From the Regulators

The committee serves as a forum to discuss issues and challenges faced by registrants and provides feedback to regulators

By James Langton |

As it aims to step up efforts at industry outreach, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking representatives from dealers, fund managers, and other firms to serve on the second edition of its Registrant Advisory Committee (RAC).

The committee, which was established in January 2013, is a mechanism for providing feedback to the regulator on the development and implementation of regulatory policy. It also serves as a forum to discuss issues and challenges faced by registrants in interpreting and complying with securities law.

According to a report issued Thursday by the OSC's compliance and registrant regulation (CRR) branch, over the past year the committee has examined a variety of issues, including the proposed new mutual fund risk classification methodology for use in the Fund Facts disclosure documents; proposed new prospectus exemptions; electronic document delivery; proposed new derivatives rules; and proposed changes to the fee rule; among other topics. (See From registration to compliance, investmentexecutive.com, September 24, 2014.)

The committee's initial two-year term expires in December, and the OSC is now seeking applicants to serve new 24-month terms. The RAC meets approximately four to six times per year, although additional meetings may be required, the OSC notes. The committee, which is chaired by the OSC's director, compliance and registrant regulation, Debra Foubert, is comprised of 10 to 12 members drawn from the various registration categories, and business models, that are overseen by the OSC. Applications are due by Oct. 24.

The committee forms part of a broader strategy to enhance its engagement with the industry as a way of helping firms meet their regulatory obligations. In 2013, the OSC also launched a new Registrant Outreach Program, in a bid to open the lines of communication between firms and the regulator, and to create a central repository of information to help firms establish and maintain effective compliance systems.

"Open communication with registrants gives CRR staff valuable insights into how registrants are adapting to the changes in the market environment and investor expectations," the OSC notes in its report. "It has been a constructive dialogue about strengthening the culture of compliance with Ontario securities law in the shared interest of protecting investors and fostering fair and efficient capital markets."