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Regulatory staff are a couple of weeks away from making their recommendations for reforming self-regulation — a policy decision that will help shape the future of the investment business in Canada.

Speaking at an industry conference hosted by the Federation of Mutual Fund Dealers on Tuesday, Grant Vingoe, chair and CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission, indicated that a recommendation from regulatory staff to the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) on SRO reform will likely come in the next couple of weeks.

“We’re coming to a pivotal point in the process where the direction is being finalized,” Vingoe said.

That imminent decision on the future of self-regulation follows a consultation launched by the CSA last year that attracted wide participation from the industry, investors and the SROs themselves.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada has long advocated for a merger with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), while the MFDA has called for more fundamental reform with the creation of a new SRO that would cover all registered firms, with market regulation carved out.

Vingoe said regulators have considered the fundamental role of SROs and how they should be structured, governed and overseen by the provincial regulators.

Regulatory staff who have been grappling with those questions are now on the verge of making their recommendations to the CSA chairs, who will ultimately make the final decision on the future design of self-regulation.

Without hinting at where the CSA will land, Vingoe said features such as efficiency, responsiveness, governance and an understanding of how the retail investment business has evolved in recent years will be “paramount considerations” for the regulators in reaching their final conclusion.

That critical policy verdict is expected to be publicly announced by early summer.