Ontario Securities Commission Responses to Enquiries on OSC Request for New Investor Advisory Panel (IAP) Members
August 2, 2012
On July 12, 2012, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC or the Commission) published OSC Notice – OSC Investor Advisory Panel Request for Applications (“Notice”) on its website. The Commission has received a number of enquiries about the Panel from potential applicants. In the interests of transparency and fairness, the Commission is responding to the enquiries collectively and is making this information available to all potential applicants by publishing the responses on its website.
Responses to additional questions may be provided through the OSC website. The deadline for applications for appointment to the Panel is August 17, 2012.
More information about the Panel and its activities can be found in the Investor Advisory Panel section of the OSC website.
Q. Will the IAP mandate be expanded beyond responding to OSC requests?
A. Following consultation with the IAP, the Commission recently broadened the mandate of the Panel to include bringing forward policy issues that may emerge as a result of the Panel’s investor consultation activities, commenting on the potential implications for investors posed by those issues, and advising and commenting on the effectiveness of investor protection initiatives implemented by the Commission. The mandate is set out in the revised Investor Advisory Panel Terms of Reference, which can be found in the Investor Advisory Panel section of the OSC website.
Q. Has the OSC considered adding at least one full-time member as is done by the UK’s Financial Services Consumer Panel?
A. The OSC has considered whether to include full-time members on the IAP and has decided to keep membership to part-time members at this time.
Q. Is there any constraint on my other investor advocacy activities?
A. Panel members may continue their other activities as long as they comply with the confidentiality and conflict of interest provisions under the Panel’s Terms of Reference.
Panel members will be expected not to disclose information that has been specifically identified by the Commission as confidential. Members will also be expected to respect the confidentiality of Panel deliberations and any personal information that might be provided to the Panel by investors or other participants in connection with the Panel’s consultations.
Panel members may be in a conflict of interest if any employment, business, financial or other personal considerations could interfere with their ability to express opinions on investor issues being considered by the Panel. Article 13 of the Terms of Reference provides more information on identifying, reporting and resolving potential conflicts of interest. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, it is not expected that current employees of capital markets regulators would be appointed to the Panel.
Q. Is there an annual retainer?
A. Members are remunerated for their work on the Panel on a per diem basis as set out in the Notice.
Q. Are any funds dedicated to Panel members’ remuneration in recognition of the amount of time that they clearly spend writing and preparing comment letters?
A. As noted above, members are reimbursed at per diem rates.
Q. Are any funds dedicated to Panel members’ remuneration in recognition of efforts consulting and meeting with retail investors?
A. As noted above, members are reimbursed at per diem rates. The OSC also provides up to $30,000 to cover travel expenses in the event that Panel members reside outside of the Greater Toronto Area or if the Chair or other Panel members are required to travel to meet or consult with investors. Other expenses associated with Panel activities may also be reimbursed.
Q. Is there a planned increase in the operating budget?
A. For the fiscal year 2012-13, the OSC will continue to provide the Panel with an annual budget of $50,000 to facilitate its ability to carry out its mandate. It is anticipated that these funds will be used for research, outreach, consultation and preparation of reports and submissions. The Panel Chair recommends how the funds will be allocated.
Q. Will research funding be increased?
A. The OSC recognizes that the costs of research can be significant and may consider funding IAP research initiatives beyond the $50,000 annual budget on a case-by-case basis. For example, the OSC is currently considering a proposal to fund a large-scale research project co-sponsored by the IAP and the Investor Education Fund.
Q. Can an OBSI executive attend meetings as an “invited guest”?
A. Many guests have been invited by the Panel Chair to attend IAP meetings, including the Ombudsman and CEO of OBSI. Invited guests are listed in the agendas and minutes of IAP meetings, which can be found in the Investor Advisory Panel section of the OSC website. The Panel may continue to invite guests to its meetings, where appropriate.
OSC Office of the Investor
Q. What is the relationship of the IAP to the new OSC Office of the Investor?
A. Under the IAP’s revised Terms of Reference, the Office of the Investor will serve as the liaison between the Panel and Commission, and provide administrative support to the Panel. The OSC is in the process of establishing the Office of the Investor, including finalizing its terms of reference and mandate. In the interim, the Office of the Secretary will continue to serve as the liaison and provide administrative support to the Panel. The relationship between the IAP and the Office of the Investor will be further defined once the Office of the Investor is established.