closeup of on table in empty corporate conference room

Neil Gross has been appointed chairman of the Investor Advisory Panel (IAP), effective Aug. 1, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced Friday.

He has served on the IAP since November 2017.

A veteran securities lawyer, Gross was previously executive director of the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Investor Rights  (FAIR Canada). He also consults with the investment industry and regulators on various policy issues, including governance and complaint handling processes.

Gross replaces Letty Dewar, who joined the IAP in 2014 and was appointed chairwoman last year. She is now stepping away from the IAP, as is Louise Tardif, who has also served since 2014.

The OSC will be seeking new members to join the IAP in September, the commission says in a news release.

These changes at the IAP come as the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are embarking on an ambitious series of reforms designed to enhance investor protection, known as the client-focused reforms, that aim to introduce best interest principles to a number of existing industry rules. Next month, the CSA is slated to propose a ban on deferred sales charge (DSC) funds, and a ban on the payment of trailers to discount brokers.

In a letter to the CSA published earlier this week, the IAP recommended the proposed ban on DSC funds be made retroactive to the start of the CSA’s consultation.