If not already completed, firms with a December year end should turn their attention to the required annual report from the Chief Compliance Officer. National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations requires that a CCO submit an annual report to a registered firm’s board of directors (or individuals acting in a similar capacity if there is no board) for the purpose of assessing compliance by the firm and individuals with securities legislation.

Staff at the Ontario Securities Commission have provided guidance in compliance audits and annual reports with respect to their expectations for these reports, including in OSC Staff Notice 33-751 Summary Report for Dealers, Advisers and Investment Fund Managers, and this guidance should be reviewed to help ensure the report includes all expected commentary. While each report must be individually prepared based on the events of the past year, they should typically include items such as:

  • compliance highlights;
  • the operation of a firm’s policies and procedures;
  • any changes made to a firm’s compliance infrastructure or individual registrations; and
  • a description of any compliance issues, including with respect to any reports made, complaints filed and a firm’s personal trading program.

For the year ended December 31, 2021, we would expect that such reports would include a description of changes made to a firm’s policies and procedures to implement the client focused reforms, as well as the new expectations around vulnerable clients and trusted contact persons. AUM Law frequently helps firms with these reports, and we would be pleased to assist.

March 31, 2022