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Investment industry calls for changes, greater clarity to proposed title rules – The Globe and Mail



The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario’s proposed Financial Professionals Title Protection Rule is expected to be finalized next year. It would then need a final approval from Ontario’s finance minister.

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Although the investment industry is in favour of an Ontario government proposal to tighten the rules around who can use the titles “financial planner” or “financial advisor,” it’s seeking clarity and some changes before they’re finalized.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) recently announced new minimum standards for the two titles, saying it will give investors more confidence in the quality of advice they get from these professionals. The proposal comes amid long-standing concerns from consumers and industry groups about the wide range of people who can use the title today to sell investment services.

In general, the proposed rules say people who use the financial planner or advisor titles will need to have their credentials verified by an FSRA-approved credentialing body, including demonstrating their licences or designations align with the educational requirements in the proposed rule.

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People who currently use either title also won’t be grandfathered from the Financial Professionals Title Protection Rule, FSRA says. The regulator adds that some existing designations may not meet its new standards.

The proposal is now going through a 90-day public consultation period and it is expected to be finalized next year. It would then need a final blessing from Ontario’s finance minister.

Some industry groups and consumer advocates are using the consultation process to push for a few more changes to the proposed rules and seeking clarification around how they will work and be enforced.

Michelle Alexander, vice-president and corporate secretary at the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC), says the organization is looking to ensure there’s no duplication in credentialing oversight.

For example, she says an advisor licensed by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada is already overseen by a regulatory body and shouldn’t have to go through a second credentialing process through FSRA.

We were hoping for some kind of exemption for registrants who are already overseen by a [self-regulatory organization], and that’s not there,” Ms. Alexander says. “Our members are some of the most highly regulated in the industry. To throw in another regulatory body they have to deal with makes no sense – especially in a time when we’re trying to reduce [regulatory] burdens.”

She says the IIAC is also concerned that the timeline to put the new credential requirements in place is too long. FSRA says people will have three years from when the new rule is implemented to update any credential or educational requirements needed to use the title “financial advisor,” and five years for individuals who want to use the title “financial planner.”

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“I’m not concerned for our members, because what they do now will meet the standards,” she says, “but more so those who are outside of it that can still use the title and offer advice for three or five years. That’s not necessarily best for investors or consumer confidence.”

There’s also a lack of clarity around what fees will be paid for credentialing and who will collect them, Ms. Alexander says.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” she says of the proposed rules in general, “but we still have a lot of unanswered questions.”

Ms. Alexander says the IIAC plans to bring these and other issues up during the consultation period, after consulting first with its members.

Ken Kivenko, chair of the advisory committee of the Small Investor Protection Association, says he’s pleased with the consultation period so far, in particular since FSRA reached out to his group proactively for input on the proposed rules.

As for his feedback, Mr. Kivenko prefers the term “designation” instead of “title” for financial planners and advisors, similar to what they use in engineering, which was his profession before becoming an investor advocate.

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He also believes the proficiency table for an advisor in the report is “wishy-washy,” but expects it will be cleared up in the consultations.

Mr. Kivenko also wants to see FSRA confirm the penalties for people who use the titles without the proper credentials.

“What can [FSRA] do? What powers does it actually have?” asks Mr. Kivenko, who is also president of Kenmar Associates in Toronto. “If it has no enforcement powers, the whole thing is kind of pointless.”

He plans to bring up the subject of penalties in his meetings with FSRA to ensure they’re tough enough to discourage people from breaking the rules.

“We wouldn’t ever agree unless we knew how title usage will be enforced and how people will be disciplined,” he says. “If there’s no penalty, who cares?”

Cary List, president and chief executive officer of FP Canada, the professional body behind the certified financial planner (CFP) designation, says he’s happy with many of the proposals, but has some lingering concerns around the minimum standards criteria not being high enough.

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“What’s the process going to be for determining what actually is a legitimate financial planning credential? I think there’s still a lot of grey in there and potential for room for interpretation. If the net is cast too broadly, and the interpretation is generous enough to include credentials we wouldn’t consider it sufficient,” he says.

“For the rules to really protect consumers in the way that they’re intended to, and to reduce and mitigate consumer confusion, there needs to be real clarity as to what constitutes a legitimate credentialing body. A credential is only as good as the organization behind it.”

Greg Pollock, CEO of Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, is “pleased” with the proposal and hopes it will help clarify for consumers what financial planners and advisors do, making the industry more accountable.

“I really think that, if we implement the principles and the parameters and the regulator oversees the kind of detail that it purports to be planning, then this will meet the needs of the advisor community [and] the investor community,” he says.

Mr. Pollock also hopes other provinces will adopt similar rules as Ontario. Saskatchewan recently passed similar legislation following consultations led by the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan.

