If you have worked in the Investment or related service industries & have never heard of an IRC – you are not alone. But what might interest you to know is some board-ready Canadians see IRCs as a great opportunity to be involved in a corporate board-like body that serves a special purpose.
If you Google 'IRC', Wikipedia will explain that "an Independent Review Committee (IRC) is a special committee that is required to be part of the governance structure of every investment fund that is offered to the public in Canada."
Essentially, an IRC's role is to provide independent oversight and impartial judgment on all decisions involving a conflict of interest faced by the fund manager to ensure that funds are organized and operated in the interests of fund investors, and not in the interests of fund managers.
Improving fund governance has been a priority for Canadian securities regulators since the 1990s. But it wasn't until 2002, that the CSA released a vision for a renewed framework for regulating mutual funds and fund managers and, after public consultation, published the final form that came into force in 2007.
IRCs are currently unique to the investment fund business in Canada, as other countries have dealt with the conflict of interest involved in running public investment funds in different ways. In the US, mutual funds have been required to have independent directors ever since 1935.
12:00 PM - 12:05 PM
Welcome & Introduction
By Deborah Rosati, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, Founder & CEO of Women Get On Board Inc.
12:05 PM - 12:10 PM
Introduction to topic and speakers
By Eleanor McIntyre, Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer at BlackRock Canada
Merle Kriss – Mrs. Kriss is a seasoned financial services executive with more than twenty years’ experience in domestic and international banking with a major Canadian bank. After a career that was principally focused on corporate and investment banking, she moved into personal finance, where she initiated a comprehensive Private Client Services offering. She subsequently formed Kriss & Associates Limited, a consulting practice in finance and wealth management.
Mrs Kriss served on the CIBC IRC from 2014 to 2020 and currently chairs the SEI Canada IRC
Mrs. Kriss earned a B.A. and an MBA from the University of Toronto and holds the ICD.D designation. She is an experienced director and currently serves on a number of community boards and foundations.
Ms. Brown is a thirty-year veteran of the investment management industry, working with institutional and private investors, as well as mutual funds. She held managerial positions with TD Asset Management and Amundi Asset Management before working as a private consultant and corporate board director. She is a CFA charter holder and holds an MBA and the ICD.D designation. As well, she has an M.M. and M.A. in music performance and musicology, and had a ten year professional music career as a flutist and academic before moving into finance. She has sat on several arts boards and is currently on the boards of the Canadian Opera Company, the Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall Foundation and Sistema Toronto.
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