In light of the continued spread of COVID-19, we want our clients to know that we have business continuity plans in place that enable us to operate with as little disruption as possible as the situation changes. Our lawyers and clerks are working remotely, enabling us to provide uninterrupted service to our clients.
Clients should not hesitate to contact their primary lawyer or any of Kevin Cohen, Erez Blumberger or Kim Poster if they have any questions about these matters. At AUM Law, we remain focused on providing high quality, practical and efficient advice and services to address your business needs, including matters arising from COVID-19.
We appreciate that this is an extraordinarily challenging time and we are here to help in any way possible.
To make your life easier, we have consolidated the articles we’ve written to date on the client-focused reforms (CFRs) to National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations into a snappy, little(ish) guide, Client-Focused Reforms in a Nutshell. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact us and we’ll subscribe you to our publications (if you haven’t already signed up).
February 28, 2020
Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) staff have begun notifying registrants that they will receive a risk assessment questionnaire (RAQ) on April 15. The OSC uses the information collected from these bi-annual questionnaires as part of its risk-based supervision program. Registrants must submit the completed questionnaire to the OSC by May 27, 2020, after their Ultimate Designated Person (UDP) has certified the contents as complete, accurate, free from any misstatements and not misleading in any respect. The RAQ will ask for information for the period ending December 31, 2019.
The OSC is making some changes to the RAQ process and questions. Some of these changes are part of its burden reduction initiative. For example:
- For firms that completed the 2018 RAQ, some questions in the 2020 RAQ will be pre-populated with the firm’s 2018 answers (which of course, should be reviewed and revised if necessary).
- Some questions have been deleted from the 2020 RAQ (e.g. Question G18 on other business activities).
Changes to the RAQ process include the following:
- Authentication to enhance data security: On April 15, CCOs will receive an email from the OSC with a link asking them to create an account that is unique to the firm in the OSC’s system. Once the account is created, the CCO will be granted access to the 2020 RAQ through this account.
- Fund Form Separated from the RAQ: The Prospectus-Exempt Fund Form, which used to be sent to investment fund managers who manage prospectus-exempt funds at the same time as the RAQ, has been removed from the 2020 RAQ. Going forward, it will be sent separately from the RAQ.
We encourage registrants to start planning for this exercise now by allocating resources to gather the needed information and draft responses, as well as scheduling time with key individuals including the UDP to review and sign off on the completed questionnaire. AUM Law has had extensive experience helping firms prepare their RAQs. If you would like us to help you complete this year’s RAQ, please contact us for a fixed-fee quote.
January 31, 2020
Did you know that AUM Law makes our bulletins available through Lexology, a resource that aggregates and organizes legal updates, analysis and insights from over 900 law firms worldwide? We are pleased to announce that AUM Law has received the “Legal Influencer” title for Financial Services in Canada for the fourth quarter of 2019. Lexology has been granting these awards for six quarters and this is the fourth time that AUM Law has received this firm-level award, which is calculated based on an algorithm that takes into account the number of reads our articles receive and how readers engage with our content. If you aren’t already a subscriber to our publications, click here to sign up.
January 31, 2020