February 12, 2019 by Ian Russell

Remembering Michael Wilson (1937 – 2019)

In Memoriam: It is with profound sadness we observe the passing of Michael Wilson, former finance minister of Canada.


Mr. Wilson served Canada devotedly throughout his career; he held multiple cabinet positions, under several prime ministers, including Minister of International Trade, Minister of Industry, Science and Technology, and Minister of Finance. Most recently he acted as Canadian ambassador to the United States from 2006 to 2009.


During his time in the private sector, he ably led the business community, occupying senior roles at UBS Canada, Royal Bank of Canada and chairman of Barclays Capital Canada. His work in the investment industry was recognized by an induction into the IIAC Hall of Fame in 2014.


Outside his professional public service, Mr. Wilson gave back to the community in myriad ways, including as a strong advocate for mental health issues — which included serving as the chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada for the past four years – and as Chancellor at the University of Toronto from 2012 to 2018.


The IIAC wishes to express their deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Wilson. He was a pillar of Canadian public service, a renowned intellect, and a true gentleman. He will be deeply missed.


February 8, 2019 by Ian Russell

Remembering Donald Munroe (1937 – 2019), and Christopher Barron (1931 – 2019)

In Memoriam: It is with deep regret and sadness we observe the passing of both Donald Munroe and Christopher Barron.


Don and Chris were both immensely respected leaders in the Canadian investment industry whose work helped shaped the landscape today. They were active members of their communities and leave behind a rich legacy.


Chris distinguished himself as a leader of Cassels Blaikie for nearly 50 years. He served as a valued board member for numerous organizations including schools, universities, non-profits, and corporations. Previously in his career, he held the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The National Trust Company, and Chairman and Treasurer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. He was in fact the youngest chairman of the TSX.


Don began his career with Montreal Trust working in both Toronto and Montreal, before returning to the Maritimes as the president of Central Trust. He joined Wood Gundy in 1979 as manager and financial advisor, where he served his clients faithfully, and was a valued mentor to his colleagues for more than 39 years, until his recent retirement in October 2018.


The IIAC wishes to express their deepest condolences to the families of Don and Chris. Their memories will be forever etched in the fabric of the Canadian Investment Industry.

January 21, 2019 by Ian Russell

Investment industry performance, nine months ended September 2018: Strong results likely for the year, but storm clouds gathering on the near horizon (IIAC blog)

Ian Russell

In my latest President’s Letter, I provide an analysis of the investment industry’s performance for most of 2018 and a preview of what is to come. While the sector has experienced strong performance, the worrisome upward move in operating costs poses the greatest threat to dealer earnings and the viability of small dealers in the coming year. Consolidation trends will likely continue, affecting the competitive diversity of the industry and capital-raising for small and mid-sized businesses in public and private markets.

Read my latest Letter from the President.



December 13, 2018 by Ian Russell

Op-Ed – FSRA will have many benefits (IIAC blog)

Ian Russell



In this Investment Executive Op-Ed I discuss Ontario’s new insurance regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, and describe its impact on securities regulation in the province.


You can read more here.








December 4, 2018 by Ian Russell

Op-Ed – Small investors will benefit from the Ontario government’s deregulation plans (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell





Today’s Globe and Mail has run a column I submitted on the impact of the accumulating regulatory burden on small investors and small businesses.


You can read more here.







November 23, 2018 by Ian Russell

BNN Bloomberg Interview: The drain of investment capital from Canada

November 20, 2018 by Ian Russell

London perspective: A survey of the key issues at play in global financial markets (IIAC blog)

Ian Russell

My latest President’s Letter provides a perspective drawn from meetings in London earlier this month at the International Council of Securities Associations (ICSA) Interim Meeting, with the Chair of the Fixed Income Currencies and Commodities Markets Standards Board (FMSB) and individual financial executives. The document provide insights on risks in global capital markets, priorities for further reform and a focus on the key challenges at play, including Brexit.

Read my latest Letter from the President.







November 16, 2018 by Ian Russell

Recent Supreme court decision – Insights

Ian Russell



On November 9, the Supreme Court confirmed the constitutionality of the Cooperative Securities Regulator ruling on two questions before the Court. I offer up my insights on what this means for the industry and what lies ahead.



To read my insights, Click here.



October 24, 2018 by Ian Russell

Observations from the SIFMA Annual Meeting (IIAC Blog)

Ian Russell


I attended the SIFMA Annual Meeting in Washington in early October. The one-day conference included several policy sessions on the market and economic outlook, a perspective on the evolution of wealth services, and the political landscape in the U.S. with mid-term elections in the offing.


Two interesting break-out sessions focused on changes to business models in fixed income trading and wealth management. Insights shared by experts are important not just to understand how the U.S. industry is evolving, but to foreshadow the direction Canadian dealers might take given changes in investor behavior in our markets. My summary comments are available here.


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.