

  1. dividends, other distributions of economic benefits from an investee (eg interest from debt securities issued by the investee) and changes in the value of the investor’s investment in that investee.
  2. remuneration for servicing an investee’s assets or liabilities, fees and exposure to loss from providing credit or liquidity support, residual interests in the investee’s assets and liabilities on liquidation of that investee, tax benefits, and access to future liquidity that an investor has from its involvement with an investee.
  3. returns that are not available to other interest holders. For example, an investor might use its assets in combination with the assets of the investee, such as combining operating functions to achieve economies of scale, cost savings, sourcing scarce products, gaining access to proprietary knowledge or limiting some operations or assets, to enhance the value of the investor’s other assets.

Link between power and returns

Delegated power

B58 When an investor with decision-making rights (a decision maker) assesses whether it controls an investee, it shall determine whether it is a principal or an agent. An investor shall also determine whether another entity with decision-making rights is acting as an agent for the investor. An agent is a party primarily engaged to act on behalf and for the benefit of another party or parties (the principal(s)) and therefore does not control the investee when it exercises its decision-making authority (see paragraphs 17 and 18). Thus, sometimes a principal’s power may be held and exercisable by an agent, but on behalf of the principal. A decision maker is not an agent simply because other parties can benefit from the decisions that it makes.

B59 An investor may delegate its decision-making authority to an agent on some specific issues or on all relevant activities. When assessing whether it controls an investee, the investor shall treat the decision-making rights delegated to its agent as held by the investor directly. In situations where there is more than one principal, each of the principals shall assess whether it has power over the investee by considering the requirements in paragraphs B5–B54. Paragraphs B60–B72 provide guidance on determining whether a decision maker is an agent or a principal.

B60 A decision maker shall consider the overall relationship between itself, the investee being managed and other parties involved with the investee, in particular all the factors below, in determining whether it is an agent:

  1. the scope of its decision-making authority over the investee (paragraphs B62 and B63).
  2. the rights held by other parties (paragraphs B64–B67).
  3. the remuneration to which it is entitled in accordance with the remuneration agreement(s) (paragraphs B68–B70).
  4. the decision maker’s exposure to variability of returns from other interests that it holds in the investee (paragraphs B71 and B72).

Different weightings shall be applied to each of the factors on the basis of particular facts and circumstances.

B61 Determining whether a decision maker is an agent requires an evaluation of all the factors listed in paragraph B60 unless a single party holds substantive rights to remove the decision maker (removal rights) and can remove the decision maker without cause (see paragraph B65).

The scope of the decision-making authority

B62 The scope of a decision maker’s decision-making authority is evaluated by considering:

  1. the activities that are permitted according to the decision-making agreement(s) and specified by law, and
  2. the discretion that the decision maker has when making decisions about those activities.

B63 A decision maker shall consider the purpose and design of the investee, the risks to which the investee was designed to be exposed, the risks it was designed to pass on to the parties involved and the level of involvement the decision maker had in the design of an investee. For example, if a decision maker is significantly involved in the design of the investee (including in determining the scope of decision-making authority), that involvement may indicate that the decision maker had the opportunity and incentive to obtain rights that result in the decision maker having the ability to direct the relevant activities.

Rights held by other parties

B64 Substantive rights held by other parties may affect the decision maker’s ability to direct the relevant activities of an investee. Substantive removal or other rights may indicate that the decision maker is an agent.

B65 When a single party holds substantive removal rights and can remove the decision maker without cause, this, in isolation, is sufficient to conclude that the decision maker is an agent. If more than one party holds such rights (and no individual party can remove the decision maker without the agreement of other parties) those rights are not, in isolation, conclusive in determining that a decision maker acts primarily on behalf and for the benefit of others. In addition, the greater the number of parties required to act together to exercise rights to remove a decision maker and the greater the magnitude of, and variability associated with, the decision maker’s other economic interests (ie remuneration and other interests), the less the weighting that shall be placed on this factor.

