Position Specification – Chief Executive Officer

New Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO)

Chief Executive Officer

Our Client

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have established a special joint committee (SJC) for the purpose of conducting the search for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for a new single enhanced self-regulatory organization (New SRO), as announced and described in the CSA Position Paper 25-404 – New Self-Regulatory Organization Framework (CSA Position Paper) published on August 3, 2021. The SJC includes members of the boards of directors of both the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) as well as independent members. 

The New SRO will consolidate the functions of IIROC and the MFDA by way of an amalgamation that is expected to be completed by December 31, 2022. The CSA’s main objective is to support the development of a regulatory framework that has a clear public interest mandate and fosters fair and efficient capital markets. 

The New SRO will be a public interest focused self-regulatory organization recognized by and accountable to the CSA.  It is intended to enhance investor protection and public confidence, to ensure fair and efficient market operations, accommodate innovation and continually adapt to evolving industry conditions.

New governance standards are outlined to reinforce the New SRO’s commitment to the public interest and enhance public confidence. Furthermore, the New SRO will create a more efficient and consistent regulatory structure for dealers while also providing easier and more cost-effective access to a broad range of investment products for investors. 

Consistent with the public interest, the New SRO will:

  • Develop and deliver more consistent and efficient regulation.
  • Deliver strong investor protection
  • Enhance governance, transparency, and accountability to all stakeholders in order to reflect the clear public interest mandate and foster confidence in the regulatory framework.
  • Improve the robustness of compliance and enforcement processes.
  • Provide improved access to a broad range of investment products to all investors.
  • Be known as a trusted, respected, and valued partner by other regulatory organizations with which it interacts
  • Be a leading-edge securities regulator.

In this context, and in an era of significant change and increasing complexity in the investment industry and capital markets, the SJC is seeking a respected leader as the CEO for the New SRO.

This inaugural leader, along with the New Board of Directors, will bring together the two existing self-regulatory organizations into a New SRO and define the purpose, vision and mission of this organization. Working closely with the CSA, the CEO and New Board will shape the future of the regulatory landscape for the investment industry in Canada.

The Role

The CEO, working with the Board, will be responsible for the effective integration of the two existing entities (i.e., IIROC and MFDA) under a common leadership and new culture, while also defining and communicating the New SRO’s purpose, vision, and mission throughout the organization, to member firms, and with all key stakeholders. This inaugural CEO will oversee all aspects of the organization’s business operations including the development of the strategic and business plans and the annual budgeting process, ensuring accountability and compliance with recognition orders and other directions by the statutory regulators. The CEO will direct and shape policy initiatives and will work to outline regulatory policies for the member firms to ensure integration within the regulatory framework.

Given the New SRO’s role as a Canadian self-regulatory organization, the scope of leadership for this role will go beyond the traditional operational and people management responsibilities of a CEO and the commensurate positive relationships with the Board. The inaugural CEO must provide strong, thoughtful, and sensitive leadership and change management skills to the organization during and post the transition to the new single SRO framework, effectively managing all aspects of such a complex organizational integration in a time of disruption to existing business processes.

Leadership responsibilities will include not only carriage of the relationship with the firms and individuals that the SRO oversees, but the relationships with the provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities within the CSA and their respective governments – as well as other stakeholders.

Specific responsibilities of this role will include:

Creation of the Organization’s Purpose, Vision and Mission

  • The inaugural CEO, working with the Board, will set the purpose of the new SRO to be created by the successful integration of IIROC and MFDA, and will be accountable for aligning strategic and business objectives with the organization’s stated vision and mission. They will also be ultimately responsible for the achievement of those objectives.

Senior Management Team Building

  • The CEO will build and oversee the senior management team, ensuring a strong and cohesive leadership group, which is committed to the organization’s stated goals and objectives. This will include putting in place a proactive and effective succession planning program for key leadership positions.

Relationship with the Board of Directors

  • The CEO will be responsible for maintaining a constructive, open and respectful relationship with the Board. They will keep the Board appropriately informed and consulted as external or unplanned events occur that may impact the organization’s roles, responsibilities, and policies. Further, they will ensure, working with the Board Chair, that Board meetings and materials are effective and focus their collective efforts on the appropriate level issues.

Developing and Maintaining Relationships with the CSA

  • The CEO will maintain strong relationships with the provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities within the CSA.

Creation and Maintenance of Culture

  • The CEO will influence and communicate the new SRO’s culture throughout the organization, ensuring that all business activities are consistent with its values. This will include implementing a human resources/human capital strategy, which promotes a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace that offers opportunity and rewards performance.

