Leadership Profiles - IIROC (2014)


Susan Wolburgh Jenah

Interview with:
Susan Wolburgh Jenah
Immediate Past Chair – Susan Wolburgh Jenah, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)

1. Tell us about the work of IIROC.

    IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization that oversees the activities of investment dealers in Canada. 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.

2. Tell us about your role with IIROC.

    I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of IIROC, a position I have held since IIROC was established in June of 2008. Prior to that, I was the President and CEO of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) and was responsible for leading the merger of the IDA and Market Regulation Services Inc. (RS) to form IIROC. Before joining the IDA, I served as Vice Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission from 2004-2007 and as Acting Chair of the Commission from July to November 2005. I also served as General Counsel and Director of International Affairs for the Commission, representing the Commission on various Committees of IOSCO.

3. How do you see investor education fitting into the vision you have for IIROC?

    IIROC is in the process of implementing several strategic initiatives related to investor education and investor outreach. One of our goals is to raise awareness of IIROC's regulatory functions and investor protection mandate, and highlight IIROC's existing investor resources. This includes promoting awareness of IIROC's complaints and inquiries service; independent dispute resolution services; insolvency protection and other benefits of dealing with IIROC member firms; our AdvisorReport service; and our Guide to Trading on Equity Markets. We also look to identify gaps in current investor education programs that are available to investors and introduce new education materials for investors and the public to address the gaps we find. IIROC will continue to collaborate with IFIE members and other organizations in refining and developing our approach to meeting the needs of investors.

4. Why did IIROC decide to join IFIE?

    The IDA, which as I mentioned previously was one of the predecessor organizations of IIROC, was a founding member of IFIE. Even at its earliest stages of development, it has been clear to us that IFIE provides an excellent opportunity for us to partner and work with other like-minded organizations to improve the resources available to investors, and promote public awareness and understanding of the industry we regulate.

5. As the Chair of IFIE, what can you tell us about your vision for IFIE, its mission and activities?

    I believe that IFIE has accomplished some impressive successes since it was created in 2005. Our continued growth over the past several years is evidence of the value of the organization. Further, as IFIE continues to expand its membership, members are exposed to new ideas for approaching the issues we all face and new networks to exchange information. I believe that if we keep the IFIE membership engaged and involved, we will continue to function as a key resource and an important voice for investor education providers around the world.

6. IIROC just hosted a very successful IFIE-IOSCO Global Investor Education Conference in Toronto in June 2013. What were your key insights from your experience hosting the 2013 Global Conference?

    Working with the IOSCO and the IFIE members that helped in organizing the 2013 Conference was a great experience. Delegates at the Conference provided some great feedback on the event, noting that they found the subject matter relevant and the presenters inspiring. I think what impressed me most was the fact that we had delegates from jurisdictions from around the world at all stages of development in their investor education/financial capability programs and all were able to take away valuable information and strengthen their own networks. A lot of work and resources went into staging the Conference, and I think the quality of that work is reflected in the results we achieved.

7. IIROC has also contributed significantly to the building of the newest IFIE global-regional Chapter, IFIE Americas, and indeed serves as Vice Chair of this Chapter. What is your vision for the work of IFIE's global-regional chapters and networks?

    IFIE currently has regional chapters in Asia, the Middle-East/North Africa, and the Americas. These cover much of the globe. However, there are still some significant gaps. The IFIE executive and secretariat will continue to work on bringing these other regions into the IFIE membership over the coming year. This is a key goal for us.

8. What is your priority to do list for IIROC's FC/IE work over the next two years? What priority goals do you hope IFIE accomplishes over the next two years?

    We will continue to collaborate and work with our partner organizations, such as IOSCO and others, and to improve the tools and infrastructure that we already have in place. The key issue for us is to ensure that we continue to deliver what the IFIE membership needs from us.

Mark Stechishin
International Affairs Counsel,
Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)