The New SRO Investor Advisory Panel (New SRO IAP) will be an independent, advisory panel that will support New SRO staff by highlighting issues of concern to investors, providing advice on regulatory issues and other matters of public interest, and by conducting independent investor research in support of effective regulation. The New SRO IAP will also provide input and advice to New SRO staff during the development of regulatory policies, strategic plans, annual priorities and other investor-related initiatives.
The responses to these FAQs are based on the terms of reference for the New SRO IAP.
Questions & Answers
1. How will the New SRO IAP support the New SRO in protecting retail investors?
The New SRO IAP will support New SRO Staff by enabling a deeper understanding of investor issues and concerns, leading to regulation that better reflects investor needs and perspectives. While SROs receive frequent and valuable input from investors through the public comment process and other formal outreach mechanisms, receiving input and advice from the New SRO IAP earlier in the policy development process will support better outcomes for both investors and industry participants.
In addition, the New SRO IAP will provide a specific benefit to the New SRO by raising investor concerns directly to New SRO staff for consideration in support of the New SRO's effective fulfillment of its public interest mandate.
Through regular dialogue and consultations with staff, the New SRO IAP will serve as a new and valuable advisor for the New SRO.
2. How will the New SRO IAP be independent from the New SRO?
The New SRO IAP will operate independently of the New SRO, and it will be responsible for setting and delivering on its own priorities and initiatives. New SRO IAP members will be selected by the New SRO Board’s Governance Committee, which will be comprised of only Independent Directors. A variation in the selection process that preserves the principle of an independent selection body will be followed to select the inaugural New SRO IAP members, as this process will occur before the New SRO Board is formally in place.
New SRO IAP plans and activities will be led by the New SRO IAP Chair. In addition, the New SRO IAP will be provided with its own funding to carry out its mandate and research activities.
3. How will the New SRO IAP work with the New SRO?
The New SRO will consult the New SRO IAP during the early stages of development of policies, strategic plans, annual priorities and other initiatives in order to enhance the investor voice in SRO regulation. The Investor Office of the New SRO will serve as the Liaison between the New SRO IAP and staff of the New SRO to facilitate frequent and productive dialogue and to enhance investor protection. The Investor Office will also provide procurement, administrative, and meeting coordination support to the New SRO IAP as required.
Also, as the New SRO will have frequent and direct interaction with investors, it can provide timely investor insights to the New SRO IAP to help inform their discussions and plans for potential investor issues for consideration.
The New SRO IAP Chair will also meet a minimum of twice a year with the New SRO Board of Directors in addition to meeting with the New SRO executives. The New SRO IAP will provide a written report annually to the New SRO Board on its activities and performance against its mandate.
4. How will the New SRO IAP coordinate with other consumer-focused panels in Canada?
In order to avoid potential duplication with other consumer-focused investor panels in Canada, IIROC and the MFDA are working with the CSA and the OSC to discuss strategies to coordinate efforts and communications.
5. What skills and experience are required to be a member of the New SRO IAP?
New SRO IAP members will assist the New SRO in delivering on its mandate to protect investors and promote public confidence in Canada’s capital markets. Therefore, New SRO IAP members will be expected to have experience with investor protection matters, concerns, issues or rights. The New SRO would also like to achieve a New SRO IAP membership with diverse experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, knowledge of specific investor groups (e.g. underserved investors, vulnerable investors) and geographic representation. More detail regarding qualifications can be found in the Terms of Reference and the Call for Members.
6. How will New SRO IAP members be selected?
New SRO IAP members will be selected by the New SRO Board’s Governance Committee, which will be comprised of only Independent Directors.
A variation in the selection process that preserves the principle of an independent selection body will be followed to select the inaugural New SRO IAP members, as this process will occur before the New SRO Board is formally in place. There was a public call for applications to become a member of the New SRO IAP in October 2022.
7. Will New SRO IAP members be paid?
Yes, New SRO IAP members will be paid an honorarium and reimbursed for New SRO IAP -related expenses, consistent with the approach followed by other Canadian investor-focused panels.
8. How often will the New SRO IAP meet?
Under its Terms of Reference, the New SRO IAP must meet at least four times a year (on a quarterly basis). The New SRO IAP Chair may schedule up to six additional meetings without the approval of the New SRO.
9. Will the New SRO IAP have its own annual budget?
The New SRO IAP will have an annual budget that provides funding to effectively carry out its mandate and to conduct research activities. The funding provided will be similar to amounts provided to other consumer panels in the securities industry.
10. Will the activities of the New SRO IAP be made public?
The following activities of the New SRO IAP will be made public and available on the New SRO website:
- The New SRO IAP annual report on its activities for the preceding year
- All New SRO IAP meeting agendas
- All New SRO IAP public comment letters
- Other New SRO IAP sponsored research and work product that it determines is appropriate to publish (so long as the publication is consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Terms of Reference)
11. Will New SRO IAP meetings be held virtually or in-person?
Meeting format and logistics will be determined by the New SRO IAP Chair, although we anticipate that there will be a mix of both virtual and in-person meetings, to optimize efficiency, effectiveness and active participation by New SRO IAP members who are based in different parts of Canada.
12. When will the New SRO IAP be established?
We anticipate that the members of the inaugural New SRO IAP will be selected by December 2022. The formal establishment of the New SRO IAP will align with the closing date of New SRO, December 31, 2022. New SRO IAP meetings are anticipated to begin early in 2023.