A veteran advisor has agreed to an industry ban and monetary sanctions after admitting to violating Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) rules by raising money for private companies and operating an art investment club without his firm’s approval.
An IIROC hearing panel has accepted a settlement agreement with John Richard Belknap, who had been an advisor with Scotia Capital Inc. since 1976.
In the settlement, Belknap agreed to a permanent ban from the industry, a $175,000 fine and to pay $10,000 in costs after he admitted to violating IIROC rules by engaging in unapproved outside business activity.
According to the settlement, Belknap helped raise financing for three private companies from several of his clients. He also operated a club that sought to buy and sell art for profit.
“The respondent’s activities involved his Scotia clients and included facilitating investments in the companies and loans to both the companies and their primary investor, who in the case of one of the companies was the CEO,” the settlement noted.
Belknap, who is 75 years old, was dismissed by Scotia in 2018 after his conduct was discovered, and he hasn’t worked in the industry since then.
According to the settlement, the unapproved outside business activities were discovered in September 2018 as a result of complaints by two clients.
IIROC launched an investigation, and Belknap, who had no previous disciplinary history, cooperated with IIROC’s inquiries, which “shortened the length of time required by staff to investigate this matter and led to an early resolution.”