IFIC Leadership Conference Highlights Strategies for Future Industry Growth

TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Insights into how the funds industry can harness innovation to meet the needs of new generations of investors dominated a day-long conference hosted by The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) on Thursday, September 29.

Over 325 industry leaders, regulators and international experts gathered in Toronto to hear from more than three dozen speakers on the challenges and countless opportunities facing the investment funds industry in today's environment of rapid and dramatic change.

"Business conferences often focus on the potential threats posed by disruptive change," said IFIC board chair John A. Adams, "but what we heard from today's speakers is how the industry can use disruptive change to map out cutting-edge strategies that will enable us to evolve our products and services, and successfully transform how we connect with our clients."

"Innovation in product design, distribution and pricing are the tools that will enable the industry to continually improve the investing experience for clients," said IFIC president and CEO Paul C. Bourque. "The challenge for the industry is to leverage technology to enhance the value of mutual funds for investors; while the challenge for regulators is to ensure that the regulatory framework is able to let investors benefit from those advancements."

Conference attendees heard from leading portfolio managers on how they are responding to the current low return environment with balanced, cost efficient and effective solutions.  A panel of international experts examined the increasingly global nature of regulatory objective-setting and the paths that Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. are taking to achieve their desired outcomes for investors.

Digital marketing thought leader and Mirum president Mitch Joel challenged the audience to embrace transformation and to become digital leaders.  A panel of industry experts took up the theme to examine how individual firms are responding to the digital challenge.

Regulators from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec discussed game-changing regulatory proposals now under review, as well as the evolving regulatory framework.

Investor education staff from the BCSC and OSC, along with a leading industry research expert, explored the implications that changing demographics and increasing knowledge of investor biases and behaviours are having on the role of advisors.

Bourque wound up the day by outlining his vision for IFIC in the year ahead.

Video and audio recordings from the conference will be available on IFIC's website in the weeks ahead.

About IFIC

The Investment Funds Institute of Canada is the voice of Canada's investment funds industry. IFIC brings together 150 organizations, including fund managers, distributors and industry service organizations, to foster a strong, stable investment sector where investors can realize their financial goals. By connecting Canada's savers to Canada's economy, our industry contributes significantly to Canadian economic growth and job creation. The organization is proud to have served Canada's mutual fund industry and its investors for more than 50 years.

SOURCE The Investment Funds Institute of Canada

For further information: Sara Clodman, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, sclodman@ific.ca | 416-309-2317

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http://www.ific.ca

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