B66 Substantive rights held by other parties that restrict a decision maker’s discretion shall be considered in a similar manner to removal rights when evaluating whether the decision maker is an agent. For example, a decision maker that is required to obtain approval from a small number of other parties for its actions is generally an agent. (See paragraphs B22–B25 for additional guidance on rights and whether they are substantive.)

B67 Consideration of the rights held by other parties shall include an assessment of any rights exercisable by an investee’s board of directors (or other governing body) and their effect on the decision-making authority (see paragraph B23(b)).

Remuneration

B68 The greater the magnitude of, and variability associated with, the decision maker’s remuneration relative to the returns expected from the activities of the investee, the more likely the decision maker is a principal.

B69 In determining whether it is a principal or an agent the decision maker shall also consider whether the following conditions exist:

  1. The remuneration of the decision maker is commensurate with the services provided.
  2. The remuneration agreement includes only terms, conditions or amounts that are customarily present in arrangements for similar services and level of skills negotiated on an arm’s length basis.

B70 A decision maker cannot be an agent unless the conditions set out in paragraph B69(a) and (b) are present. However, meeting those conditions in isolation is not sufficient to conclude that a decision maker is an agent.

Exposure to variability of returns from other interests

B71 A decision maker that holds other interests in an investee (eg investments in the investee or provides guarantees with respect to the performance of the investee), shall consider its exposure to variability of returns from those interests in assessing whether it is an agent. Holding other interests in an investee indicates that the decision maker may be a principal.

B72 In evaluating its exposure to variability of returns from other interests in the investee a decision maker shall consider the following:

  1. the greater the magnitude of, and variability associated with, its economic interests, considering its remuneration and other interests in aggregate, the more likely the decision maker is a principal.
  2. whether its exposure to variability of returns is different from that of the other investors and, if so, whether this might influence its actions. For example, this might be the case when a decision maker holds subordinated interests in, or provides other forms of credit enhancement to, an investee.

The decision maker shall evaluate its exposure relative to the total variability of returns of the investee. This evaluation is made primarily on the basis of returns expected from the activities of the investee but shall not ignore the decision maker’s maximum exposure to variability of returns of the investee through other interests that the decision maker holds.

Application examples

Example 13

A decision maker (fund manager) establishes, markets and manages a publicly traded, regulated fund according to narrowly defined parameters set out in the investment mandate as required by its local laws and regulations. The fund was marketed to investors as an investment in a diversified portfolio of equity securities of publicly traded entities. Within the defined parameters, the fund manager has discretion about the assets in which to invest. The fund manager has made a 10 per cent pro rata investment in the fund and receives a market-based fee for its services equal to 1 per cent of the net asset value of the fund. The fees are commensurate with the services provided. The fund manager does not have any obligation to fund losses beyond its 10 per cent investment. The fund is not required to establish, and has not established, an independent board of directors. The investors do not hold any substantive rights that would affect the decision-making authority of the fund manager, but can redeem their interests within particular limits set by the fund.

Although operating within the parameters set out in the investment mandate and in accordance with the regulatory requirements, the fund manager has decision-making rights that give it the current ability to direct the relevant activities of the fund—the investors do not hold substantive rights that could affect the fund manager’s decision-making authority. The fund manager receives a market-based fee for its services that is commensurate with the services provided and has also made a pro rata investment in the fund. The remuneration and its investment expose the fund manager to variability of returns from the activities of the fund without creating exposure that is of such significance that it indicates that the fund manager is a principal.

In this example, consideration of the fund manager’s exposure to variability of returns from the fund together with its decision-making authority within restricted parameters indicates that the fund manager is an agent. Thus, the fund manager concludes that it does not control the fund.

Example 14

A decision maker establishes, markets and manages a fund that provides investment opportunities to a number of investors. The decision maker (fund manager) must make decisions in the best interests of all investors and in accordance with the fund’s governing agreements. Nonetheless, the fund manager has wide decision-making discretion. The fund manager receives a market-based fee for its services equal to 1 per cent of assets under management and 20 per cent of all the fund’s profits if a specified profit level is achieved. The fees are commensurate with the services provided.