“We can’t have different rules in different provinces,” he says. “That’s going to make it very clunky, very cumbersome and would not be a good thing.”

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With files from Clare O’Hara

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Lawyer for prominent Halifax investor says the bank is to blame in multi-million investment loss – Global News



The lawyer representing a high profile investment advisor in Halifax says his client is not at fault in a civil lawsuit that is seeking $40 million from a failed investment strategy and is placing the blame squarely on the National Bank of Canada and its subsidiary National Bank Investment Network (NBIN).

On Sept. 14, a $40 million civil lawsuit was filed on behalf of 30 plaintiffs at the Nova Scotia Supreme court against Fredrick Saturley and his investment firm High Tide Wealth Management and the NBIN who supervise the accounts.

Read more:
$40-million lawsuit filed against prominent Halifax investor and National Bank

High Tide’s lawyer Chris Robinson says many of the plaintiffs in the civil suit are long-time clients who have had financial success with Saturley and as part of their investment strategy had signed discretionary trading agreements which allow Saturley and High Tide to pursue trades without consultation.

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Robinson says every one of these clients listed in the civil suit entered into and signed an agreement as part of their investment policy statement with High Tide.

“And that investment policy statement for these clients indicated that they were seeking capital appreciation, generation of income and that they were willing to accept above-average risk to achieve these results,” said Robinson.

A discretionary agreement allows Saturley and High Tide the ability to make trades without having to call and consult the client said Robinson which contradicts exactly what many of the clients are claiming in the lawsuit.

$40 million lawsuit filed against prominent Halifax investor and national bank

$40 million lawsuit filed against prominent Halifax investor and national bank

Lawyer Ian Gray represents the 30 plaintiffs and acknowledges that some of his clients may have signed discretionary agreements with High Tide but says they didn’t sign up for the high-risk trading that he says put their investments at risk.

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“We’ve got people who wanted relatively aggressive strategies and we’ve got people who wanted extremely safe strategies and as best we can tell, they all got the same risky ride,” said Gray.

Gray and his clients allege Saturley was independently executing these risky investment strategies, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the market crashed, so did the clients’ portfolios.

Retired Canadian Armed Forces member Trevor Long is one of the plaintiffs, he says he invested a significant amount of his disability payout from veteran affairs with High Tide wealth management in early 2019.

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Long says he initially invested $80 thousand and when his portfolio was doing well, he added another $36 thousand.

“Everything was going good until the middle of February and then March, I get a call and a lot of money disappeared,” said Long.

Long estimates he lost more than $80 thousand and alleges Saturley was pursuing high-risk investment strategies which he never signed up for.

“He was doing what he wasn’t authorized to do by me as a client and the bank obviously let him do it and we all got run roughshod over,” said Long.

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Coronavirus outbreak: The impact COVID-19 is having on the global economy

Coronavirus outbreak: The impact COVID-19 is having on the global economy

Robinson says the client’s anger is misplaced and says it’s not Saturley or High Tide that is at fault but suggests it’s the bank and NBIN who panicked in Mid-March when COVID-19 sent the market crashing.

On March 9 as the market was sinking, many of the clients received a margin call on their account and needed to make a deposit to bring their accounts back onside says Robinson and in the meantime, Saturley was working with his clients to come up with the money the bank was looking for.

Robinson said the bank came calling again on Sunday, March 15 and said they were going to liquidate all the accounts on Monday if the money wasn’t in place, which he said left Saturley and the clients little time to come up with the money.

“The bank panicked and I have no idea why they did that,” said Robinson. “What they did however is step into the shoes of Mr. Saturley and his clients and simply said if there’s not a cheque there at market open, everything is getting liquidated and that’s what they did.”

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Robinson said Saturley and his clients didn’t have time to meet the bank’s demands and if they only allowed them a few more days the market would have turned itself around and the accounts would have stabilized themselves.

“If the bank had of just been patient,” said Robinson. “Within 10-days those accounts would have been back onside and none of those liquidating transactions would have needed to happen.”

Gray said he agrees the bank is at fault but says Saturley was operating outside of his clients’ agreement.

“Make no mistake we say the bank is responsible for this,” said Gray. “But we say Mr. Saturley and his company are responsible as well.”

Read more:
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Global News reached out to the National Bank for an interview but they declined to comment for this story.

Neither side has filed a defense statement at this point as the legal counsel for the plaintiffs said they will likely be adding further names to the civil lawsuit and will make amendments to the lawsuit in the coming weeks.

None of these allegations have been proven in court and no court date is scheduled at this time.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Event Store Secures Series A Investment English English – PRNewswire



BATH, England, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Event Store today announces it has secured Series A financing from strategic investor Qualasept Holdings (‘QH’). 

