Gilles Latour’s mutual fund provider facing discipline

CORNWALL/TORONTO – The fallout from former Cornwall financial advisor Gilles Latour will see his securities provider face a hearing next week before Canada’s regulator of mutual fund dealers.

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada has scheduled a hearing in Toronto for June 20 (next Wednesday) to discuss a proposed settlement agreement between it and Equity Associates Inc.

Equity Associates is a mutual fund dealer and was the provider of mutual fund products to Latour Financial Group, Latour’s now-defunct company.

It’s facing six allegations concerning various supervision and records keeping violations. One of those is in regard to Latour’s business dealings. The MFDA alleges that Equity failed to conduct a “reasonable supervisory investigation” after Latour was criminally charged in August 2014.

“Some of the those first few matters (allegations) concern general contraventions. General failures to adequately supervise or to implement adequate politics and procedures in terms of its general operations. So it goes beyond a specific branch,” said Shelly Feld, manager of litigation with MFDA.

“Basically, what the purpose of the notice of settlement hearing is, is to let the public know that a whole series of potential contraventions are being addressed in this settlement agreement that’s going to be presented to a hearing panel,” Feld told Cornwall Newswatch.

If the agreement is approved by the panel on June 20, the details will be made public.

Feld said the agreement isn’t made public before then because it discloses admissions that would be difficult to “pull back from” if its not accepted by the panel. The hearing panel can either accept or reject the agreement in full but it can’t modify it.

As for Gilles Latour, the 52-year-old is currently serving a two year sentence in a federal penitentiary for defrauding eight clients of nearly $1.3 million.

The MFDA is a self-regulating body of Canada’s mutual fund dealers and the 82,000 people approved to sell those investments.