CORNER BROOK The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada’s disciplinary hearing into alleged misconduct of Arthur George Pretty of Corner Brook has concluded, but no decision has been made yet.
© Star photo by Gary Kean
George Pretty, left, and his lawyer Jim Bennett, middle, have a chat with Francis Roy, lawyer for the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada prior to the start of a hearing into allegations of Pretty’s professional misconduct in Corner Brook Monday, June 24, 2013.
The three-person panel of the association’s Atlantic Regional Council who heard the case against the former mutual funds salesman has reserved its judgment in the matter.
According to the association, the panel “will issue its decision and written reasons in due course.”
The proceedings resumed in Corner Brook on Monday and had been scheduled to sit for four days, but concluded one day early. The panel had already heard five days of testimony in late June before adjourning for more than three months.
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada has accused Pretty of failing to properly assess a series of his clients and properly explain the risks associated with investment strategies he engaged them in between 2005 and 2008. Pretty has not worked in the mutual funds sales field since he was terminated in May 2010 because of the allegations against him.
The initial notice of hearing filed by the national association identified six clients, but the hearing involved the presentation of evidence from only three of those clients.
The allegations against Pretty are not criminal offences, but accuse him of violating the association’s bylaws, rules and policies and that his actions resulted in investment disasters for his clients.
This hearing could result in Pretty being barred from being licensed as a mutual funds dealer. It is also possible the association could levy fines against Pretty.
The self-regulating association, which says it has a mandate of protecting investors and the public interest, has acknowledged it has no power to actually collect fines. It would levy significant fines as a deterrent for someone to get involved in another career involving finances.
Ian Strulovich of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association said the process for the hearing is similar to what takes place in a trial system.
“The time it takes for the panel to render its final decision varies by panel and each case, as it does in the trial system. On average it can be a few months,” Strulovich said in an email Thursday.
“Generally ... the panel will discuss their decision and one member of the panel (most often the chair) will write the decision. Once the draft decision is written it can be reviewed by other panel members to ensure they are in agreement and then finalized and released as a decision of the hearing panel.”
The Western Star was unable to reach Jim Bennett, the lawyer who represented Pretty during the proceedings.
*** Typo corrected