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Originally published: May 12, 2017
Jean-Paul Bureaud is the Director at the Office of Domestic and International Affairs at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The Investor Office recently sat down with Jean-Paul to discuss his background, the role of the Office, international cooperation and partnerships.
I came to the Commission about 18 years ago, and I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of exposure to different leading-edge policy issues and even a few enforcement matters over the years. I’ve worked in the Enforcement Branch, Corporate Finance, General Counsel’s Office, and am now leading the Office of Domestic and International Affairs (ODIA). I’ve seen the organization grow and evolve in its operations and leadership role. In the past few years, I’ve been impressed with the thought-leadership and the efforts of the Commission in transforming us into 21st century regulator. I believe that today we are more responsive to the needs of existing and emerging business models, while also better at incorporating the investor voice and reflecting their concerns in our policy decisions. It’s been a tremendous effort and I am really proud to be a part of it.
Before joining the Commission, I held a variety of roles, including practicing as a lawyer on Bay Street and working in the House of Commons. I also worked abroad in China, and volunteered with some international non-profit organizations.
On the role of ODIA…
Primarily, ODIA’s role is to advise the Commission and the Chair’s office in three core areas.
The first area is the accountability relationship with the government. In essence, we manage and support the day-to-day relationship with the Minister and the Ministry of Finance of Ontario. This includes ensuring the Commission meets its reporting and accountability responsibilities that are set out in our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Minister of Finance, as well as in government directives that apply to the OSC.
The second area focuses on supporting the Commission’s regulatory coordination efforts within the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) framework. The OSC plays a leadership role within the CSA, and ODIA helps to support the Commission’s role and engagement with other CSA members and CSA Secretariat.
The third area involves the standard setting and regulatory cooperation, which has become even more important following the global financial crisis. Since the crisis, a number of international institutions have been reformed and given additional resources and responsibilities to better manage global risks in financial markets. This has led to significant new reforms and regulation in areas including derivatives and financial market infrastructures.
On the relationship with IOSCO and the significance of international cooperation…
The OSC is a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and we participate on the board of that organization. IOSCO is recognized as the global standard setter for securities regulation. We work very closely with our partners at IOSCO to establish standards for the regulation of security markets.
Our involvement with IOSCO is focused on fostering stronger standards for securities regulation around the world. It is important to remember that as of mid-2016, Canadians held, directly or indirectly through their pension funds, almost $1.7 trillion in foreign securities. In 2016 alone, Canadians invested about $14 billion in foreign securities, and in 2015 they invested more than $60 billion. We want to ensure these investments are being done in safe jurisdictions adhering to internationally acceptable regulatory standards. Global standard setting also supports open access to more markets so that Canadians can better diversify their investments and have additional opportunities to allow their capital and savings to appreciate.
Our international engagement is also critical to the OSC’s enforcement and supervisory work by promoting greater information sharing with our regulatory partners around the world. We recently signed a MOU with our UK and Australian counterparts to better support FinTech and financial innovation. These MOUs allow us to refer industry registrants licensed by the OSC to the FCA and ASIC, which will help our registrants expand their reach into the UK and Australian markets. We also learn from our regulatory partners. For example, the Commission is able to benefit from the work done in the UK or Australia on embedded commissions and compensation practices and incorporate lessons learned into our policy work.
Any final thoughts?
I think there are some really exciting opportunities for regulators to learn and adapt behavioural insights and apply it to better protect investors. It’s an area of personal interest that I’ve been reading about for many years. The OSC recently published our Investor Office’s report, Behavioural Insights: Key Concepts, Applications and Regulatory Considerations, and I hope the OSC continues to play a leadership role in this area.
I would also emphasize the significance of the work that the Investor Office is doing. Its work since being established is reflective of the thought-leadership of the OSC and demonstrates our efforts in terms of getting investor feedback to support our policy making.