Earning the Title
There are a lot of titles in the financial services industry. In fact, every firm and bank seems to have slight variations on titles for similar roles…and similar titles for vastly different roles! In the media lately there’s even been some confusing discussion about the spelling of “advisor” vs “adviser”. We hadn’t heard of this controversy previously, so we had our internal compliance officer do some research into this matter. To date, we’ve been unable to uncover any specific regulations regarding the spelling of the title that would allow firms to skirt the rules simply by adjusting the spelling!
What we do know is that stringent regulations apply to advisors who are registered with a self-regulatory organization such as IIROC or the MFDA. IIROC is the ‘Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada’ and the MFDA is the ‘Mutual Fund Dealers Association’.
As an IIROC dealer member, Assante Capital Management Ltd. financial advisors must adhere to a variety of standards in order to maintain their titles and certifications. A financial advisor who works at any IIROC registered firm must meet a certain set of standards in order to claim that title. These standards include acting in the client’s best interest, submitting to comprehensive background checks, meeting industry related educational requirements, and proof of commitment to and completion of ongoing training.
The MFDA offers licensing for advisors who choose to operate their business using a specific set of financial instruments. In order to be licensed through the MFDA, advisors are required to go through a different focused training program and adhere to a separate set of rules and regulations, as well as commit to ongoing training.
To find out more about what it means to work with an IIROC registered financial services provider you can visit the section of their website that describes their standards in detail HERE.
IIROC has also put together a guide to help you evaluate any financial service provider you’re considering forming a relationship with HERE.
To find out if your advisor or the company you are dealing with are registered with IIROC, visit the Canadian Securities Administrators’ website and use their search function HERE.
To find out if someone you’re working with is registered with the MFDA you can find out HERE.
If you ask the question and discover you are working with an advisor who says they offer financial planning but who has not earned the appropriate designations or who works solely with insurance products, for example, it may be time to get a second opinion from someone who is fully accredited and who has access to a wider array of products and solutions for your unique financial goals and challenges.
Many Assante advisors go beyond the basic requirements and pursue designations in related fields, such as accounting, allowing them to bring additional knowledge and perspective to their clients and to those of their colleagues.
If you’d like to know more about your Assante advisor’s qualifications or what ongoing training they have committed to, don’t hesitate to ask.