Although it must make decisions in the best interests of all investors, the fund manager has extensive decision-making authority to direct the relevant activities of the fund. The fund manager is paid fixed and performance-related fees that are commensurate with the services provided. In addition, the remuneration aligns the interests of the fund manager with those of the other investors to increase the value of the fund, without creating exposure to variability of returns from the activities of the fund that is of such significance that the remuneration, when considered in isolation, indicates that the fund manager is a principal.

The above fact pattern and analysis applies to examples 14A–14C described below. Each example is considered in isolation.

Example 14A

The fund manager also has a 2 per cent investment in the fund that aligns its interests with those of the other investors. The fund manager does not have any obligation to fund losses beyond its 2 per cent investment. The investors can remove the fund manager by a simple majority vote, but only for breach of contract.

The fund manager’s 2 per cent investment increases its exposure to variability of returns from the activities of the fund without creating exposure that is of such significance that it indicates that the fund manager is a principal. The other investors’ rights to remove the fund manager are considered to be protective rights because they are exercisable only for breach of contract. In this example, although the fund manager has extensive decision-making authority and is exposed to variability of returns from its interest and remuneration, the fund manager’s exposure indicates that the fund manager is an agent. Thus, the fund manager concludes that it does not control the fund.

Example 14B

The fund manager has a more substantial pro rata investment in the fund, but does not have any obligation to fund losses beyond that investment. The investors can remove the fund manager by a simple majority vote, but only for breach of contract.

In this example, the other investors’ rights to remove the fund manager are considered to be protective rights because they are exercisable only for breach of contract. Although the fund manager is paid fixed and performance-related fees that are commensurate with the services provided, the combination of the fund manager’s investment together with its remuneration could create exposure to variability of returns from the activities of the fund that is of such significance that it indicates that the fund manager is a principal. The greater the magnitude of, and variability associated with, the fund manager’s economic interests (considering its remuneration and other interests in aggregate), the more emphasis the fund manager would place on those economic interests in the analysis, and the more likely the fund manager is a principal.

For example, having considered its remuneration and the other factors, the fund manager might consider a 20 per cent investment to be sufficient to conclude that it controls the fund. However, in different circumstances (ie if the remuneration or other factors are different), control may arise when the level of investment is different.

Example 14C

The fund manager has a 20 per cent pro rata investment in the fund, but does not have any obligation to fund losses beyond its 20 per cent investment. The fund has a board of directors, all of whose members are independent of the fund manager and are appointed by the other investors. The board appoints the fund manager annually. If the board decided not to renew the fund manager’s contract, the services performed by the fund manager could be performed by other managers in the industry.

Although the fund manager is paid fixed and performance-related fees that are commensurate with the services provided, the combination of the fund manager’s 20 per cent investment together with its remuneration creates exposure to variability of returns from the activities of the fund that is of such significance that it indicates that the fund manager is a principal.

However, the investors have substantive rights to remove the fund manager—the board of directors provides a mechanism to ensure that the investors can remove the fund manager if they decide to do so. In this example, the fund manager places greater emphasis on the substantive removal rights in the analysis. Thus, although the fund manager has extensive decision-making authority and is exposed to variability of returns of the fund from its remuneration and investment, the substantive rights held by the other investors indicate that the fund manager is an agent. Thus, the fund manager concludes that it does not control the fund.

Example 15

An investee is created to purchase a portfolio of fixed rate asset-backed securities, funded by fixed rate debt instruments and equity instruments. The equity instruments are designed to provide first loss protection to the debt investors and receive any residual returns of the investee. The transaction was marketed to potential debt investors as an investment in a portfolio of asset-backed securities with exposure to the credit risk associated with the possible default of the issuers of the asset-backed securities in the portfolio and to the interest rate risk associated with the management of the portfolio. On formation, the equity instruments represent 10 per cent of the value of the assets purchased. A decision maker (the asset manager) manages the active asset portfolio by making investment decisions within the parameters set out in the investee’s prospectus. For those services, the asset manager receives a market-based fixed fee (ie 1 per cent of assets under management) and performance-related fees (ie 10 per cent of profits) if the investee’s profits exceed a specified level. The fees are commensurate with the services provided. The asset manager holds 35 per cent of the equity in the investee. The remaining 65 per cent of the equity, and all the debt instruments, are held by a large number of widely dispersed unrelated third party investors. The asset manager can be removed, without cause, by a simple majority decision of the other investors.