Event Store is the company behind EventStoreDB, the popular open source event stream database. EventStoreDB was open sourced in 2012 and has relatively quietly built a strong commercial business. In late 2018, Event Store Limited was formed and an expanded leadership, engineering, and support team were introduced. The Series A investment represents Event Store’s next stage of growth towards EventStoreDB’s adoption in the broader database market.

EventStoreDB is an operational “source of record” database technology.  It has similarities to event-oriented integration technologies, such as Apache Kafka, from a stream and API perspective. However, it was built for database workloads from the start. Dave Remy, Event Store CEO, explains, “Most mainstream database technologies, whether relational, graph, or document-oriented, keep the latest state of the data, throwing away the old data when it changes. In contrast, EventStoreDB, the leader in the emerging class of databases, called Event Stores, is specifically designed to keep the changes along with the business context of those changes, in the form of events. Current state can then be derived from replaying the event stream. This pattern enables a myriad of benefits, including powerful audit, debugging, caching, occasionally connected scenarios, and much more.” 

Event Stores are foundational to the increasingly popular Event Sourcing design pattern.

EventStoreDB is applicable across industries and is particularly valuable for those with challenging audit requirements, such as financial services and healthcare. Innovative companies like Walmart, Xero, Insureon, Linedata,, UK National Health Service, Swiss Air Traffic Control and many more use EventStoreDB in mission-critical production environments. 

Building on its momentum, the company is launching Event Store Cloud, a multi-cloud database as a service (DBaaS). The subscription service, currently in Preview, will provide cloud convenience and make EventStoreDB more accessible to developers and companies of all sizes.

“As applications increasingly move toward event-driven architectures, foundational platforms like EventStoreDB will be a critical first source of truth in capturing and enabling analysis of event data. This technology will generate meaningful and measurable value across multiple industries,” said Ben Kolada, Director, Head of DataTech at ICON Corporate Finance.

“From the time Greg Young and his team released EventStoreDB in 2012, it has been the go-to database for CQRS and Event Sourcing projects. This Series A investment represents a new stage for Event Store and EventStoreDB. We will accelerate the development of Event Store Cloud, improve the developer experience, increase scalability, and build new products and services to help developers build systems within an event-driven architecture,” Dave Remy said.

Tech investment bank ICON Corporate Finance advised Event Store on the transaction and corporate structuring, while QH was advised by BDO, Roxburgh Milkins Limited, and Alantra. 

Media Contact:
Dan Crosby
Email: [email protected]

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View Marketing as an Investment—Not an Expense – Advanced Manufacturing



Trends and Ideas in Strategic Marketing

Peter Drucker, known as the father of modern management, was quoted in a 2006 article in Forbes as saying, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” Although today’s business owners are often inclined to see marketing as an expense, Drucker’s view is more accurate. Marketing is a needed investment. Marketing drives results by finding new customers.

Marketing investments can include updating your message and website, producing customer video testimonials, and developing webinars.

Time to Build a Moat

When organizations treat marketing as a cost, they often focus on short-term sales and ignore the long term. However, if you want your company to continue growing, your goal should be to build as much of a moat around your business as you can. This is achieved by expanding your investment of marketing dollars into your company’s owned assets. Such investments may include; updating your message and website every year, producing customer video testimonials for use as sales tools, developing a series of educational webinars, and developing content that can be used both for thought leadership and for search engine optimization (SEO). Although these efforts may not produce short-term returns, they will aid in strengthening your manufacturing business over time.

The problem is that if you only look for marketing initiatives that guarantee an immediate ROI—consistent with a view of marketing as an expense—you will never plant any of these long-term marketing seeds needed to build the moat that is necessary to create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Examining my own life as a business owner, I have “walked the walk” while growing TribalVision. The reason TribalVision has achieved success is that, from day one, I’ve understood the importance of marketing to unlock dramatic growth. Before even opening the doors for business, and with little money to spare, I wrote a book, spent months crafting TribalVision’s message, built a website that made TribalVision look like an established company, developed an animated video to explain the “why” behind TribalVision, wrote multiple white papers, developed numerous marketing presentations, and crafted a 30-page marketing plan to identify and capture new business.

If I had viewed marketing as an expense rather than an investment, I never would have done any of these activities. I simply would have started TribalVision with a business card, an average 10-page website and not much else, which is what most startups with little money do. Looking back 10 years later, although I cannot attribute a specific ROI to each of those assets, I know those investments as a whole provided a much larger payoff than I would have earned by focusing only on short-term ROI initiatives.

Take a Leap of Faith

If we are to build something great, we must take a leap of faith—a calculated leap of faith but a leap of faith nonetheless.

If Howard Schultz, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, or Elon Musk invested only in efforts backed by guaranteed results, they never would have built their empires.

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