The investment industry is girding for a fight against the introduction of a proposed best interest standard in Canada.

Following its annual general meeting in Toronto on June 8, the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) laid out its priorities for the coming year, which are headlined by plans to argue against a best interest standard for advisors. The industry trade association says that a best interest standard would, “not add substantively to the targeted reforms for investor protection, and may result in unrealistic expectations among clients and unnecessary costs to clients and the industry.”

In terms of the so-called “targeted” reforms that the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) proposed for consultation back in April, the IIAC indicates that it will argue for “a balanced approach leaving sufficient professional discretion and flexibility for firms, and ensuring reforms are practical and cost-efficient.”

The trade group also aims to tackle some of the fundamental issues facing the industry generally, particularly small and mid-sized dealers, through its new Committee on Industry Structural Change.

“As we have throughout our ten years of existence, the IIAC will continue to engage constructively with securities regulators and governments to fight for cost-effective rules, fight against rules that interfere with business activity and market efficiency, and promote incentives for capital formation and growth,” said the trade group’s president and CEO, Ian Russell, in a statement.

The other issues on the IIAC’s agenda include working with the self-regulators, “to provide greater rule harmonization and enable easier integration of operations unto a single dealer platform through ‘parallel’ registration (eliminating the 270-day rule) and [Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)] incorporation,” it says. It will also seek to address cybersecurity; reduce market data and other market structure costs; and provide industry input to the ongoing effort to create a cooperative securities regulator.

In addition to laying out its agenda for the year ahead, the IIAC also announced that John Chambers, CEO of Calgary’s FirstEnergy Capital Corp., has been elected chair for 2016-2017; and, that Sandy Cimoroni, senior vice president shared services & chief operating officer at Toronto’s TD Wealth, has been elected vice chair.

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Read the response to this article from Advocis: Only the profession itself can interpret a best interest standard,, June 14, 2016

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