Ontario Securities Commission
Responses to Enquiries on the OSC Investor Advisory Panel
On March 19, 2010, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC or the Commission) published to its website OSC Notice – OSC Investor Advisory Panel Request for Applications (“Notice”). The Commission has received a number of enquiries from various individuals and organizations interested in the Panel. In the interests of transparency and fairness, the Commission is responding to the enquiries collectively and making this information available to all potential applicants through publication to the OSC website. More detailed information on the Panel’s mandate can be found in the Investor Advisory Panel Terms of Reference which are available on the OSC’s website.
The Commission will continue to accept questions from prospective applicants until April 23, 2010 and will continue to provide information through the OSC website. The deadline for applications for appointment to the Panel is April 30, 2010.
Q. What will the focus of the Panel’s work be?
The Panel will respond in writing to public requests for comments by the Commission on proposed rules, policies, concept papers and discussion drafts. The Panel will also have an opportunity to comment annually on the Commission’s proposed priorities and will consider specific issues at the request of the Commission. The Panel will develop an annual work plan and objectives at an early stage.
Q. Who should apply for Panel membership?
It is expected that the members of the Panel will represent a diverse range of experience and skills with respect to a wide spectrum of investor issues. Applicants are expected to have qualifications, skills or experience in one or more of the following areas:
- Involvement in a community-based organization with a demonstrated commitment to advancing public policy, preferably relating to the financial well-being of Ontarians;
- Involvement in an investor or consumer association with experience representing views of Ontarians;
- Professionals with experience advising investors, such as lawyer or accountant;
- Institutional investors from the pension sector or other buy side;
- Household financial advisers; or
- Market or academic researchers.
All applications will be considered by a Selection Committee of three Part-time Commissioners. The Committee will recommend the nominees for appointment by the Chair of the Commission.
Q. Is it a requirement that Panel members attend meetings in person?
Panel members will be expected to attend meetings in person and maintain a good attendance record. Arrangements will be made, however, to enable Panel members living outside the Toronto area to participate where appropriate by conference call. Panel members will be compensated for preparation for and attending at meetings of the Panel. In addition, travel expenses will be covered up to an estimated maximum of $30,000 for the Panel per year.
Q. How will the Panel represent the perspectives of Ontario investors?
Members of the Panel will not likely be expert in all issues considered by the Panel. In order to advance its work plan, the Panel will, therefore, be encouraged to draw on the expertise and experience of others through consulting with stakeholders to obtain appropriate input into its deliberations. The Panel may use a variety of methods including roundtables, focus groups or surveys. To that end, the Panel will be provided with a yearly budget of $50,000 to support its investor consultation efforts and to procure professional services to assist it in effectively fulfilling its mandate.
Q. How will the Panel communicate about its activities?
The Panel will communicate in writing through publishing its comments in response to requests for comment from the Commission and through the annual report of the Chair of the Panel to the Commission. The Panel’s communications will be published on the Commission’s website.
Q. Who has responsibility for the effective operation and governance of the Panel?
The Panel is intended to operate independently at arm’s-length from the Commission. The Panel will have its own chair who will have principal responsibility for the Panel’s deliberations to ensure that it can fulfill its mandate effectively. The Panel Chair will lead and manage its activities and will be responsible for ensuring that the Panel develops an annual work plan at an early stage. The Panel will be given administrative support through the Office of the Secretary to the Commission. The Commission has also requested Commissioner Condon to act as a “sponsor” for the Panel.
Q. Are there any confidentiality restrictions with respect to the Panel’s work?
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.
Q. Are there conflict of interest provisions with respect to the Panel’s work?
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.
Questions on the Investor Advisory Panel should be addressed by e-mail to:John P. Stevenson
Secretary to the Commission