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New rules created by the recent self-regulatory organization (SRO) merger allow dual-registered dealers to create seamless client experiences through one regulatory entity. Firms that embrace the value this provides are well positioned to dominate in an increasingly competitive market by building lifetime relationships with clients across multiple channels.
The amalgamation of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to form the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) allows dual registered dealers to conduct business through one regulatory authority.
CIRO is designed to “make it easier for dealers and their advisors to serve Canadians, regardless of region, firm size or business model.” i
In order to benefit from the merger and deliver effective and efficient client interactions, having the right technology is essential. There are significant risks for financial firms – both large integrated institutions and independents alike – that are unprepared.
This article provides key insights to help you assess your technical readiness and capacity to benefit from the new rules and strategic opportunities.
CIRO delivers a more flexible regulatory framework. This creates new opportunities to meet investors’ desire to access products and services of their choice, and on their terms. Clients are showing a growing preference for a tailored digital experience that seamlessly integrates advanced technology and intelligence. The newly integrated regulatory framework facilitates this, along with providing new opportunities for wealth managers to offer broader customized solutions that integrate innovative investment products and advice. This new world promises better product and service experiences for investors and lower operating costs for providers who use technology effectively.
Preparing for this however, requires a clear-eyed assessment of your organization’s readiness for change. “You need to ensure there is no misalignment in your operational infrastructure due to legacy systems or strategies,” says Donna Bristow, Chief Product Officer, Wealth at Broadridge. “Plus, you need to ensure your team is educated about the key issues.”
Each firm will have their own unique journey, timeline, and strategy to assess and execute changes introduced by the SRO merger.
Specific opportunities will depend on your firm’s business model and objectives.
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How can you assess if your tech stack is SRO-ready?
“You need to think about your business, your approach, and how you engage with clients. As well as the operational efficiencies you wish to build in and the changes you need to make,” says Bristow. “This will enable you to identify gaps, risks, and areas of opportunity.”
It is important to:
Is your technology scalable and flexible enough to adapt to evolving regulations and future growth?
Are your systems sufficiently integrated to allow a seamless data flow and efficient operations?
Are there gaps in your compliance processes that might cause issues in ensuring accurate reporting and record-keeping in alignment with new requirements?
SRO integration is a significant undertaking that has be done in a logical, holistic manner. Navigating the complexities of SRO migration requires a careful evaluation of business considerations and priorities, and then pairing those with technological needs to capitalize on those opportunities.
“When your tech stack aligns with your business objectives, this is the sweet spot that will allow you to pursue scalable modernization thoughtfully and sustainably,” says Darren McNaughton, Vice President of Strategy at the global fintech leader, Broadridge.
There are seven key steps each company must take to ensure they are SRO ready, along with specific areas of focus within each of those steps:
To remain competitive and compliant in the face of SRO changes, it’s essential to:
To ensure your firm is prepared to take advantage of the SRO merger and provide a better client experience, it’s essential to employ the right technology.
“Every firm needs to consider the impact of the SRO merger slightly differently,” says Bristow. “The key is to consider what works best for them so they can transform their technology on their terms.”
Firms that embrace this opportunity can leverage technology to build holistic, lifetime relationships with their clients by providing a more seamless, rewarding experience. Firms with technology that is not yet SRO-ready can either close the gap or risk ceding vital market share.
Broadridge is at the forefront of the regulatory conversation on the new SRO. We offer the advantage of extensive experience and expertise to proactively help your firm mitigate risks, while also ensuring a seamless transition. Broadridge is the only wealth technology company offering a complete next-generation, open-architecture, end-to-end technology stack in Canada. Our API-enabled technology unifies the experiences, services, and data of financial firms, allowing advisors to focus their energies on holistic financial planning and deliver a compliant, high-touch, high-tech experience. We are uniquely positioned to support your success during any stage of this important transition.
Broadridge’s platforms are SRO-harmonization-ready today. Contact us to ensure your tech stack is ready to drive efficiencies and maintain your competitive edge.
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