From the Regulators

Dealers must actively manage conflicts of interest and preserve confidentiality

By James Langton |

Investment dealers can continue to use part-time chief financial officers (CFOs), the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) says.

IIROC issued draft guidance for comment on Wednesday confirming that dealers can hire a CFO on a part-time basis, and that the same person can serve as CFO for more than one firm. It says that the guidance is being issued in response to recent inquiries from a number of dealers asking whether these practices are still allowed.

The guidance establishes that part-time CFOs are permitted, and sets out IIROC's expectations for these situations. "The regulatory obligations of a part-time CFO are exactly the same as the regulatory obligations of a full-time CFO," it notes, adding that this holds whether the CFO works off-site, or if they work for more than one dealer.

"A CFO who routinely works off-site or with multiple dealers must always be prepared to devote more time to a particular [dealer] or spend more time on-site as needs and situations arise," it says, adding that firms should also be continually assessing whether a part-time CFO makes sense as their business develops.

Additionally, dealers have a responsibility to supervise their CFO, it notes, and firms that use part-time CFOs "must actively manage conflicts of interest and preserve confidentiality", it says.

Comments on the guidance are due by June 2.