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Tom Hockin sets date for retirement


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

By James Langton

Tom Hockin is planning to step down as president and chief executive officer of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada in October, the trade organization announced Wednesday.

Hockin led IFIC over the past 11 years, during which time the fund industry’s assets under management increased from $124 billion to more than $500 billion. “IFIC has grown to be a strong leader in the mutual fund industry and I sincerely hope that it has made a difference in helping to enhance the integrity and value of the industry in the eyes of our member firms and investors,” Hockin said in a statement. “I have... been most impressed with how the industry has moved together — despite being made up of fierce competitors — to deepen the fiduciary trust and value of our industry.”

In the mid to late 90s, when fund industry growth was robust, IFIC was also a force in regulatory development. Its sales practices code became the model for a rule adopted by regulators. It also produced guidelines for personal trading by fund managers, return reporting and fair valuing. More recently, it produced recommendations to help fund managers to combat market timing.

However, the organization never managed to make the transition from trade association to the regulatory role that it appeared to covet. The Ontario Securities Commission forced it to collaborate with the Investment Dealers Association in putting together the self-regulatory organization for fund dealers, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association. And, efforts to create an SRO for fund managers never got off the ground.

It was more successful on the lobbying front. Hockin expressed gratitude to industry players who helped IFIC in its quest to persuade Ottawa to raise RSP limits, abolish the foreign content rule for RSPs and generally, help Ottawa understand the industry. He also thanked IFIC members and staff for their support and diligence, and the central role they played in the creation of the MFDA, the Financial Planners Standards Council and the ombudservices.

“When I turned 65 two years ago, I told the board I would stay on for two more years if they wished. I am now setting the date for my retirement to allow the board ample time to search for a replacement,” he said. The board said it was looking forward to Hockin continuing in his current role until a successor has been approved.

Hockin will also be stepping down as president and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, an IFIC affiliate. He will continue on the board of the Institute of Corporate Directors and as chairman of the Canadian Educational Standards Institute, as well as other non-profit boards. Ryerson University will award him an honourary doctorate on June 14.IE