At its annual general meeting in Toronto last week, Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) president and CEO Ian Russell revealed where the association intends to focus its efforts over the coming year.

The new Client Relationship Model (CRM) figures at the top of the IIAC’s list; it would like to see "greater granularity and clarity" in the reforms, especially when it comes to suitability requirements.

“Best interest” standard

In second place comes the “best interest” standard recently proposed by the Canadian Securities Administrators. The association describes the standard as "over-arching and vague" and argues that it will do little to protect investors, and suggests that it may result in "unrealistic expectations among clients and unnecessary costs to clients and the industry".

Cyber threats

Next, the IIAC says it wants to work with self-regulators to harmonize rule, allow for a single dealer platform through parallel registration, and eliminate the 270-day rule. The association also wants to work with the industry, regulators, and governments to develop ways to deal with cyber threats.

There is also the question of technology and operations: the IIAC says its committee devoted to the subject will work on finding ways to reduce members’ direct business costs associated with market data and equity market infrastructure.

Capital Markets Stability Act

The IIAC will also be providing commentary on a number of subjects, including the Capital Markets Stability Act, prospectus exemption rules in the Capital Markets Act, as well as the fee structure for the cooperative securities regulator and its operating structure.

Key issues affecting the industry

Finally, the association's new committee on industry structural change will identify the key issues which affect the industry, especially small and mid-sized dealers, and make recommendations for further study and action.

“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 Russell. “We also maintain our commitment to supporting Member firms with a full array of services to ensure their ongoing success.”