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Fox Guarding the Hen House


Quebec investment adviser faces allegations
Investment Dealers group accuses him of making unauthorized transactions in client accounts



Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A long-time Quebec investment adviser is accused of mismanaging the accounts of clients and failing to disclose his participation in several investments to them or his employer, the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) said yesterday.

Bertrand Trudel, who has worked in the investment industry for more than 30 years, is accused of making unauthorized transactions in client accounts, making inappropriate investment recommendations and accepting instructions from third parties with no authority over the accounts.

The alleged infractions occurred between 1990 and 2002, while Trudel worked at Levesque Beaubien Inc., now National Bank Financial.

The IDA said his job at National Bank was terminated in 2002 and he now works at Retirement Option Group Inc.

Trudel, who works in the Joliette office of Retirement Option, said yesterday that he could not comment on the case.

In a notice to the public published yesterday, the IDA alleges that Trudel opened trading accounts for two investment clubs and a private company - POA enr., PQVO enr. and IM Ltee - without disclosing to his employer that he and his wife owned shares in all three entities, and without designating the accounts as professional.

He is also alleged to have invested in a private company called Eco-Ads, along with the investment clubs and IM, and allegedly recommended the investment to his clients without telling them about his stake in the company.

The IDA said Trudel also kept no records of the off-book transactions involving Eco-Ads. The company had no approved prospectus and was not qualified to be sold to the public.

The regulator said Trudel provided clients with approximations of the market value of the Eco-Ads shares without any supporting documents.

Trudel was the subject of three internal disciplinary actions during his time at National Bank, and two disciplinary sanctions from the Montreal Exchange, the IDA said.

The Montreal Exchange launched the investigation into the latest allegations in 2002, and the case was later transferred to the IDA to manage, the public notice said yesterday.