Over the past year, the MFDA made significant progress in the implementation of its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.
This Report highlights the MFDA's work on some of its major initiatives in the areas of Member and investor outreach and education, Approved Persons education and proficiency, regulatory collaboration and regulatory initiatives in the areas of cybersecurity, cost reporting and conflicts of interest.
The 2018-2022 MFDA Strategic Plan also notes our commitment to review our current processes and requirements to ensure that they continue to be relevant and appropriate. To help advance that commitment, the Governance Committee of the MFDA Board of Directors asked the law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) to undertake a review of the MFDA's corporate governance structure. We want to ensure that the MFDA's corporate governance structure continues to reflect best governance practices for SROs, and I am pleased that the BLG review concluded that the MFDA's corporate governance structure is consistent with those best practices.
But corporate governance practices are continually evolving; so the BLG review also offered recommendations and suggestions for the MFDA's consideration that are aimed to ensure that we are at the forefront of best practices. Their advice is reflected in proposed By-law amendments that the MFDA published in March. These amendments aim to enhance the independence of the MFDA Governance Committee and support continued board engagement of experienced Directors from diverse backgrounds through increased terms. The terms proposed are not only consistent with industry standards currently in place at comparator organizations but, most importantly, are aimed at providing further continuity and experience on the MFDA Board to advance the continuing aim of improving board efficiency. Increased board efficiency will benefit the MFDA as it navigates an increasingly complex industry and regulatory environment, and we believe these amendments represent another positive step forward.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my colleagues on the MFDA Board for their continued diligence, dedication and seasoned judgment. I am also grateful to MFDA senior management and all staff for their hard work and unfailing commitment to the MFDA and its important mandate of protecting Canadian mutual fund investors. Thanks to all of their efforts, we have accomplished a great deal over the past year, and I look forward to moving from strength to strength in the coming year to continue delivering responsible and effective regulation and, in the words of the Strategic Plan, "achieving better outcomes for Canadians”.
Christopher Nicholls, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., MPA
Chair, Board of Directors