rules and regulations

It’s now easier for mutual fund reps to qualify to sell alternative mutual funds under relief granted by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today.

The CSA issued blanket relief that expands the list of courses that allow fund reps to sell liquid alt funds in an effort to reduce barriers for reps and investors.

In a notice, the CSA said that mutual fund reps have “experienced challenges meeting the mandatory proficiency requirements for distributing alternative mutual funds” under the existing rules that were intended to expand investors’ access to alt funds.

“As a result, investor access to alternative mutual funds has been limited,” the CSA said.

The regulators are now easing that constraint by including four additional courses that reps (and supervisors) can use to qualify to distribute alt funds.

The courses are offered by the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) and the IFSE Institute.

Industry trade group, the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) Canada is applauding the regulators’ decision, saying it will “facilitate greater retail investor access” to alt funds.

“We are thrilled to see this positive announcement from the CSA,” said Claire Van Wyk-Allan, director, Head of Canada, at AIMA, in a release.

“Given continued market volatility, it is critical that MFDA advisors and their clients have fair access to products that can help protect investment portfolios through downside protection, diversification and non-correlated return benefits,” she said, adding that the expanded list of courses provides “practical and flexible solutions” for mutual fund reps “to meet these revised proficiency requirements quickly.”