Effective June 30, 2021, Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) have implemented new regulations called Client Focused Reforms (“CFR”). The changes will be implemented through amendments to National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements and apply to all registrants in the Canadian securities industry, including IIROC, MFDA, Exempt Market Dealers, advisors, portfolio managers and Dealing Advisors. These regulations apply to De Thomas Wealth Management Corp. (“we”, “us”, “our “, or “De Thomas Wealth”) which is registered as a Mutual Fund Dealer and an Exempt Market Dealer (“EMD”) in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec.
The purpose of the Client Focused Reforms initiative reflects our already existing longstanding policy and commitment to our clients to act in their best interest when making investment recommendations, and to avoid all material conflicts of interests.
The details below do not create or modify any agreement, relationship, between you and your Financial Advisor. Should any additional material conflicts of interest be identified after delivery of the Conflicts Disclosure, we will inform you in a timely manner. Please review the Conflicts Disclosure and if you have any questions or would like more information, please contact your Financial Advisor or Head Office.
Pursuant to new securities laws coming into force on June 30, 2021, we are providing enhanced disclosures below relating to the existing and reasonably foreseeable material conflicts of interest that may affect your interests as our client, including how we address material conflicts of interest in the best interest of our clients.
What is a conflict of interest?
A conflict of interest includes any circumstance where:
- De Thomas Wealth Management or an Advisor have separate business or personal interests that differ from a client’s interests;
- De Thomas Wealth Management or an Advisor may be influenced to put their own interests ahead of a client’s interest;
- Monetary or non-monetary benefits or disadvantages to De Thomas Wealth Management or an Advisor might compromise the trust that a reasonable client has in De Thomas Wealth;
- tThere are differing interests amongst clients, resulting in preferential treatment for some in the operation and management of their accounts.
Generally, a conflict of interest is material if the conflict may be reasonably expected to influence either your decisions as a client in the circumstances or De Thomas Wealth Management or its Advisors’ decisions in the circumstances.
To ensure we always put you, our client, first in any situation where a conflict of interest may hinder our relationship, our Advisors must comply with (i) the De Thomas Wealth Management Code of Conduct and Ethics which establishes the basic principles which guide their conduct and; (ii) the regulatory requirements that are summarized in the Firm’s Compliance Manual. A description of the material conflicts of interest that we have identified is provided below.
Should any additional material conflicts of interest be identified after account opening, we will inform you in a timely manner.
Generally, De Thomas Wealth Management identifies and addresses material conflicts of interest through policies and procedures, including our Code of Conduct that clearly outlines that Advisors are to avoid any situation in which their personal interests’ conflict or appear to conflict with their responsibilities as an Advisor. The policies and procedures and De Thomas Wealth Management’s Code of Conduct are applicable to all of the Firm’s Advisors. De Thomas Wealth Management’s policies and procedures also include a broad definition of “conflicts of interest”, a defined escalation procedure for conflicts handling, a clear delineation of responsibilities between De Thomas Wealth Management and its Advisors, appropriate resources, and authority of the Chief Compliance Officer and other internal control functions, regular internal reporting and periodic testing of the conflicts management framework. In addition, De Thomas Wealth Management has a system for confirming that effective disclosure of material conflicts of interest is provided to clients.
It’s possible that conflicts of interest may arise when conducting business with our clients. In the event such a conflict arises, we will immediately advise the client in writing of the conflict and will ensure that the conflict is addressed in a way that is in the client’s best interest.
This conflict disclosure will:
- Specify the nature and extent of the conflict of interest
- Identify the potential impact and risk that it may pose to the client
- Indicate how the conflict has been or will be addressed
Dual Occupation & Outside Activities
An Advisor may be involved in outside activities (occupations or volunteer), provided that it is approved by De Thomas Wealth. If De Thomas Wealth determines that this outside activity presents a conflict that can be managed through proper disclosure, the De Thomas Wealth Advisor will provide the client with an Outside Activity Disclosure Document before the activity commences. De Thomas Wealth does not allow any of its Advisors to engage in activities outside the scope of their duties or that are prohibited by the regulators and compromise the interests of clients.
How we address this type of conflict:
- We limit the types of outside activities in which an Advisor can engage.
- The Firm maintains a policy that outside activities must be reported to Compliance Staff and approved prior to engaging in the activity.
- All outside activities are reviewed and reassessed annually.
Once an Advisor has received approval from De Thomas Wealth to engage in an outside activity, the Advisor will provide an Outside Activity Disclosure to the client for review and signature. This disclosure (or any other conflict of interest disclosure) will be given to the client before opening an account when applicable.
