Investment Fund Survey data
The Investment Fund Survey (IFS) is an annual survey sent to more than 400 investment fund managers (IFMs) registered in Ontario to collect data on approximately 5,700 prospectus-qualified and exempt investment funds with at least $10 million in net assets. The collection of such data will allow for more comprehensive oversight of the Canadian investment fund industry and delivers on the OSC’s mandate of contributing to the stability of the financial system.
Each year the annual data from the IFS is shared by:
- providing aggregated survey data as a downloadable CSV file on a no-names basis, and
- publishing charts that allow stakeholders to see certain insights from the data.
This data is shared to promote greater transparency, in a manner that protects IFM confidentiality. This information will be updated annually as new data is received from IFMs.
Read more about the IFS to understand why and how it is conducted.
IFS data is provided “as-is”, based on IFM submissions.
Fund data collected
The IFS data is collected annually from IFMs registered in Ontario. These IFMs must report on all prospectus-qualified and exempt investment funds with at least $10 million in net assets. IFMs that manage the business, operations, or affairs of an investment fund in Ontario must be registered in Ontario. For IFMs located outside Ontario that cannot rely on an available IFM registration exemption, they must register as IFMs in Ontario if they:
- have a place of business in Ontario,
- manage investment funds that are marketed to Ontario investors, or
- manage investment funds with unitholders in Ontario.
Since most IFMs in Canada manage investment funds that have Ontario unitholders, the IFS data covers the majority of IFMs in Canada. A small number of IFMs registered in other provinces, but not in Ontario, are outside the scope of the OSC’s IFS.
Scope of aggregate IFS data reported
The scope of the IFS data reported here includes investment funds:
- managed by IFMs registered in Ontario,
- domiciled in Canada (data collected on foreign domiciled funds was not reported), and
- with at least $10 million in net assets as of December 31 each year.
IFS data is aggregated by fund category (stand-alone or fund of funds), fund class (prospectus fund or exempt fund) and fund type (mutual fund, ETF, hedge, etc.). More information on these categories is provided below.
Categorization of investment funds in the data
Stand-alone – An investment fund with less than 35% of its long positions invested in other investment funds. For investment funds with long fund holdings between 35% and 65% of its long positions, their categorization – as a stand-alone fund or fund of fund – is left to the discretion of the IFM.
Fund of funds – An investment fund with more than 65% of its long positions invested in other investment funds. For investment funds with long fund holdings between 35% and 65% of its long positions, their categorization – as a stand-alone fund or fund of fund – is left to the discretion of the IFM.
IFMs are asked to report their fund holdings and other holdings separately. Fund holdings can include open-end funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs). Another field exists for reporting holdings of money market funds. This approach to reporting fund holdings – as money market funds or other investment funds – should prevent double counting of positions between fund of funds and any underlying funds they may hold.
Note that stand-alone, private equity fund holdings should be reported as unlisted equity rather than as fund holdings, because most stand-alone private equity funds are not managed by IFMs and are not subject to the IFS.
IFMs that manage hedge and other exempt funds that adopt a master-feeder structure can report those funds using one of the following approaches:
- Report one fund on a consolidated basis with full look-through to the underlying holdings, or
- Report both the master fund and any feeder funds (at least 2 funds total).
If the latter approach is taken, this will result in the reporting of relatively more fund of funds. This occurs because additional feeder funds are reported as fund of funds. Underlying assets should only be counted once using either approach, since additional feeder funds are reported as fund of funds with their assets predominately invested in the other funds (the master fund).
Prospectus fund – An investment fund with at least one series issued under a prospectus subject to National Instrument 81-102 Investment Funds (NI 81-102). Prospectus-qualified investment fund types include mutual funds, ETFs, money market funds, closed-end funds, flow-through LPs and split share corps.
Exempt fund – An investment fund not issued under a prospectus and not subject to NI 81-102. Exempt fund types include pooled funds, hedge or alternative strategy funds, other funds and money market funds.
Mutual fund – A prospectus fund where investors are generally able to purchase or redeem securities of the mutual fund on demand for a price representing a proportionate interest of the mutual fund’s net assets.
ETF – A mutual fund that is exchange-traded.
Alternative mutual fund – A mutual fund, other than a precious metals fund, that has adopted fundamental investment objectives that permit it to invest in physical commodities or specified derivatives, to borrow cash or engage in short selling in a manner not permitted for other mutual funds under NI 81-102.
ETF, alternative mutual fund – an ETF that satisfies the definition of “alternative mutual fund.”
Money market – A mutual fund that generally invests in short-term, highly liquid, low-risk investments for the purposes of offering investors high liquidity with very low levels of risk and is subject to section 2.18 (Money Market Fund) of NI 81-102.
Closed-end – A prospectus fund that raises capital by issuing a fixed number of units, and which are not redeemable on demand. Typically, units of this type of fund are bought and sold on an exchange.
Flow-through LP – A prospectus fund that invests in a portfolio of flow-through shares of certain issuers in order to generally achieve capital appreciation and tax benefits for its investors.
Split share corp – A prospectus fund that offers two distinct classes of shares: Class A shares and Preferred shares. They typically invest in an underlying portfolio of dividend paying securities. Generally, the Class A shares capture the movements of the underlying securities, and the Preferred shares receive fixed periodic payments.
Pooled – An exempt fund that does not adopt alternative or money market strategies. Pooled funds can employ up to 200% gross balance-sheet leverage (long positions and short positions over net assets).
Hedge – An exempt fund with an alternative strategy such as Crypto, Event Driven, Macro, Managed Futures, or Relative Value. All exempt funds must be categorized as a “Hedge” or “Other” if they employ more than 200% gross balance-sheet leverage (long positions and short positions over net assets).
Other – An exempt fund invested in alternative assets such as Private Debt, Private Equity or Real Estate. Exempt Flow-through LPs are also categorized as “Other” exempt funds in the reported data. These funds are generally illiquid with restrictive redemption terms. All exempt funds must be categorized as a “Hedge” or “Other” if they employ more than 200% gross balance-sheet leverage (long positions and short positions over net assets).
Money market – An exempt fund with a money market strategy that generally invests in short-term, highly liquid, low-risk investments.
The IFS data is subject to validation tests to enhance its quality. Particular attention is paid to the categorization, identification and net asset values of individual investment funds to ensure they are consistently reported over time.
The financial data reported in the Income & Cash Flow, Geography, and Asset Class sections is subject to validation within tolerances. Typical data errors in these sections include the reporting of fund figures: in US dollars rather than Canadian dollars, as of financial year-end rather than calendar year-end (December 31), or in the wrong field. At an aggregate level, these issues are not expected to be material. Furthermore, when identified, IFMs are required to address them.
Greater caution should be used when interpreting IFS data in the Ownership, Portfolio Liquidity, Investor Liquidity, and Derivatives sections. Since this data does not come directly from the balance sheet or income statement, the validation of these sections is necessarily less stringent.