October 18, 2018 by Ian Russell

Maintaining Earnings Momentum in the Wealth Management Business (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

There is an undercurrent of change happening in the wealth management business, driven by stiff competition, fee compression, regulatory obligations, evolving investor needs and preferences, and applications of new technologies. Industry operating costs have escalated and margins have been squeezed. Further, there is no end in sight to rising costs.

How do wealth-focused investment dealers position themselves for a new phase of growth and profitability?

Read my latest Letter from the President.




September 24, 2018 by Ian Russell

The IIAC Proudly Presents the Nominees for the 2018 IIAC Top Under 40 Award (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The IIAC Top Under 40 Award recognizes and celebrates the new generation of highly motivated and talented young professionals whose drive, dedication, personal and professional qualities and accomplishments have brought distinction to the investment/financial industry.

Please join me in congratulating the 2018 nominees. They are featured in full-page ads in the October editions of Investment Executive and Finance et Investissement. 

The nominees will be formally recognized at the IIAC Top Under 40 Award Luncheon on October 25, 2018 in Toronto, where the 2018 Award recipient will be announced. 

Thank you to our sponsors: Canadian Securities Institute, Investment Executive and Finance et Investissement.

Follow on Twitter: @IIACACCVM #IIACTopUnder40Award


September 6, 2018 by Ian Russell

BNN Bloomberg Interview: The Future of Independent Dealers in Canada

September 6, 2018 by Ian Russell

The Future of the Independent Dealer (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

In my latest President’s Letter, I describe an optimistic future for the mid-sized and small independent dealers in the investment industry, despite uncertain and competitive market conditions. This is an encouraging outcome as the small dealers are vital to the depth and diversity of our capital markets. The independent dealers will build on the tight management of costs, adept application of technology, and business targeted to strategic niche markets. The independent retail firms will benefit from continued robust wealth markets, while institutional firms will have a tougher journey, but find success diversifying investment banking across the non-resource corporate sector, and deepening their penetration of public venture and private markets.

Click here to read my Letter.


August 26, 2018 by Ian Russell

Op-Ed – Wealth management: It’s time to rethink practice and regulation (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

In an Op-Ed published in The Globe and Mail, Michael Williams, Chief Risk Officer at Richardson GMP Limited, and I argue that fixation on themes such as market movements, regulatory reform and technology has obscured, perhaps, the most important factor to build and sustain wealth—an experienced advisor—and, at the core of the client-advisor relationship, a strategic financial plan. While cost-effective regulation is key to guiding best interest and client-first conduct, regulators should also take steps to provide greater scope and flexibility to assist advisors meet the financial objectives of their clients.

You can read more here.




August 16, 2018 by Ian Russell

Proposed client-focused reforms: How they could impact independent firms’ operations? (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

I have written a column for Investment Executive that discusses how independent firms may restructure or retool their wealth-management operations to mitigate the negative impacts of the CSA’s proposed client-focused reforms. 

You can read the column here.







July 12, 2018 by Ian Russell

A Preliminary Assessment of the CSA Reforms to the Client-Advisor Relationship (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

On June 21, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released its long-awaited proposed reforms related to the client-registrant relationship. The CSA has done a commendable job in reaching consensus on a package of harmonized rules and guidelines to achieve best interest/client-first conduct between registrants and their clients, and in promoting a regulatory level playing field across all securities registrants.

The proposed rules leverage the existing SRO rules framework and add additional requirements in core aspects of the retail business, including Know Your Client, Suitability, Know Your Product, and conflicts of interest. Developing clearly articulated and practical guidelines for advisors and providing an effective safe harbour will be important.

The proposed rules are likely to result in more intense scrutiny of mutual funds with high MERs and complex structures; increased availability and access to lower paying fee-based accounts; shift to hybrid robo-investing platforms; and further cost-cutting and structural adjustments across the industry to manage higher fixed and variable costs.

Read the IIAC’s preliminary take on the CSA’s proposed rules and learn more about their anticipated implications here



July 11, 2018 by Ian Russell

Dealer Member-Portfolio Manager Service Arrangements Template (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The IIAC is pleased to make available to member firms a standardized template agreement to be used voluntarily by executing dealers and portfolio managers when entering into service arrangements. Developed by the IIAC and the Portfolio Management Association of Canada (PMAC), the template agreement sets out the respective obligations of the Portfolio Manager and the IIROC Dealer in providing applicable services to their mutual clients, as well as their respective obligations to each other.

The template agreement benefits member firms by streamlining and harmonizing the various agreements in use by IIROC Dealers and Portfolio Managers to create an industry standard. Its Schedules provide parties with the necessary flexibility to account for any unique and specific elements in their commercial relationship.

IIAC members can access the template agreement by clicking here.



June 28, 2018 by Ian Russell

Challenges Faced by Financial Institutions in Global Capital Markets (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

Earlier this month, I attended the International Capital Market Association’s 50th AGM and Conference. Issuers, investors, intermediaries and market infrastructure providers from the cross-border fixed income markets, together with market experts, regulators and policy makers, discussed the state of the global industry and future developments.

In Europe and elsewhere, financial markets are continuing to evolve rapidly, influenced by regulation, disruptive financial technology, demographic trends and an increasingly important environmental agenda.

The Canadian industry is closely watching developments in Europe in the advent of MiFID II. The general view in Europe is that improved post-trade transparency should help to create more market confidence and a sense of true liquidity. In Canada, the CSA has recently put forward a proposal for post-trade transparency in government debt securities. Benchmark reform developments in Europe are also of interest to firms in our industry. Work is underway in Canada to develop a new risk-free term benchmark. Transitioning to new benchmarks means adapting trading and risk systems and back-office processes.

To be sure, institutional and structural adjustments are underway in the marketplace. Resources are increasingly directed to operations that have a competitive advantage, particularly retail wealth operations and asset management, and making selective decisions on outsourcing to manage back-office operations. Firms are also evaluating financial innovation and digitalization processes to improve efficiency, better manage risks and provide more value to customers.

You can read more on these trends and implications in my most recent Letter from the President.


June 27, 2018 by Ian Russell

IIAC Announces 2018 Investment Industry Hall of Fame Inductees (IIAC Blog)

The Investment Industry Hall of Fame honours excellence, integrity and leadership in Canada’s investment industry. The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) is proud to announce the 2018 Inductees into the Hall of Fame:

– Jean-Guy Desjardins, Chair of the Board and CEO, Fiera Capital Corporation

– Bob Dorrance, Chair, CEO and President of TD Securities; Group Head, Wholesale Banking, TD Bank Group

– Monique F. Leroux, Strategic Advisor, Fiera Capital Corporation; Vice-Chair of the Board, Fiera Holdings Inc.; and former Board Chair, President and CEO, Desjardins Group

– Gordon Cheesbrough, former Chair and CEO, Scotia Capital; former President and CEO, Altamira Investment Services; former Deputy Chair, Alterra Capital Holdings; and Co-founder, Blair Franklin Capital Partners (Posthumous)

– Bob Hager, founding partner of Phillips, Hager & North (Posthumous)

This year’s Inductees will be formally recognized and celebrated at the Investment Industry Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony on Thursday, October 25 at the Delta Toronto hotel.

For more information on the Investment Industry Hall of Fame and its 2018 Inductees, visit iiac.ca/halloffame