As a Mutual Fund Dealer, De Thomas Wealth is permitted to receive monetary or non-monetary compensation relating to the sale of mutual funds to investors as outlined in National Instrument 81-105. All monetary compensation and non-monetary compensation must be paid directly to De Thomas Wealth and not to any employee, Advisor, director or officer of De Thomas Wealth.
Deferred Sales Charge (DSC) & Low Load (LL) Commission
When you purchase or hold a mutual fund or another investment product under either the DSC or the LL option, De Thomas Wealth may receive compensation from the mutual fund company. If the client makes any redemption within a specific time period, the client will be charged a redemption fee. All such disclosures are included on all De Thomas Wealth Trade Tickets as well as on the Fund Facts provided to clients prior to any transaction.
As of December 31, 2021 De Thomas Wealth Management will discontinue all DSC and LL purchase options.
When you purchase or hold a mutual fund or another investment product, De Thomas Wealth may earn an ongoing fee (known as a trailer fee) provided by mutual fund companies. De Thomas Wealth offers a full range of mutual funds offered by a variety of fund managers and carries out due diligence on these funds to ensure that there is a reasonable range of alternatives and fee structures to offer its clients. Advisors make recommendations to you on various mutual funds that they consider suitable for you based on your financial circumstances, investment objectives and risk tolerance, and not based on compensation. De Thomas Wealth does not promote one fund company over the other based on trailer fees. Further, De Thomas Wealth monitors all sales activities of their Advisors to ensure that Advisors are not promoting a mutual fund company that pays higher trailing commissions to similar comparable funds.
Fee for Service
De Thomas Wealth offers Fee-based account to our clients, where the fees are restricted to a minimum and maximum amount and will not exceed fees charged by an embedded fee structure model. Advisors also evaluate on an ongoing basis whether a fee-based compensation arrangement is in the best interest of the client given the client’s circumstances, investment needs and objectives, and the level of account activity. De Thomas Wealth utilizes a third party(ies) to calculate and charge the fees to provide an extra layer of quality control. De Thomas Wealth has implemented controls to identify all fee-based accounts, as well as conducting regular compliance reviews of the fees charged to ensure the correct fees are applied. Only eligible assets that do not pay a commission or ongoing trailer fee or commission are subject to the applicable fee.
Compensation of Advisors
All commissions, trailer fees or fee for service charges earned are paid by the applicable fund company directly to De Thomas Wealth and not to any employee, Advisor, director, or officer of De Thomas Wealth. De Thomas Wealth does not provide any incentives or sales targets to our Advisors to sell or recommend certain products or service. To avoid any potential conflict, the compensation paid to our Advisors does not vary depending on the amount of revenue they generate or for any particular product or service recommended. All remuneration paid by De Thomas Wealth to Advisors in relation to a client account is based on a pre-determined and constant internal compensation structure that does not differ by product or product or service sold to the client, or by account or client type.
Fund Company Incentives & Promotional Items
De Thomas Wealth is responsible to ensure that its Advisors do not receive excessive non-monetary benefits from fund companies that have the potential to influence them to act in a manner that is not in the best interest of their client. De Thomas Wealth has various policies, as per NI 81-105, that state what form of incentives, events or other promotional items are permitted, specifications of the monetary (and nonmonetary) thresholds, as well as the required disclosures necessary to be provided to clients and required pre-approval from compliance staff.
Non-monetary benefits may include but are not limited to:
Trips, food, beverages, entertainment, sporting event tickets, rounds of golf, invitations to seminars or conferences and any other goods or services that could be perceived to be of benefit to the recipient.
De Thomas Wealth requires all Advisors to disclose any promotional item(s) received (both monetary and non-monetary) to ensure they do not exceed the Firm’s prescribed annual limits, as well as annual reviews of fund company incentives and fund company confirmation of its promotional item policies and limits. . Permission for ongoing fund company events is required to be submitted to De Thomas Wealth Compliance Staff for review and approval prior to being offered to any Advisor.
De Thomas Wealth Management does not have any active referral arrangements in place. If this policy changes, we will immediately advise our clients in writing of the conflict and will ensure that the conflict is addressed in a way that is in the client’s best interest.
De Thomas Wealth Management has been an independent wealth management firm for over 30 years. To avoid all potential conflicts and biases, and to provide our clients with the very best wealth management services available, we do not have any form of proprietary products.
Other conflict of interest situations
From time to time, other situations may arise which create potential or real conflicts of interest. De Thomas Wealth Management is committed to continuing to do what is necessary to identify and address these situations fairly and reasonably, and in the best interests of our clients.