As Chairman of the PCMA, I had the distinct honour and pleasure of introducing our keynote speaker, The Honourable Howard I. Wetston, Q.C., the Chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission. Below is the text of this speech for those who could not attend.
"Good morning - and thank you for inviting me back to speak at your conference again this year. Last year, when I was here, we were in the middle of reviewing the extensive feedback we received on our consultation paper on prospectus exemptions. At that time I indicated that regulatory obstacles to capital formation in Ontario needed to be addressed.
The issuance of the consultation paper demonstrated how the markets and our thinking have evolved. A year later I can safely say things are moving forward. I see that things are also moving forward for the PCMA and not just in name only. I note the release of your new magazine, "Private Capital Markets".
When I joined the Commission over three years ago, your publication was in a newspaper format. Now it's a sophisticated glossy. This symbolizes the importance of private capital markets in Ontario and Canada, as well as the evolving role of the PCMA in supporting its members on understanding their regulatory responsibilities and ensuring diligent standards of business conduct.
The latest edition of your publication is about "unlocking capital raising" and, at the OSC, we're committed to doing our part. How are we doing it? By being responsive.
Changes in technology, innovations in the markets, a plethora of new products, cost pressures, changing attitudes of entrepreneurs and investors - these are all factors that are informing the OSC's approach to capital formation. I'm sure you're familiar with our four proposed new prospectus exemptions. Just to remind you, I'm talking about
Introducing an offering memorandum exemption in Ontario. Raising capital from family, friends and business associates. Rights offerings, based on a company's public disclosure record. Crowdfunding through registered online platforms. As you know, while some of these exemptions have existed in other provinces, these are game-changing proposals for Ontario. Why are we doing this? To reduce obstacles to capital formation in the face of a difficult environment for SMEs and entrepreneurs to raise funds. That's important for industry and investors alike. To recognize that the balance between public and private markets is changing.
When we talk about capital formation, we need to consider...