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Mark Gordon, longtime president and CEO of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), has stepped down and is now the strategic advisor to the MFDA chair.

Karen McGuinness replaces Gordon, effective Sept. 15. She and Gordon were among the self-regulatory organization’s first three employees when the MFDA began in October 1998.

Gordon started at the MFDA as an executive vice-president and became CEO in 2012, while McGuinness began as vice-president of compliance and was senior vice-president of member regulation before her appointment to CEO earlier this week.

McGuinness has been leading the MFDA’s integration efforts as it prepares to be subsumed by the new financial industry self-regulatory organization, which the Canadian Securities Administrators say is on track to launch Jan. 1, 2023.

“I am proud of how much the MFDA has done to raise the standard of investor protection in Canada over the last 24 years and I would like to thank all MFDA staff, past and present, who have been instrumental in its success, and who will be equally instrumental in the success of the New SRO going forward,” said Gordon in a statement.

“On behalf of the whole board, I would like to extend a great deal of thanks to Mark who was instrumental in founding the MFDA and making it into one of Canada’s leading regulators,” said Steven Glover, who became chariman of the MFDA in July. “The board is also very pleased to appoint Karen as CEO and believes she is best positioned to lead the final phase of the MFDA’s transition to the new SRO. I look forward to working with both Mark and Karen in their new roles.”