The asset manager is paid fixed and performance-related fees that are commensurate with the services provided. The remuneration aligns the interests of the fund manager with those of the other investors to increase the value of the fund. The asset manager has exposure to variability of returns from the activities of the fund because it holds 35 per cent of the equity and from its remuneration.

Although operating within the parameters set out in the investee’s prospectus, the asset manager has the current ability to make investment decisions that significantly affect the investee’s returns—the removal rights held by the other investors receive little weighting in the analysis because those rights are held by a large number of widely dispersed investors. In this example, the asset manager places greater emphasis on its exposure to variability of returns of the fund from its equity interest, which is subordinate to the debt instruments. Holding 35 per cent of the equity creates subordinated exposure to losses and rights to returns of the investee, which are of such significance that it indicates that the asset manager is a principal. Thus, the asset manager concludes that it controls the investee.

Example 16

A decision maker (the sponsor) sponsors a multi-seller conduit, which issues short-term debt instruments to unrelated third party investors. The transaction was marketed to potential investors as an investment in a portfolio of highly rated medium-term assets with minimal exposure to the credit risk associated with the possible default by the issuers of the assets in the portfolio. Various transferors sell high quality medium-term asset portfolios to the conduit. Each transferor services the portfolio of assets that it sells to the conduit and manages receivables on default for a market-based servicing fee. Each transferor also provides first loss protection against credit losses from its asset portfolio through over-collateralisation of the assets transferred to the conduit. The sponsor establishes the terms of the conduit and manages the operations of the conduit for a market-based fee. The fee is commensurate with the services provided. The sponsor approves the sellers permitted to sell to the conduit, approves the assets to be purchased by the conduit and makes decisions about the funding of the conduit. The sponsor must act in the best interests of all investors.

The sponsor is entitled to any residual return of the conduit and also provides credit enhancement and liquidity facilities to the conduit. The credit enhancement provided by the sponsor absorbs losses of up to 5 per cent of all of the conduit’s assets, after losses are absorbed by the transferors. The liquidity facilities are not advanced against defaulted assets.

The investors do not hold substantive rights that could affect the decision-making authority of the sponsor.

Even though the sponsor is paid a market-based fee for its services that is commensurate with the services provided, the sponsor has exposure to variability of returns from the activities of the conduit because of its rights to any residual returns of the conduit and the provision of credit enhancement and liquidity facilities (ie the conduit is exposed to liquidity risk by using short-term debt instruments to fund medium-term assets). Even though each of the transferors has decision-making rights that affect the value of the assets of the conduit, the sponsor has extensive decision-making authority that gives it the current ability to direct the activities that most significantly affect the conduit’s returns (ie the sponsor established the terms of the conduit, has the right to make decisions about the assets (approving the assets purchased and the transferors of those assets) and the funding of the conduit (for which new investment must be found on a regular basis)).

The right to residual returns of the conduit and the provision of credit enhancement and liquidity facilities expose the sponsor to variability of returns from the activities of the conduit that is different from that of the other investors. Accordingly, that exposure indicates that the sponsor is a principal and thus the sponsor concludes that it controls the conduit. The sponsor’s obligation to act in the best interest of all investors does not prevent the sponsor from being a principal.

Relationship with other parties

B73 When assessing control, an investor shall consider the nature of its relationship with other parties and whether those other parties are acting on the investor’s behalf (ie they are ‘de facto agents’). The determination of whether other parties are acting as de facto agents requires judgement, considering not only the nature of the relationship but also how those parties interact with each other and the investor.

