June 2, 2017 (Toronto, Ontario) – A settlement hearing in the matter of Robert Stephen Mitchell (“Respondent”) was held on May 31, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario before a three-member Hearing Panel of the Central Regional Council of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”).
The Hearing Panel approved the settlement agreement (“Settlement Agreement”) between Staff of the MFDA and the Respondent, as a consequence of which the following sanctions were imposed on the Respondent:
- a suspension from conducting securities related business in any capacity while in the employ of or associated with any MFDA Member for a period of one (1) month, commencing on June 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017;
- a fine in the amount of $30,000;
- costs in the amount of $5,000; and
- shall in future comply with MFDA Rules 2.1.1, 2.1.4 and 2.3.1.
In the Settlement Agreement, the Respondent admitted that:
- between September 2014 and March 2015, he processed approximately 28 trades in respect of ten (10) clients where he determined the specific elements of the trades, including the mutual fund that was traded, the amount of the trade and/or the timing of the trade, thereby engaging in discretionary trading, contrary to MFDA Rules 2.3.1 and 2.1.1;
- between March 2005 and January 2015, he directly reimbursed four (4) clients for deferred sales charge fees and short term trading fees incurred by the clients, thereby engaging in personal financial dealings with the clients which gave rise to a conflict or potential conflict of interest that the Respondent failed to address by the exercise of responsible business judgment influenced only by the best interests of the clients, contrary to MFDA Rules 2.1.4 and 2.1.1; and
- between about March 2010 and August 2014, he obtained, possessed and, in some instances, used to process transactions, 25 pre-signed account forms in respect of 12 clients, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1.
A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available on the MFDA website at www.mfda.ca. During the period described in the Settlement Agreement, the Respondent conducted business in the Thunder Bay, Ontario area.
The MFDA is the self-regulatory organization for Canadian mutual fund dealers, regulating the operations, standards of practice and business conduct of its Members and their approximately 83,000 Approved Persons with a mandate to protect investors and the public interest. For more information about the MFDA’s complaint and enforcement processes, as well as links to ‘Check an Advisor’ and other Investor Tools, visit the For Investors page on the MFDA website.
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