The big news last week was IIROCs white-paper suggestion that it change some of its proficiency standards so that member firms could hire advisors who sell mutual funds and ETFs conceivably saving them from having to write the Canadian Securities Course and Conduct and Practices Handbook Course.
Reading between the lines, many wondered if this was simply a back-door move by IIROC to undercut the MFDA.
But does it make sense? Not really, said Toronto advisor Mark Matsumoto.
“This sounds interesting, but I don't see it working. There's nothing in it for the mutual fund rep unless he can offer more products,” said Matsumoto. “Moving just for the privilege of answering to IIROC instead of the MFDA (or both) is not an answer. Just because it is available doesn't mean it's a good idea.”
Earlier this year the MFDA announced that it was going to introduce proficiency standards for selling ETFs so that when more dealers got their trading platforms setup, accommodating these funds would be facilitated.
Arguably, the move is a game-changer for anyone interested in recommending mutual funds and ETFs to their clients.
“I would love to be able to offer ETFs in the MFDA world,” Ryan Colwell, an MFDA advisor in Georgetown, Ont., told WP over the summer. “It would allow me to access more products and give me more tools to help deal with fee pressure.”
This discussion might not matter if Advocis gets its way.
“Does the MFDA, does FSCO, does IIROC have a role to play in terms of conduct and licensing for the financial advisor? I would say ‘no.’ They have to be removed,” said Ed Skwarek, vice president of regulatory and public affairs with Advocis. “It simplifies the system and it also makes it simpler for the consumer because they don’t understand the siloed approach we take to regulation.”