April 16, 2018 by Ian Russell

IIAC Responds to Ontario Government Consultation Paper on Regulation of Financial Planners (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The IIAC submitted a comment letter to the Ontario government on its Consultation Paper, Regulation of Financial Planners. In our submission, the IIAC responded to questions surrounding the proposals to restrict the use of the “Financial Planner” title in Ontario, prohibit titles similar to “Financial Planner” and create a central, publicly-accessible database of financial planners.

You can read our submission here.

For more information, please contact Michelle Alexander, malexander@iiac.ca


April 4, 2018 by Ian Russell

IIAC Comments on BCSC FinTech Regulation Consultation Paper (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The IIAC was pleased to offer comments on British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) Notice 2018/01Consulting on the Securities Law Framework for Fintech Regulation (the “consultation paper”). The IIAC appreciates input received from members, industry experts and Fintech firms.

Fintech has the potential to add efficiencies and introduce a new competitive element to the industry, as well as fundamentally change the structure of the industry insofar as how firms, clients, vendors, and regulators interact. As innovation progresses, regulation needs to keep pace in order to facilitate business operations.

In this regard, the IIAC recommended that regulators:

Take a very broad view of the regulatory landscape as it applies to all entities providing financial services to clients (including those outside the jurisdiction of provincial regulators), rather than the current silo’d approach to the delivery of services.

Impose consistent regulatory standards on entities that undertake (digitally or manually) the same or similar activities, be they a registered firm or Fintech provider. This may necessitate imposing existing regulation on Fintech providers for certain functions, or reducing the regulatory burden for existing registrants for certain functions, to ensure a level playing field.

Allowing for more automated solutions to permit clients to move between the digital and traditional advice platforms would ultimately increase accessibility of advice, as it would reduce the friction between platforms by reducing dealer cost and investor inconvenience associated with starting from scratch with a new advisor on a different platform.

The IIAC provided additional comments on matters such as crowdfunding, digital advice, cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

For more information, read our submission, or contact Susan Copland, scopland@iiac.ca.


March 27, 2018 by Ian Russell

President & CEO Testifies Before House of Commons Finance Committee re: Canada’s AML/ATF Regime (IIAC Blog)

IIAC President and CEO, Ian Russell, testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on the five-year statutory review of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).

In light of important obligations member firms have under the PCMLTFA and its Regulations, he made a number of recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the legislative framework, facilitate the obligations of reporting entities, and minimize the compliance burden. Among the recommendations, he called on the federal government to:

Work with the provinces and territories to harmonize beneficial ownership information standards across Canada and in federal and provincial/territorial statutes.

Create a central registry that contains current and accurate information with respect to beneficial ownership.

Amend legislation under subsection 62(2) to provide an exception from record-keeping and identity verification requirements for foreign institutions registered with securities authorities in certain jurisdictions, for example, the U.S. and the UK.

He also made a number of recommendations specific to FINTRAC.

His testimony is available here:


March 27, 2018 by Ian Russell

Canada’s Investment Industry: A Year in Review (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

My latest Letter from the President examines year-end 2017 securities industry statistics, the challenges faced by large and small investment dealers, and the outlook for the mainline businesses and firm groupings.

Overall, the industry turned in a mixed earnings performance last year. Fee-based business powered retail earnings. The self-clearing retail firms recorded the highest earnings in three years, while the institutional boutiques fared the worst. Falling share values contributed to weak investment banking results in the last months of 2017, and dragged down earnings at the integrated dealers, even though corporate advisory fees held up remarkably well. Fixed income trading at the integrated dealers turned in a sub-par year.

Looking ahead, 2018 will be marked by continued economic and business uncertainties, greater market volatility and reduced capital-raising by small and mid-sized firms, reflecting weak resource markets. The wealth management business, at both large and small firms, will drive industry performance, though handicapped by continued increases in operating costs.

Structural change will remain an overarching theme going forward, driven by firm amalgamation and withdrawals and the adaption of FinTech to expand product offerings, improve efficiencies and broaden reach through digitalization.

To read more on the trends impacting our industry, and to get a breakdown of industry performance, please click here.


March 20, 2018 by Ian Russell

OSC Seniors Strategy (IIAC Blog)

Today, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) released its Seniors Strategy, embracing multiple tools (i.e. targeted policy, operational, research and educational initiatives) to foster a stronger and more secure financial future for Ontario’s seniors.

