TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd. ("Assante") confirmed today its affiliated dealers have entered into a no-contest settlement agreement with Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission ("OSC"). The agreement has been approved by the Ontario Securities Commission.
The agreement is in respect of a small percentage of clients being eligible for, but not enrolled in a preferred pricing program for certain mutual fund investments between August 2011 and May 2017. Assante identified the matter and paid approximately $3.8 million in compensation to affected current and former clients in September 2017.
"We place a high value on the integrity of our client relationships and are pleased to have closed this matter by compensating affected clients this past September, and with this agreement with OSC Staff," said Sean Etherington, President of Assante Wealth Management.
The compensation plan for affected clients was developed with the assistance of an independent accounting firm. Assante self-reported the issue to the OSC in 2015 and kept OSC Staff informed of the details of the compensation plan. OSC Staff did not allege any purposeful dishonest conduct by Assante.
In May 2017, a new preferred pricing program was introduced under which fee discounts are automatically applied to eligible accounts as investors' assets reach certain thresholds.
Under the agreement, Assante will report to the OSC Manager in respect of the implementation of the compensation plan, make a voluntary payment of $140,000 for use by the OSC to advance investor education or to be allocated to or for the benefit of third parties, and a voluntary payment of $25,000 to reimburse the OSC for costs incurred in its review of the matter.
About Assante Wealth Management
Assante Wealth Management is one of the largest Canadian professional services firms in wealth management, supporting 800 advisors who oversee approximately $39 billion in assets for 300,000 clients and their families nationwide. Assante provides its clients with a complete approach to financial advice that incorporates all aspects of wealth management – tax and estate planning, risk management and investment management.
SOURCE Assante Wealth Management
For further information: Murray Oxby, Vice-President, Communications, (416) 681-3254, [email protected]