January 13, 2021 (Toronto, Ontario) – The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”) has commenced disciplinary proceedings in respect of Mark Allen Smith (“Respondent”). In its Notice of Hearing dated January 7, 2021 (“Notice of Hearing”), Staff of the MFDA alleges that the Respondent engaged in the following conduct contrary to the By-laws, Rules and/or Policies of the MFDA:
Allegation #1: Between May 27, 2012 and November 12, 2018, the Respondent accepted and acted upon a power of attorney from a related client without notifying the Member and transferring the accounts to another Approved Person in accordance with the Member’s requirements, contrary to the Member’s policies and procedures and MFDA Rules 2.3.1, 1.1.2, 2.5.1, and 2.1.1.
Allegation #2: Between September 2012 and November 12, 2018, the Respondent engaged in personal financial dealings with a related client when he acted upon a power of attorney to borrow or otherwise obtain monies from the client’s accounts, thereby giving rise to a conflict or potential conflict of interest which the Respondent failed to disclose to the Member, or otherwise address by the exercise of responsible business judgment influenced only by the best interests of the client, contrary to the Member’s policies and procedures, and MFDA Rules 2.1.4, 2.3.1, 2.5.1, and 2.1.1.
Allegation #3: Between 2013 and November 12, 2018, the Respondent provided false or misleading responses to the Member on annual compliance questionnaires relating to accepting a power of attorney or borrowing monies from a related client, contrary to MFDA Rule 2.1.1.
Allegation #4: In or about March 2016, the Respondent failed to notify the Member within two business days that he had made an arrangement with his creditors, contrary to the Member’s policies and procedures, section 4.1(g) of MFDA Policy No. 6, and MFDA Rules 1.2.2(b) [now Rule 1.4], 2.1.1, 2.5.1, and 1.1.2.
The first appearance in this proceeding will take place by teleconference before a Hearing Panel of the MFDA’s Central Regional Council on February 23, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern), or as soon thereafter as the appearance can be held, to schedule a date for the commencement of the hearing on the merits and to address any other procedural issues. The appearance will be open to the public, except as may be required for the protection of confidential matters. Members of the public who would like to listen to the teleconference should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain particulars.
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 81,000 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.