LACK OF INVESTOR VOICE IN CANADA
The Foundation will fill a gap that currently exists in the Canadian securities markets which lacks an independent voice with experience and expertise in securities regulation advocating on behalf of Canadian investors in securities regulation. Prior to the establishment of the Foundation there was no professional private sector organization focused on the protection of the rights and advancement of the interests of individual shareholders and retail investors with the necessary resources to properly represent investors. The Foundation will be an independent, pro-active organization that will provide a sophisticated, objective and balanced voice for Canadian investors on a national basis.
ORIGINS OF THE FOUNDATION
The establishment of the Foundation was proposed by Ermanno Pascutto to the boards of directors of Market Regulation Services Inc. (“RS”) and the Investment Dealers Association (“IDA”) as a desirable use of the IDA and RS “restricted” or “discretionary” funds. Mr. Pascutto was then an independent director of Market Regulation Services Inc. and is a former senior securities regulator and lawyer in Canada and Hong Kong.
These funds were internally restricted and were used, among other things, to make payments for special non-recurring projects that benefit the public or generally benefit the Canadian capital markets.
Mr. Pascutto consulted with numerous individuals and organizations in 2006 and 2007 and refined his ideas for the Foundation. Originally conceived as a shareholder rights advocate, the mandate was expanded to include all aspects of securities regulation from the perspective of the individual investor. In early 2008, Mr. Pascutto formally requested and was granted sufficient funding from the IDA and RS to launch and operate the Foundation for a three year period.
FUNDING FOR THE FOUNDATION
RS and IDA, which merged in June 2008 to form the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”), agreed to provide $3.75 million funding from their restricted or discretionary funds. This funding is expected to be sufficient for the establishment of the Foundation and its operation for a three year period. The IDA and RS (now IIROC) are the founding financial sponsors of the Foundation.
The IIROC funding to establish the Foundation is a one time event. There is no commitment on the part of IIROC to any future funding. After its launch the Foundation will look for other sources of funding for its ongoing work.
The Foundation is completely independent of IIROC and IIROC has no role in the governance of the Foundation or determining the positions of the Foundation on any issues.
INVESTOR PROTECTION SEMINAR
FAIR Canada currently partners with Osgoode Hall Law School in developing and co-instructing an accredited Investor Protection Seminar. This advanced seminar, engaging both senior year law students and financial journalists, actively explores investor protection issues from the perspectives of law, business and public policy. The seminar combines a series of “foundational seminars” and case study/workshop presentations, through which students are provided with the opportunity to interact collaboratively with journalists and leading practitioners in the field. Ultimately, the goal is to expose senior students and journalists to the issues and challenges faced by those working in the investor protection field.