MFDA fines, bans rep for outside business activities

By James Langton | February 11, 2019 | Last updated on February 11, 2019
1 min read
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Securities regulators have fined and permanently banned a former mutual fund rep who violated securities rules by involving clients in the launch of a coffee supply business.

A hearing panel of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) permanently banned Robert William Copland, a former rep with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. in Bowmanville, Ont. The panel fined Copland $175,000 and ordered him to pay costs of $7,500 for violating several MFDA rules.

The panel, which has yet to release its reasons, ruled that Copland engaged in unapproved outside business activity; engaged in personal financial dealings with clients; made a misrepresentation to help a client unlock their pension; and failed to cooperate with the MFDA’s investigation.

MFDA staff alleged that he engaged in unapproved, undisclosed outside business activity by launching a coffee business, which supplied a small chain of retail cafés owned by his spouse and brother-in-law, with one client. The MFDA alleged Copland solicited almost $200,000 worth of investments in the business from several clients.

“The respondent’s conduct gave rise to a conflict or potential conflict of interest which the respondent failed to disclose to the [firm], or failed to address by the exercise of responsible business judgment influenced only by the best interests of the clients,” the regulator alleged.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.