IIROC announces disciplinary hearing for Natalie St-Amant

MONTRÉAL, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - A Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has scheduled a hearing to consider evidence and submissions in the matter of Natalie St-Amant.

The hearing concerns allegations that Ms. St-Amant failed to observe high standards of ethics and conduct in relation to transactions made in her personal account and in some of her client accounts.

The hearing is open to the public unless the panel orders otherwise. The Hearing Panel's decision will be made available at www.iiroc.ca.

Hearing Dates:   10 am, February 21-25, 28 and March 1-4, 2011
Location:    Centre Mont-Royal, Room Mansfield 5
  2200 Mansfield Street, Montréal, QC

Specifically, the hearing concerns allegations that Ms. St-Amant engaged in conduct unbecoming or detrimental to the public interest, contrary to IIROC Rule 29.1, when she:

(a)     purchased shares in a public company for her own account and directly from someone who was an insider of the company involved, all without her firm's knowledge;

(b)     made investment recommendations regarding two securities, which she and other registered staff held in their personal accounts, with the knowledge that the securities had been purchased from someone who had privileged ties with  insiders. As of December 31, 2005, 248 of these representatives' accounts held approximately 18.5% of the outstanding shares in one of these securities;

(c)     failed in her duty to protect the public in connection with trades effected in two securities ordered by a client who was a consultant to the companies involved, when she knew or should have known that the trades could be a sign of market manipulation;

(d)     purchased securities for her own account through a registered staff person at her firm, without the firm's knowledge;

(e)     together with a registered staff person at Desjardins, responded to three client complaints by compensating them directly, without the knowledge of her firm;

(f)     accepted reimbursement from another registered staff person for her portion of the compensation given to the same three clients, which included a payment by cheque and receipt in her personal account of securities of a public company, without the knowledge of her firm; and

(g)     through another registered staff person at her firm, participated in a private placement in a public company for her own account, without informing her firm.

IIROC alleges that through these activities Ms. St-Amant failed to meet the standards of ethics and conduct set out in the Conduct and Practices Handbook, particularly Standard B (Trustworthiness, Honesty and Fairness), and Standard C (Professionalism) and thereby violated IIROC Rule 29.1.

The alleged violations occurred in 2005 and 2006, while Ms. St-Amant was a Registered Representative at the Brossard branch of Desjardins Securities Inc., an IIROC-regulated firm. IIROC began investigating Ms. St-Amant's conduct on November 10, 2006. Ms. St-Amant is still employed at this firm in the same registration category.

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IIROC investigates possible misconduct by its member firms and/or individual registrants. It can bring disciplinary proceedings which may result in penalties including fines, suspensions and permanent bans or terminations for individuals and firms.

All information about disciplinary proceedings relating to current and former member firms is available in the Enforcement section of the IIROC website. Background information regarding the qualifications and disciplinary history, if any, of advisors currently employed by IIROC-regulated firms is available free of charge through the IIROC AdvisorReport service. Information on how to make investment dealer, advisor or marketplace-related complaints is available by calling 1.877.442.4322.

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada. Created in 2008 through the consolidation of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and Market Regulation Services Inc., IIROC sets high quality regulatory and investment industry standards, protects investors and strengthens market integrity while maintaining efficient and competitive capital markets.

IIROC carries out its regulatory responsibilities through setting and enforcing rules regarding the proficiency, business and financial conduct of dealer firms and their registered employees and through setting and enforcing market integrity rules regarding trading activity on Canadian equity marketplaces.

SOURCE Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) - General News

For further information: For further information:

Carmen Crépin
Vice President, Québec
Elsa Renzella
Director, Enforcement Litigation

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