The growing number of clients looking to lower their exposure to Canada’s flagging oil sector has some MFDA advisors looking to upgrade to IIROC.
“As an IIROC advisor, I would be able to sell mutual funds as well as individual stocks and bonds and I’m actively working towards this," Ryan Colwell, an advisor with IPC Investment Corporation, told WP. “As an MFDA advisor, my licence is limited to the sale of mutual funds … I cannot accommodate clients that would like to join 350.org (and similar initiatives) in divesting of oil and fossil fuels."
The desire to reduce holdings in Canada’s natural resources sector is something advisors continue to grapple with as well as the demand for a la cart investment portfolio construction. Colwell is an example of those looking to better position themselves and their service offerings in the short term but also for the long haul.
“With this broader investment universe,” he said, “I can accommodate these clients by building portfolios of individual stocks and bonds that avoid companies that the clients don’t want.”
Colwell said that he has more than four of his clients requesting to invest in funds but has been limited by the lack of options he can provide under his MFDA license. For example, Qtrade Financial Group is one of a small handful of institutions offering an SRI fund -- The Meritas SRI Fund.
His comments come as advisors are looking for new ways to grow their client books with investors who are looking for socially-conscious alternatives to invest. And with oil prices at a low, others are just as eager for those alternatives.
“I’ve had about five families that have approached me in the last couple months but, without a doubt, I know I have more in my book that would jump at the chance if I offered it as an option,” he said.