McMillan appointed Advocis chair

By Doug Watt | June 19, 2006 | Last updated on June 19, 2006
2 min read

Roger McMillan has been elected as the new chair of Advocis, replacing Gary McLeod. The appointment was confirmed at the advisor association’s annual general meeting in Victoria last week, described by Advocis president Steve Howard as “relatively straightforward” compared to past AGMs.

McMillan, an Advocis member since 1972, runs Toronto-based McMillan Financial, which specializes in financial planning and insurance for small businesses.

Advocis is also restructuring its board to reflect a new governance model, based on business units. For example, there will be a business unit for the 48 Advocis chapters across the country, as well other units for the Advocis Protective Association, the CLU Institute, CALU and the four Advocis schools across the country.

The volunteer head of each of those organizations will sit on the Advocis board and there will be an additional five board members at large.

At the AGM, Advocis also clarified its position on the issue of banks and insurance. “The wording was a little confusing,” McMillan explained. “We want to make sure that no changes to the Bank Act take place until the issues of our national regulatory strategy are dealt with and accepted.”

“The concern about the bank issue is not about turf, it’s about privacy and selling pressure,” Howard added. “So we’re saying there’s a right answer for the industry and we think it’s our regulatory model, where everyone is licensed, everybody is accredited and everybody is appropriately accountable to consumers.”

There are no changes to the association’s position on designations — all non-designated members must be accredited by 2010 or they will no longer be part of the organization. “That means we’re working vigorously and actively to find strategies to bridge that and see how we can bring those non-designated members into the fold.”

Although the meeting was, for the most part, without controversy, there’s some apprehension about how Advocis will stage its conferences going forward.

Beginning next year, the Advocis annual general meeting will be held in conjunction with one of the four Advocis technical schools across the country, starting in Banff.

Some members say the change will effectively end the national conference, the largest advisor gathering in the country, attracting around 1,000 attendees every year.

“There are natural concerns, but there’s a willingness to give it a go and see how it works, so we’ll know better a year from now,” Howard said.

The decision to overhaul the conference could be based on finances — insiders estimate Advocis lost as much as several hundred thousand dollars on this year’s event.

For the first time, the CLU Institute held its own separate annual general meeting, electing Cynthia Bowden as chair of its board of trustees.

Filed by Doug Watt,


Doug Watt