Gavel and legal books

A former mutual fund dealing rep who acted as an executor and trustee for two clients’ estates — and inherited one client’s Air Miles as a beneficiary — has been permanently banned from the industry.

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) announced a settlement agreement on Tuesday with James Russell Taylor, who was employed by FundEX Investments Inc. in Toronto as a dealing representative from 2002 to 2016. In addition to the ban, Taylor has agreed to pay a $40,000 fine and $5,000 in costs.

According to the agreement, Taylor had been named co-executor/trustee for two clients’ estates during the course of his employment. He began acting as an executor for both estates following the clients’ deaths — contrary to MFDA rules and his employer’s rules.

In one case, Taylor was named sole executor of a client’s estate following the other co-executor’s death. In this case, the MFDA said Taylor was aware he had been named executor — another contravention of MFDA and dealer rules.

That client had also named Taylor a beneficiary of her estate entitled to certain Air Miles reward points. When the client died, Taylor accepted 3,054 Air Miles reward points, valued at less than $500.

According to the MFDA, Taylor did not co-operate with an investigation into his conduct after the MFDA received an anonymous complaint, although Taylor did enter into a settlement agreement that will see him permanently banned from the industry.