The IIAC applauds the OSC on its continued efforts to protect seniors from financial exploitation and fraud and address the challenges stemming from diminished mental capacity later in life. The OSC’s Seniors Strategy has the benefit of being both flexible and responsive to the changing needs of older individuals, allowing member firms to exercise judgement based on the particular situation, while keeping appropriate investor protection measures in place.

The OSC recognized in its report the IIAC’s previous work in this area, namely our 2014 Guidance report, “Canada’s Investment Industry: Protecting Senior Investors – Compliance, Supervisory and Other Practices When Serving Senior Investors”.

The IIAC and our Private Client Committee’s Vulnerable Clients Working Group look forward to working closely and collaboratively with the OSC and other stakeholders to develop tools and resources to help member firms better engage with, and address the needs of older clients in the rapidly changing financial environment.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Michelle Alexander.



March 13, 2018 by Ian Russell

IIAC seeks nominations 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.

The caliber of past nominees and Award recipients has been truly excellent and portends a bright future for the securities industry. Their passion for the investment business and commitment to giving back is worthy of acclaim. We are calling on members of the public to put forth the names of outstanding individuals for consideration for this year’s Award. Submit your nomination by clicking HERE. Please note that nominations will be accepted until 5:00 pm ET on June 1, 2018.

Information on the eligibility and selection criteria, and the nomination process, is available here.

Help us recognize the outstanding efforts of our industry’s younger generation. Be sure to submit your nomination by June 1.


February 27, 2018 by Ian Russell

IIAC Responds to 2018 Federal Budget (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

I was in Ottawa today to provide the investment industry’s response to the 2018 federal budget. I attended the budget lock-up to get an early grasp of the content before providing commentary and analysis to members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. I spoke with a number of media outlets, including BNN, CBC Toronto and Canadian Press.

The IIAC’s summary of the budget document and reaction are available here and here, respectively.




February 22, 2018 by Ian Russell

Hidden opportunities for dealers in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

In my latest Letter from the President, I write about China’s steady integration into the global economy and financial markets, and the massive infrastructure projects it has launched to protect its economic influence. I focus on the opportunities for Canadian firms presented by the Belt and Road Initiative – a massive infrastructure project linking China to central and south-east Asia and Europe. Financing the Belt and Road Initiative will take many different forms, including the monetization of resource assets. The needed valuations of these resource assets provide an attractive opportunity for many Canadian businesses with expertise in this area.

For more information, please refer to my Letter.




February 13, 2018 by Ian Russell

A ‘Win’ for the IIAC: Implementation of the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) delayed (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The NSFR is one of the Basel Committee’s key reforms to promote a more resilient banking sector. Under NSFR, Banks are required to hold a minimum amount of assets that can provide stable funding in the event there is disruptions to a bank’s regular funding sources that could lead to a bank failure and potentially pose a systemic risk. NSFR has an international implementation date of January 2018, however, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) had announced a domestic implementation date of January 2019. The IIAC wrote to OSFI on multiple occasions requesting that implementation be further delayed. An area of considerable attention by IIAC members has been the potential effects of the NSFR on the functioning of collateral markets and, by extension, the broader financial system.

In a February 6, 2018 letter, OSFI indicated that based on implementation progress at the international level, it will target a revised NSFR implementation date for Canadian deposit-taking institutions of January 2020—a win for the IIAC.

A delay in implementation will allow: i) OSFI the opportunity to undertake additional consultations with stakeholders to ensure domestic implementation is appropriately calibrated for the nuances of the Canadian market, and ii) market participants will have more time to digest the NSFR requirements and incorporate changes into their business/operational practices.


February 7, 2018 by Ian Russell

FinTech Summit: Merging the Worlds of Finance and Technology (IIAC Blog)

FinTech innovations are revolutionizing the financial services industry, driving new business models, applications, processes and products. At the same time, FinTech technologies raise novel regulatory, technical and legal issues for firms and their customers. Join us on June 1, 2018 to hear from FinTech leaders who will share their insights on how Member firms can harness FinTech to trim costs, streamline operations and offer better value propositions to their clients. Learn from legal, regulatory and technical experts on how to navigate this new terrain. Network with peers, featured experts and vendors.

Topics to include:

Pitfalls of not having cybersecurity awareness

Capitalizing on the Cloud

Legal considerations

Implementation strategies

How RegTech can help compliance and operations

Where do the regulators fit in?

Registration information and guest speakers to be announced shortly.