Representation of the Organization

  • Through representation of the organization to the Board of Directors, other industry regulators and the public, the CEO will act as the public face of the organization. They will also cultivate investor and industry relationships consistent with the furtherance of the organization’s vision, mission, and strategic direction.

Developing and maintaining relationships with Other Stakeholders

  • The CEO will maintain excellent knowledge of the organization’s direction and participate in conferences or forums for other regulatory bodies and the public. They will maintain strong relationships with stakeholders, such as federal and provincial governments, the new integrated investor protection fund, investor groups and others, as well as effective relationships with members, demonstrating an open and frank dialogue and attention to key issues. This will include advancing strategic alliances with other self-regulatory and regulatory agencies.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate is known for her/his strategic vision, operational excellence, and the communication skills to articulate both. They have impeccable integrity and 15+ years of distinguished senior leadership experience in the investment industry, the broader financial services sector or regulatory ecosystem. Ideally, this should include experience integrating complex organizations into a cohesive and inclusive new organization that levers the skills and talents of the combined teams and brings out the best of both cultures.

The successful candidate has a global perspective of trends and developments in capital markets with a strong understanding of how markets function domestically and internationally. They possess a high level of expertise regarding securities industry regulation and regulatory best practices, as well as the operations of securities firms.

The successful candidate is experienced in shaping policy and understands how to develop and implement policies in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment. With confidence and an entrepreneurial mindset, a bias for action and constructive tough mindedness, they have direct experience leading an organization where digital capabilities and sophisticated information technology systems more broadly are mission critical to the delivery of service to the market.

The successful candidate is forward thinking and has a reputation for being a strategic thinker, equipped to operate in an industry that is changing rapidly. They fully appreciate, understand and commit to the importance of the public interest mandate of the organization, and are able to balance a wide variety of perspectives from both domestic and international stakeholders.

The successful candidate is a strong leader with both visionary and operational competencies, capable of driving a culture to a “best-in-class” mentality. They are an efficient reader of people and develops a performance-driven leadership team that takes ownership for results.

The successful candidate must be bilingual: fluency in both of Canada’s official languages will be required or a preparedness to undertake language training to achieve that capability.

The following specific performance and personal leadership competencies are required for the position:

Business Leadership

  • The candidate has an exceptional operational orientation and can set dynamic, compelling goals and aggressive schedules for improvement. They are decisive in their actions and develops a culture of business excellence.
  • Resiliency, quality execution skill, the antennae to identify problems early, and the ability to innovate within a traditional industry are critical to success.
  • Known for rigorous analysis, they can deep dive on a broad range of business, investment, product, distribution, operational and regulatory issues.
  • They take ownership and accountability for results, managing effectively in ambiguous situations.  
  • They have extensive knowledge of the investment industry, including the variety of products available, as well as the impact of regulatory and legal issues and the evolving professional standards.

Leading and Building Teams

  • As a motivational and collaborative leader with a high degree of emotional intelligence, the candidate manages, attracts, retains, and develops top-performing talent at the leadership team level.
  • They foster an environment in which leadership team members constructively challenge each other to achieve wins for the New SRO. They provide leadership that encourages entrepreneurship and accountability in the team, while maintaining a grasp on critical issues and progress on initiatives.
  • They promote an organizational culture based on trust, collaboration, and engagement. By extension, talent management, leadership development and succession planning are considered integral to the health of the New SRO.
  • They have a demonstrated ability to unite disparate groups into a single new team under a new vision and culture.

Communication and Relationship Management

  • The candidate builds and maintains trusted internal relationships at multiple levels and uses them strategically to accomplish objectives. They will work collaboratively with the new Board of Directors.
  • They motivate others to pursue common objectives with excitement about the future and conveys belief in the organization’s ability to achieve its purpose in serving the public interest.
  • As a senior corporate ambassador, they maintain an external profile in advancing the New SRO’s relationships across the industry.

Application deadline: February 15, 2022


Shawn S Cooper
Russell Reynolds Associates
199 Bay St, Ste 4710, Commerce Court West
Toronto, ON  M5L 1E9
Direct: +1 (416) 304-1718

Netila Demneri
Russell Reynolds Associates
199 Bay St, Ste 4710, Commerce Court West
Toronto, ON  M5L 1E9
Direct: +1 (416) 304-1728

Pierre Lefebvre
Russell Reynolds Associates
1250, boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest Bureau 2830
Montréal, QC  H3B 4W8
Direct +1 (514) 416-3306

Marnie Smith
Russell Reynolds Associates
525 8TH Avenue SW
Eighth Avenue Place, Suite 1910
Calgary, AB  T2P 1G1
Direct: +1 403 776 4174