B74 Such a relationship need not involve a contractual arrangement. A party is a de facto agent when the investor has, or those that direct the activities of the investor have, the ability to direct that party to act on the investor’s behalf. In these circumstances, the investor shall consider its de facto agent’s decision-making rights and its indirect exposure, or rights, to variable returns through the de facto agent together with its own when assessing control of an investee.

B75 The following are examples of such other parties that, by the nature of their relationship, might act as de facto agents for the investor:

  1. the investor’s related parties.
  2. a party that received its interest in the investee as a contribution or loan from the investor.
  3. a party that has agreed not to sell, transfer or encumber its interests in the investee without the investor’s prior approval (except for situations in which the investor and the other party have the right of prior approval and the rights are based on mutually agreed terms by willing independent parties).
  4. a party that cannot finance its operations without subordinated financial support from the investor.
  5. an investee for which the majority of the members of its governing body or for which its key management personnel are the same as those of the investor.
  6. a party that has a close business relationship with the investor, such as the relationship between a professional service provider and one of its significant clients.

Control of specified assets

B76 An investor shall consider whether it treats a portion of an investee as a deemed separate entity and, if so, whether it controls the deemed separate entity.

B77 An investor shall treat a portion of an investee as a deemed separate entity if and only if the following condition is satisfied:

Specified assets of the investee (and related credit enhancements, if any) are the only source of payment for specified liabilities of, or specified other interests in, the investee. Parties other than those with the specified liability do not have rights or obligations related to the specified assets or to residual cash flows from those assets. In substance, none of the returns from the specified assets can be used by the remaining investee and none of the liabilities of the deemed separate entity are payable from the assets of the remaining investee. Thus, in substance, all the assets, liabilities and equity of that deemed separate entity are ring-fenced from the overall investee. Such a deemed separate entity is often called a ‘silo’.

B78 When the condition in paragraph B77 is satisfied, an investor shall identify the activities that significantly affect the returns of the deemed separate entity and how those activities are directed in order to assess whether it has power over that portion of the investee. When assessing control of the deemed separate entity, the investor shall also consider whether it has exposure or rights to variable returns from its involvement with that deemed separate entity and the ability to use its power over that portion of the investee to affect the amount of the investor’s returns.

B79 If the investor controls the deemed separate entity, the investor shall consolidate that portion of the investee. In that case, other parties exclude that portion of the investee when assessing control of, and in consolidating, the investee.

Continuous assessment

B80 An investor shall reassess whether it controls an investee if facts and circumstances indicate that there are changes to one or more of the three elements of control listed in paragraph 7.

B81 If there is a change in how power over an investee can be exercised, that change must be reflected in how an investor assesses its power over an investee. For example, changes to decision-making rights can mean that the relevant activities are no longer directed through voting rights, but instead other agreements, such as contracts, give another party or parties the current ability to direct the relevant activities.

B82 An event can cause an investor to gain or lose power over an investee without the investor being involved in that event. For example, an investor can gain power over an investee because decision-making rights held by another party or parties that previously prevented the investor from controlling an investee have lapsed.

B83 An investor also considers changes affecting its exposure, or rights, to variable returns from its involvement with an investee. For example, an investor that has power over an investee can lose control of an investee if the investor ceases to be entitled to receive returns or to be exposed to obligations, because the investor would fail to satisfy paragraph 7(b) (eg if a contract to receive performance-related fees is terminated).

B84 An investor shall consider whether its assessment that it acts as an agent or a principal has changed. Changes in the overall relationship between the investor and other parties can mean that an investor no longer acts as an agent, even though it has previously acted as an agent, and vice versa. For example, if changes to the rights of the investor, or of other parties, occur, the investor shall reconsider its status as a principal or an agent.

B85 An investor’s initial assessment of control or its status as a principal or an agent would not change simply because of a change in market conditions (eg a change in the investee’s returns driven by market conditions), unless the change in market conditions changes one or more of the three elements of control listed in paragraph 7 or changes the overall relationship between a principal and an agent.