A Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) hearing panel has permanently banned Blaise Leslie Szekely, a former mutual fund rep with several fund dealer firms (Professional Investment Services (Canada) Inc., Global Maxfin Investments Inc., and Sterling Mutuals Inc.) in Edmonton, the self-regulatory organization (SRO) announced Friday.
Specifically, the panel found that between 2009 and 2017 Szekely violated MFDA rules by: soliciting almost $300,000 from two clients and two other individuals to invest outside of an MFDA member firm; engaging in other personal financial dealings with two clients and failing to co-operate with the SRO’s investigation.
The panel fined Szekely $150,000 fine and ordered him to pay $5,000 in costs.
In its decision and reasons, the panel noted that Szekely admitted he failed to co-operate and conceded that he should be permanently banned.
“The respondent poses a significant risk to other investors and the market at large if he is allowed to return to the industry,” the panel stated. “The misconduct he engaged in was serious, and in failing to co-operate with staff of the MFDA, he has demonstrated disregard for the mutual fund industry and the protections put in place to ensure investor protection.”
Szekely’s conduct was not fraudulent and didn’t involve borrowing from clients, the panel noted, but engaging in unapproved outside business still represents serious misconduct, involving a clear conflict of interest, which also prevented dealer supervision of these activities.