June 16, 2006, Victoria, BC – Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, today launched the new Emerging Regulatory Issues (ERI) section of the Advocis Best Practices Manual with the introduction of the Product Suitability Principle for Insurance Intermediaries section. The new feature, an industry first, will assist financial advisors to incorporate leading-edge practice standards into their practice without the need to wait until regulation, legislation or directives are issued.
�The new Best Practices Manual feature will be an authoritative source on the most recent regulatory rules, initiatives and developments affecting the industry,� said Roger McMillan, CFP, CLU, CH.F.C, chair of Advocis. �It is important to provide financial advisors with an indication of the direction in which regulation is heading so they are in a position to plan ahead and increase their level of professionalism.�
The ERI will cover aspects of regulation for insurance, mutual funds and securities intermediaries, even in cases where the legislation or regulations have not yet been amended or introduced to deal with the issue. Updates will be provided on each issue as regulators and governments move towards final implementation of new regulatory initiatives. If necessary, modifications to the practice standard will be made to reflect the final regulatory outcome. Members have access to the latest sections, tools and templates from the regular Best Practices Manual updates posted on the Advocis website.
�The first section for the ERI is a great example of how our advocacy efforts translate into a tangible benefit to advisors and in doing so raises the level of professionalism among Advocis members,� said McMillan. �Advocis is well positioned to develop the content for this, since it is constantly engaging regulators and legislators as a key stakeholder when issues emerge and regulatory initiatives are contemplated.�
Advocis participated in an intensive industry-wide consultation process with insurance regulators on the commission disclosure issue as an option for managing conflicts of interest. In the end, the regulators adopted a principles-based approach while leaving the implementation to the industry.
�This demonstrates our effectiveness in engaging government and regulatory officials on important issues to promote principles-based regulations for the delivery of financial advice,� continued McMillan. �This positions Advocis members as practice standard leaders and enhances the Association�s position with regulators as a leader in raising the professionalism of financial advisors.�
About the Advocis Best Practices Manual
The first comprehensive manual of its kind, the Best Practices Manual incorporates financial planning and risk management strategies together with marketing and client relationship tools for application in the financial planning, wealth and insurance disciplines. Designed to elevate the professionalism of the financial advice giving and product delivery process, it assists advisors in turning regulatory requirements into best practices.
Advocis, The Financial Advisor Association of Canada, is the oldest and largest voluntary professional membership association of financial advisors. With 12,000 advisors in 48 chapters across Canada, Advocis members provide financial and product advice to millions of Canadians across a variety of distinct areas, including: estate and retirement planning, wealth management, risk management, and tax planning. Members adhere to a strict professional Code of Conduct, subscribe to standards of best practice, meet ongoing continuing education requirements, maintain appropriate levels of professional liability insurance and are committed to putting their client’s interests first. The Association�s website is www.advocis.ca.