IDE Sets Out A Clear Path Of TransparencyApril 13, 17
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) is creating some interesting precedents for the wider global diamond industry.
Israeli industry leaders brought a raft of proposals before a special meeting of the bourse earlier this month, and among the more far-reaching of them was for a retired district judge to settle arbitration claims with a value of $400,000 or more, rather than a long-standing bourse member. Some smaller claims will also be decided by the retired judge.
With this change, IDE hopes to raise the professional level of arbitration proceedings. As IDE President Yoram Dvash said, “This is an unprecedented decision that will increase the status of our Arbitration Institution in Israel and in the diamond world. It will contribute to greater transparency and objectivity and will strengthen the independence of the Arbitration Institution. I have no doubt that the civil courts will now attribute even greater authority to decisions of this institution."
The appointment of a retired judge and the independence, and particularly transparency, that he will bring fits in with Dvash's wider aims. At the end of last year, for example, Dvash announced that an agreement had been signed with Israel's Tax Authority after several years of exhaustive negotiations.
And last week the IDE held a signing ceremony for the official launch of a code of ethics. The exchange worked on the code together with a leading Israeli expert on the issue, Professor Asa Kasher.
The newly written code puts Israel at the forefront in matters relating to correct and transparent administration, the IDE said on its site. Dvash said: "I am proud to be the first bourse president in the world to launch a code of ethics. It combines very well the IDE's path – a path of transparency and clearly written rules."
Dvash clearly identified the lack of faith in the work of the exchange as highly problematic. A police raid in 2011 on a so-called pirate bank operating in the exchange, long before Dvash was elected president, was a PR disaster for the exchange, as were subsequent Israeli media reports on the workings of the bourse. Although the reports may have been factually incorrect, the impression they made created damage. They also created a great deal of mistrust between the exchange and several of the country's authorities.
Dvash realized that the exchange had to go all-out to ensure relations were restored. Among the steps he has taken are to invite members of Knesset (parliament) to various events at the exchange in order to build a strong relationship between the exchange and lawmakers in order to ensure friends in key roles, particularly ministers, while developing a relationship with a wide array of Knesset members.
In a rapidly changing world, the global diamond industry needs to continuously be on guard and be ready to move with the times. And that means being proactive in showing transparency, rather than having actions forced upon it by outside bodies which may not be aware of its needs and ways of operating – and even worse may not care.