Former OSC commissioner Glorianne Stromberg dies

By Melissa Shin | October 23, 2023 | Last updated on November 13, 2023
3 min read

Glorianne Stromberg, lawyer, investor advocate and commissioner of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) from 1991 to 1998, died on Oct. 13 aged 84.

Stromberg is best known for authoring two influential papers: “Regulatory Strategies for the Mid-’90s: Recommendations for Regulating Investment Funds in Canada,” released in 1995, and “Investment Funds in Canada and Consumer Protection: Strategies for the Millennium,” released in 1998.

The two reports have framed the discourse about financial-advice regulation ever since their publication.

The first paper, known as the “Stromberg Report,” was a scathing review of the mutual fund industry, which had been growing rapidly during the 1990s. The groundbreaking report called for sweeping regulatory reforms, including the creation of a single, national self-regulatory organization — resulting in the creation of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada — improved governance for investment funds, common standards for financial planners and improved disclosure requirements.

In her subsequent paper, Stromberg argued that regulating products rather than advice would inflict both direct costs and opportunity costs on investors.

“A failure to rationalize the regulatory and self-regulatory system will involve real and immediate costs (both in the short term and in the long term) which ultimately will be paid for by consumer/investors,” the 1998 report warned.

Many of the fund industry’s reforms, such as the fair dealing model, the client relationship model and the client-focused reforms, drew directly from Stromberg’s recommendations. Her vision for a single SRO was finally realized when the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization launched this year.

Stromberg was “a rare person who was ahead of her time,” said Jean-Paul Bureaud, executive director of FAIR Canada, where Stromberg served as a director in the 2010s. “Almost two decades after publication of her brainchild, the fair dealing model, we are still implementing her blueprint for promoting better investor outcomes.”

In 2018, Stromberg reflected on the glacial pace of change.

“The regulators have found it difficult to implement anything. They study issues ad nauseam, and listen to the same old arguments, but the issues have never gone away,” she said in an interview with Advisor’s Edge. “The solutions are obvious, but the regulators listen to the industry as opposed to what’s right for investors.”

Stromberg maintained that financial advisors should take a “client-needs focused approach,” and believed the Canadian investor would be better served “if the persons he or she turned to for advice were truly independent.”

She also disliked the term “investor education.”

“I felt the focus should be on increasing knowledge and basic life skills, and I still feel that way,” Stromberg said in 2018. “I’m not sure the current efforts at investor education are really addressing those things, and that’s discouraging.”

Stromberg began her career as a corporate and securities lawyer, rising to partner at what was then Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP. Following her time at the OSC, she became chair of the Public Accountants Council for Ontario.

Stromberg’s fierce critiques of the financial services industry belied her generous spirit and disarming kindness. Following her retirement from public service, she continued supporting investor advocates and those working to increase transparency in financial services.

“I feel like I knew her better than I really did because of her many years of very public advocacy. She was warm and soft-spoken. Unlike her physical stature, her presence in — and impact on — our industry were enormous,” said Dan Hallett, principal with HighView Financial Group in Oakville, Ont.

“The industry listened when she spoke — even if they didn’t like what she said. One of the things I most admired about her was her will to stand up for investors because that often meant standing up to a lot of industry pushback.”

“The best way to commemorate her tremendous contribution [to] securities policy is to continue and finish her work,” Bureaud said.

In 1998, a few months before her second report was to be published, Advisor’s Edge asked her how she wanted to be remembered.

“I hope to be remembered as a person who helped to ‘do right things right’ and who made a difference,” she replied.

Melissa Shin headshot

Melissa Shin

Melissa is the editorial director of and leads Newcom Media Inc.’s group of financial publications. She has been with the team since 2011 and been recognized by PMAC and CFA Society Toronto for her reporting. Reach her at You may also call or text 416-847-8038 to provide a confidential tip.