MFDA beefing up staff

By Philip Porado | August 23, 2005 | Last updated on August 23, 2005
2 min read

(August 23, 2005) Need a job? MFDA has several openings and has recently taken out an ad in the Globe and Mail listing no fewer than six positions and including such titles as Financial Compliance Manager; Compliance Manager; and Financial Examiner.

What’s prompting the staff increase? “Our financial examinations department is expanding,” explains MFDA compliance director Karen McGuinness. With the advent of the association’s investor protection fund, there will be annual financial reviews of Level 4 member firms — which hold client assets and securities. Due to their custodial function, they present an increased risk to investors and that’s prompted MFDA to order more frequent reviews.

Filling the positions necessary to conduct those reviews, however, is proving difficult because compliance with Sarbanes Oxley — which requires more stringent financial disclosure and calls on firms to place accountants on their boards of directors — is creating a lot of demand for professionals with accounting backgrounds at companies worldwide. “The competition is very fierce,” says McGuinness.

She notes the turnover rate in the SRO’s compliance section is quite low and that she’s having good luck recruiting industry professionals for the open positions in that division. Hiring people with industry experience ensures those overseeing compliance understand how firms operate on a day to day basis. Going forward, MFDA wants to ensure firms receive a general review every two years.

MFDA is coming to the end of its first round of compliance examinations, which were geared toward trying to get a handle on what practices firms had implemented and to teach them what the SRO will expect going forward. “Now, it’s more, ‘You’ve gotten your education and it’s up to you to comply,'” says McGuinness. “And that’s where the enforcement will kick in.”

Filed by Philip Porado, Advisor’s Edge


Philip Porado