Advocis Issues Call to Action – Canadian Financial Services Industry Needs to Undergo Overhaul and Rationalization

Advocis to launch campaign of six strategic initiatives to fix industry ills

Toronto (February 7, 2003) Canada�s largest professional association of financial advisors, Advocis, is issuing a “call to action” to the financial services industry to join in a campaign to address serious issues facing the industry. Through a recent round of consultations with key financial services providers, Advocis has determined that:

  • The public has lost confidence in the integrity of the industry, throughout all disciplines including insurance, investing, and financial planning.
  • There is inconsistency amongst advisors as to their depth of knowledge and the methodologies they follow.
  • There are no norms for customer service and protection.
  • The industry is too fragmented. There are too many regulators, too many designations, and too many organizations.

Advocis believes that the industry needs to make a commitment to change if the problems are to be fixed. With that goal in mind, Advocis today released an action plan based on six strategic initiatives:

  1. The development of a set of “best practices for financial advisors,” designed to become the standard that all in the industry would follow, for the protection and benefit of consumers.
  2. Continued availability of appropriate professional liability insurance.
  3. The repositioning of the CLU Institute, the body that awards the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation, to address more fully the relevant issues facing insurance and estate planning practitioners in today�s business environment.
  4. The creation of the Conference for Advanced Financial Planning to deliver the high-end educational programs that experienced financial planners need.
  5. Enhancing the value that Advocis� corporate partners receive through their support of the professional association that puts client interests first.
  6. A “call to action” to the financial services industry to join Advocis in the campaign by stepping up their professional commitment and allocating the resources needed to fix the problems in the industry.

“If we�re successful in leading the industry to achieve these six initiatives, I believe advisors will be more professional, product suppliers and manufacturers will be better represented by their advisors, and the protection of the public interest, which is the objective of regulators, will be enhanced. In combination, this will restore consumers� confidence,” said Steve Howard, president and CEO of Advocis.

The action plan, entitled “Our World is Changing � The Advocis Vision of the Future for Canada�s Professional Financial Advisors,” is posted on the Advocis Web site at

Advocis chair, Brian Mallard says that the consultations with industry representatives took place during December 2002 and January 2003.

“We met with mutual fund and life insurance companies, industry associations, and distribution companies to better understand the landscape within the industry and the issues confronting our members,” said Brian Mallard, chair of Advocis. “We reported our findings back to this group, and we�ve had support for our proposals. I know there�s a real appetite for change out there.”

Advocis is Canada’s largest association of financial advisors, with members in 50 chapters across Canada. Advocis members adhere to a strict Code of Professional Conduct, meet ongoing continuing education requirements, and are committed to putting the interests of their clients first. Visit our Web site at