December 14, 2017 by Ian Russell

Review and Renovate the Existing Securities Rulebook (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

In my latest opinion piece for Investment Executive, I call on regulators to review and renovate the existing securities rulebook, with a focus on identifying rules that are obsolete and out-dated, inefficient and duplicative, and have unintended negative consequences on capital formation. Such a review has the potential to yield major efficiency gains in the areas of securities trading and financing, enable more cost-effective investor protection, lower transaction costs and stimulate investor participation in markets, and boost overall liquidity and capital formation in Canada.

I also outline some specific rules regulator should tackle to address the alarming fall-off in small business financings and initial public offerings, and stem the loss of many small retail and institutional boutique dealers.

You can read more here.


December 4, 2017 by Ian Russell

Brexit and what it portends for UK-EU and global capital markets (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

My December 2017 Letter from the President examines Brexit and its implications for UK-EU and global capital markets. Brexit’s impact could be modest, if financial regulation relies on mutual recognition or national treatment, or considerably disruptive, if the EU forces UK dealing banks to conduct trading and clearing with European clients within the EU, requiring a shift in UK operations to Europe.

It is clear post-Brexit, the UK and the EU need a model of regulatory cooperation. I believe the Financial Stability Board (FSB) may be the best possible vehicle to take on responsibility for a regional or global collaborative framework for regulatory coordination of rules and mechanisms to address differences in cross-border regulation.

Click here to read more.


December 1, 2017 by Ian Russell

International Capital Market Fragmentation – The Risks are Real (IIAC Blog)

The 2008 global financial crisis shook the global financial system to its core. Massive regulatory reforms ensued, the result of intense dialogue and cooperation between national authorities and international standard-setting bodies. Now, recent developments threaten to weaken cooperation on financial regulations and the process of reform. I write about these threats in the December 2017 issue of the Canadian Business Journal. I also argue that continued regulatory cooperation and coordination are as important as ever to address new risks and vulnerabilities to financial stability, market efficiency and investor protection. Click here to read the article: http://www.cbj.ca/EMAG/2017/Dec/CBJ.php#48

November 10, 2017 by Ian Russell

Why fewer companies are listing? (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

I appeared on Business In Vancouver Radio to discuss the factors that have contributed to fewer companies going public, a trend occurring in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.

The high costs associated with listing on the exchanges and meeting ongoing reporting issuer responsibilities (i.e. disclosure and corporate governance requirements) are keeping many companies from tapping the public markets. Coupled with this, regulatory changes in the various jurisdictions have made it easier for companies to go private. Also, private equity firms are playing a larger role in the market, providing financing, and in the M&A space, buying out public companies and turning them private. Finally, low interest rates have lowered the relative cost of capital, reducing the need to tap public markets for financing.

I discuss the implications stemming from the shift towards private market financing—for the firms, investors, the health of the exchanges and regulators. Click here to listen to the interview.


October 24, 2017 by Ian Russell

IIAC Appears Before Senate National Finance Committee on Proposed Changes to the Taxation of Private Corporations (IIAC Blog)

Today, I appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance as part of consultations on the proposed changes to the Income Tax Act respecting the taxation of private corporations. I focused my comments on the proposed tax treatment of passive investment income in private corporations and its negative impact on access to capital for small businesses and capital formation in the country.  I illustrated how the proposed measures will create a disincentive to business investment and entrepreneurship, at a time when such investment is needed to spur economic growth and employment. I called on the federal government to take these proposals off the table, noting the existing tax rules are well understood, fair and have worked effectively for more than four decades. You can access my presentation here.

October 16, 2017 by Ian Russell

IIAC Appears Before House of Commons Finance Committee (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

Today, I appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 federal budget. The Committee was in St. John’s Newfoundland, a province that has been struggling to gain economic momentum. Employment is down for the third consecutive year and the jobless rate now sits at a seven-year high. Promoting the growth of small businesses and encouraging entrepreneurs to start up business is a high priority not only in this region, but across Canada.

In my presentation to the Finance Committee, I called on the federal government to make positive proactive reforms to the tax system to promote equity investment in small private and public businesses. One of the IIAC’s key and long-standing recommendations is a Canadian version of the UK Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). This program provides a personal tax credit for the purchase of small business shares on direct lenders for bad credit no credit check, an exemption from capital gains tax for shares held for more than three years, and a rollover provision exempting capital gains taxes on the sale of an asset, if the proceeds are reinvested in EIS shares. The EIS program has a solid track record of success because the investor’s own capital is at stake. Further, tax expenditures of the Program are more than offset by the revenues generated from corporate taxes, taxes paid on salaries to employees, and VAT paid by EIS-financed companies.

The IIAC’s pre-budget submission contains a number of other recommendations to improve Canada’s productivity and competitiveness, and achieve sustainable economic growth. You can access it here.

October 6, 2017 by Ian Russell

Federal Tax Proposals – Another Blow for Small Business Capital-Raising (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

On July 18, 2017, the federal government unveiled proposed changes to address tax planning strategies involving the use of private corporations. The government is concerned that so-called wealthy Canadians are exploiting tax “loopholes” and the tax system must be made more fair. This is highly misleading. Business owners are following existing tax rules that are legislated, clear and in effect for decades.

The tax proposals have created a firestorm of protest. In my latest Letter from the President, I focus on the proposed tax treatment of passive investment income in private corporations and the potential ripple effects. I argue that the government should withdraw the proposals and conduct a comprehensive review of the tax system, including full consultation on what should be the right tax policy in this area.

As part of this review, the government should explore ways to promote equity investment in small private and public businesses. I make three recommendations in this regard.

You can read my Letter from the President by clicking here.


September 26, 2017 by Ian Russell

Hope You Will Join Us For One Of These Remarkable Events (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The IIAC’s events bring together regulators, government officials, IIAC members and opinion leaders to address the issues that are important to the investment industry.

We also collaborate and partner with other organizations to offer our members unique programs designed with their needs and interests in mind.

Hope to see you at one of these upcoming events.

SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society/IIAC breakfast. Toronto. October 6.

Canadian Institute, Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Compliance Conference. Proudly supported by the IIAC. Toronto. Oct 17-18.

IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame Gala Dinner & Induction Ceremony. Toronto. October 26.

Take Our Kids to Work Day™. Toronto. November 1. (open to grade 9 students related to an IIAC member-firm employee).

Assistance Conference for the Wealth Management Industry. Proudly supported by the IIAC. Toronto. December 5 | Montreal. December 7.

More to come.


September 12, 2017 by Ian Russell

BNN Interview: Recent Trends and Outlook for the Investment Industry (IIAC Blog)

September 8, 2017 by Ian Russell

The Investment Industry at Mid-Year (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

My September 2017 Letter from the President provides an overview of recent performance in the investment industry, highlighting developing business trends, the challenges faced by large and small investment dealers, and the outlook for the mainline businesses and firm groupings. 

Click here to read it.