Analysts suggest it will now fall to the OSC to decide whether responsibility for the financial education of future investors will be handed over to a not-for-profit or one of the Big Five.
This past Friday the Investor Education Fund issued a press release that it was in the process of seeking parties interested in acquiring its school-oriented financial literacy assets.
For those unaware, the IEF is integrating itself into the OSCs Office of the Investor Policy, Education and Outreach, an initiative that was first announced last November. Hamza stated at the time, “As part of the IEFs new role within the OSC, our focus will be on building the OSCs engagement with investors and better understanding their needs.”
In other words, the school-based literacy program which includes the InspireFinancialLearning.ca website along with over 50 lesson plans that allow teachers to integrate financial education into the classroom experience, don’t fit into the newly-merged organization.
Everything must go.
WP wonders who will buy the assets. The big concern is that someone buys the assets and uses them to market products and/or services.
“Any type of organization that buys this will be able to forward the cause of financial education in schools,” says Hamza. “It can be a non-profit, it can be a corporation, but it would be impractical for anybody to take these assets and make them into something that would sell products. It’s not designed for that and the school systems wouldn’t allow it.”
Junior Achievement is an organization that’s been providing youth business education in Canada for more than 58 years. Last year alone it provided 243,000 students with some type of financial education. Its mandate makes it a natural home for these assets.
Whether they make an offer is still up in the air. However, they’re certainly interested.
In conversation with Keith Publicover, CEO of Junior Achievement Canada, WP has learned more about its intentions for the IEF assets.
“We have to consider a number of things including scalability, that we’re part of a larger network, and if it’s a fit with our own academic mission and the work we’re doing with students.”
“At this stage we have more questions than answers.”
In addition, Junior Achievement is currently overhauling all of its educational programs. There’s a big question of whether acquiring these assets makes sense for the Junior Achievement organization.
“There’s some big questions attached to this. It looks attractive but at the same time we have to address whether the assets fit the JA experience.”
While not a lock it’s safe to say Junior Achievement will be in the mix which is a very good thing for students in this country.