By Staff | September 13, 2007 | Last updated on September 13, 2007
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(September 13, 2007) The IDA has handed a massive $100,000 fine to Vance Elder for misconduct while he was an approved person at two Calgary branches of BMO Nesbitt Burns. Elder was found guilty in February of allowing his assistant to sign client signatures. The forgeries were committed between 1996 and 2001.

The IDA hearing panel found that the forgery was not malicious, as it was committed for the sake of efficiency, and found no proof that Elder had directed the assistant to do the forging. But the panel also found that Elder was aware the assistant was providing investment advice without authorization.

On top of the $100,000 fine, Elder must pay $15,000 in costs, rewrite the Conduct and Practices Handbook exam within six months and pick up an extra 25 CE credits over a two-year period.

His designation as “senior vice-president” has been revoked for two years, and he will be under close supervision for 12 months.

In an unrelated case, the IDA also announced today that it has levied a fine of $17,000 against Margaret Patricia Hayden, an approved person at Acadian Securities in Halifax.

In a settlement hearing, Hayden admitted she failed to learn “the essential facts relative to three clients” in June 1997 and did not properly fill out new account forms for these clients. She also failed in her due diligence in executing an order.

On top of the fine, Hayden must pay $17,500 in costs and rewrite the Conduct and Practices Handbook exam within six months.

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Unity Life buys block of business

(September 13, 2007) Unity Life of Canada has struck a deal to acquire the individual life and accidental death policies of the Canadian Professional Sales Association.

“This transaction continues our strategy to grow Unity Life into one of Canada’s leading niche insurers,” said Anthony Poole, president and CEO of Unity Life. “It continues our strategy of targeting blocks of business that complement our market and expertise. This acquisition comes on the heels of our recently announced plans to undergo a sponsored demutualization in partnership with Foresters.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval. Financial details were not disclosed.

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BMO fund committee up and running

(September 13, 2007) BMO Financial Group has announced the implementation of its independent review committee, which will oversee investment decisions made at BMO Investments, BMO Nesbitt Burns, BMO Harris Investment Management and Guardian Group of Funds.

“BMO is committed to continuing to earn the trust of our investors with effective fund governance and transparent decision-making,” said Gilles Ouellette, president and CEO, private client group, BMO Financial Group.

The IRC was mandated by NI 81-107, Independent Review Committee for Investment Funds, in the wake of the mutual fund frequent trading scandal of 2005. Under NI 81-107, all managers of public investment funds were required to have their IRC in place by November 1, 2007.

The IRC is chaired by Charles W. White, who is joined on the committee by Allen B. Clarke, Kenneth W. McArthur, John K. McBride, R. Jamie Plant and Louise Vaillancourt-Châtillon.

Also, BMO Investments has proposed changes to the declarations of trust of all its funds organized as trusts, with the exception of LifeStage Plus Funds.

“We believe that an updated Master Declaration of Trust will allow for greater uniformity in the administration of the funds and will allow the funds to more efficiently meet the regulatory standards and industry best practices of today and tomorrow,” said Ed Legzdins, president and CEO, BMO Investments.

If the proposal is accepted, certain funds will offer a multi-series structure. If approved, it is anticipated that the changes will become effective shortly after the unitholder meetings on or about October 22, 2007.

(09/13/07) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.