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A hearing panel of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) has approved a settlement with Quebec City-based Investia Financial Services Inc. concerning a remote branch supervision structure used by HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc. in 2014, the self-regulatory organization announced Friday.

Investia acquired HollisWealth in 2017.

The panel ordered Investia to pay a $100,000 fine and $10,000 in costs, and to comply with MFDA rules.

According to the settlement, HollisWealth violated MFDA rules by implementing a remote branch supervision structure in 2014, without first acquiring the SRO’s approval, as required under guidance issued by the MFDA in 2013.

Although HollisWealth sought approval from the Ontario Securities Commission to allow its corporate branch managers to be dually licensed for both its fund dealer and its affiliated securities dealer, “it did not seek approval from the MFDA to allow its corporate branch managers to supervise remotely, as it was required to do,” the MFDA panel states in the settlement agreement.

As part of its approval of the acquisition of HollisWealth and its subsequent amalgamation with Investia, the MFDA approved a remote branch supervision structure “which was, in staff’s view, materially different than the structure proposed by HollisWealth,” the agreement states.

Investia is a subsidiary of Quebec City-based Industrial Alliance Finance and Insurance Services.