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

June 21, 2018 by Ian Russell

IIAC Comments on the CSA Reforms Related to the Client-Registrant Relationship (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The CSA released its long-awaited proposals to address the client-registrant relationship. The IIAC is pleased the CSA has proposed a harmonized approach and moved away from an overarching best interest standard that would have created confusion and negative consequences for advisors and their clients.

The IIAC will respond vigorously within the 120-day comment period, engaging with member firms, to put forward recommendations for more practical and cost-effective rules and greater clarity in terms of expected conduct.

Click here to read our news release.



June 18, 2018 by Ian Russell

Speech by Bank of Canada Deputy Governor (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell, President & CEO, Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC); Lynn Patterson, Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada; Charyl Galpin, Chair, IIAC Board of Directors; and Hung Tran, Executive Managing Director, Institute of International Finance (IIF).

It was an honour for the IIAC to host Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Lynn Patterson at a luncheon in Toronto today. She spoke about interest-rate benchmarks and the work underway in Canada and globally to strengthen them.

Interest rate benchmark reform is important to our clients in the financial sector and to the safety and stability of global financial markets. Millions of financial contracts valued in the trillions of dollars rest on these reference rates and affect many of our clients that do business across nearly all asset classes, including derivatives, bonds, loans and other financial instruments. Robust benchmarks are also important because they facilitate the standardization of financial contracts, leading to lower transaction costs and enhanced market liquidity.

If a new risk-free term benchmark is developed, market adoption will be critical. For firms in our industry, transitioning to new benchmarks means adapting trading and risk systems and back-office processes.

You can read the Deputy Governor’s speech or watch a video webcasts of the speech.


June 6, 2018 by Ian Russell

Charyl Galpin of BMO Wealth Management Re-Appointed IIAC Board Chair (IIAC Blog)

At its Annual General Meeting in Montreal today, the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) announced its 2018-19 Board of Directors, including the re-appointment of Charyl Galpin, Chief Regulatory Officer, BMO Wealth Management, as IIAC Board Chair, and Steven Donald, Executive Vice-President, CI Financial Corp., as Vice-Chair.

“I am honoured to continue serving as Chair of the IIAC,” Galpin said. “I look forward to working with our Board to ensure the IIAC remains an effective advocate for member firms, fighting for efficient regulation and capital markets, promoting capital formation and supporting members with services and resources to help ensure their success,” she added.

“Our Board’s experience and expertise will be a tremendous asset as the IIAC continues to lead Canada’s investment industry through sweeping regulatory reform and technology-driven transformation of business operations in response to client demand and competitive pressures,” said Ian Russell, IIAC President and CEO.

Click here to see the list of 2018-19 IIAC Board of Directors.


June 5, 2018 by Ian Russell

Private Corporation Tax Proposals Could Make Financing Conditions Worse for Small Business (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell

The June 2018 IIAC Letter from the President focuses on the proposed tax treatment of passive investment income in Canadian-controlled private corporations and the implications for small business financing.

Roughly 50,000 large private corporations are negatively impacted by the proposals, many of them deeply integrated into the small and mid-sized business sector, engaged in debt and equity financing, strategic corporate advisory services, and merchant banking. The government’s proposed measures will discourage them from undertaking these types of activities, constricting the already scarce flow of capital to new and emerging enterprises.

My Letter offers a number of recommendations to mitigate the negative impact of the proposed changes. You can access it here.