Ellen J. Bessner

Bad behaviour

(May 2006) When faced with a charge from a regulator, advisors tend to be most concerned about the prospect of losing their licences. Although penalties really depend on the severity of the infraction, the IDA’s disciplinary guidelines confirm that almost every infraction contemplates the possibility of a permanent ban or suspension. The MFDA does not […]

By Ellen J. Bessner | May 23, 2006

3 min read

Bleaching out breach

(March 2006) Though they often make great business sources, mixing friends and family with your practice requires caution. You’re mistaken to believe these trusted clients might never consider launching a complaint against you, when in fact some of these relationships have been known to display a dark side — especially visible if the client loses […]

By Ellen J. Bessner | March 28, 2006

3 min read

Do not go quietly…

(March 2005) My legal practice consists of representing advisors and dealers in litigation and regulatory matters, as well as employment law. So, when an employment case recently landed on my desk, I became excited. The issue involved a dispute between advisors and a branch manager from RBC Dominion Securities in Cranbrook, B.C., who, in 2000, […]

By Ellen J. Bessner | March 18, 2005

3 min read

When trouble walks in

(January 2005) Ms.X calls you at your office and says she knew you in high school. You don’t remember her very well, but you know you had little to do with her (she wasn’t a member of the "in crowd"). Now Ms. X is a successful executive and wants to meet with you. She says […]

By Ellen J. Bessner | January 18, 2005

3 min read

Compliance check: Limited trading authorization

(November 2004) Getting a client signature for every trade pursuant to MFDA rules and regulations is time-consuming. It might be more practical just to make a telephone call to get verbal instructions for a purchase or sale of funds. Why does an advisor’s life have to be so complex and bogged down with paperwork? Is […]

By Ellen J. Bessner | November 18, 2004

3 min read

The write stuff: How to protect yourself with a proper paper trail

Correct Complete Contemporaneous Current It is easy to say that record keeping must be accurate, but that means that everyone on your team must work together with systems that ensure the information in the file is correct. For the information to be correct, it must also be complete and current. If the information is incomplete […]

By Ellen J. Bessner | October 27, 2003

5 min read

Compliance check: The sky is the limit

a $30,000 fine a two-month suspension close supervision for six months Offence C: a $40,000 fine a two-month suspension The advisor may end up with a $110,000 fine, a six-month suspension and close supervision for six months when he returns to the firm, after he completes the CPH. Is this a sufficient incentive to ensure […]

By Ellen J. Bessner | November 23, 2002

3 min read