Securities Law & Instruments

Headnote

Exemption from the requirement to deliver comparative annual financial statements to registered securityholders of certain mutual funds.

Statutes Cited

Securities Act (Ontario), R.S.O. 1990 c. S.5, as am., ss. 79 and 80(b)(iii).

IN THE MATTER OF

THE SECURITIES LEGISLATION OF

ALBERTA, ONTARIO AND NOVA SCOTIA

AND

IN THE MATTER OF

THE MUTUAL RELIANCE REVIEW SYSTEM

FOR EXEMPTIVE RELIEF APPLICATIONS

AND

IN THE MATTER OF

ASSANTE ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD.

AND

THE FUNDS LISTED IN SCHEDULE "A"

(the "Funds")

 

MRRS DECISION DOCUMENT

WHEREAS the local securities regulatory authority or regulator (the "Decision Maker") in each of Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia (the "Jurisdictions") has received an application (the "Application") from Assante Asset Management Ltd. (the "Manager"), the manager of the Funds (as defined herein), for a decision pursuant to the securities legislation of the Jurisdictions (the "Legislation") that the requirement to deliver comparative annual financial statements to the securityholders of the mutual funds listed in Schedule "A" and the mutual funds hereinafter established and/or managed by the Manager (the "Funds") shall not apply unless securityholders have requested to receive them;

AND WHEREAS pursuant to the Mutual Reliance Review System for Exemptive Relief Applications (the "System"), the Ontario Securities Commission is the principal regulator for this application;

AND WHEREAS, unless otherwise defined, the terms herein have the meaning set out in National Instrument 14-101 Definitions;

AND WHEREAS the Manager has represented to the Decision Makers that:

(a) The Funds are mutual fund trusts established under the laws of the Province of Ontario or under the laws of the Province of Manitoba.

(b) The Manager is the manager of the Funds set out in Schedule "A". The Manager is registered as an investment counsel and portfolio manager or their equivalent in the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba.

(c) The Funds are reporting issuers in each Jurisdiction and are not in default of any requirements of Legislation.

(d) Securities of the Funds listed in Schedule "A" are presently offered for sale on a continuous basis in provinces and territories of Canada pursuant to a simplified prospectus.

(e) Each of the Funds is required to deliver annually to each holder of its securities ("Securityholders"), comparative financial statements, in the prescribed form pursuant to the Legislation, within 140 days of it's financial year-end, being December 31.

(f) The Manager will send to Securityholders who hold securities of the Funds in client name (the "Direct Securityholders") in each year, a notice advising them that they will not receive the annual financial statements of the Funds for the year then ended unless they request same, and providing them with a request form to send back, by fax or prepaid mail, if they wish to receive the annual financial statements. The notice will advise the Direct Securityholders where the annual financial statements can be found on the Internet (including on the SEDAR website) and downloaded. The Manager will send such financial statements to any Direct Securityholder who requests them in response to such notice or who subsequently requests them.

(g) Securityholders who hold their securities in the Funds through a nominee will be dealt with pursuant to National Instrument 54-101.

(h) Securityholders will be able to access annual financial statements of the Funds either on the SEDAR website or on the website of the Manager: www.assante.com. or by calling the Manager's toll-free line.

(i) There would be substantial cost savings if the Funds are not required to print and mail annual financial statements to those Direct Securityholders who do not want them.

(j) The Canadian Securities Administrators ("CSA") have published for comment proposed National Instrument 81-106 ("NI 81-106") which, among other things, would permit a Fund not to deliver annual financial statements to those of its Securityholders who do not request them, if the Funds provide each Securityholder with a request form under which the Securityholder may request, at no cost to the Securityholder, to receive the mutual fund's annual financial statements for that financial year.

(k) NI 81-106 would also require a Fund to have a toll-free telephone number for or accept collect calls from persons or companies that want to receive a copy of, among other things, the annual financial statements of the Fund.

AND WHEREAS under the System this MRRS Decision Document evidences the decision of each Decision Maker (collectively, the "Decision");

AND WHEREAS each Decision Maker is satisfied that the test contained in the Legislation that provides the Decision Maker with the jurisdiction to make the Decision has been met;

AND WHEREAS the Decision Makers are satisfied that making the Decision will not adversely affect the rule-making process with respect to proposed National Instrument 81-106 and is consistent with National Instrument 54-101;

THE DECISION of the Decision Makers pursuant to the Legislation is that until NI 81-106 comes into force, the Funds shall not be required to deliver their comparative annual financial statements to their Direct Securityholders other than those Direct Securityholders who have requested to receive them provided that:

(a) the Manager shall file on SEDAR, under the annual financial statements category, confirmation of mailing of the request forms that have been sent to the Direct Securityholders within 90 days of mailing the request forms;

(b) the Manager shall file on SEDAR, under the annual financial statements category, information regarding the number and percentage of requests for annual financial statements made by the return of the request forms, on a province-by-province basis within 30 days after the end of each quarterly period beginning from the date of mailing the request forms and ending 12 months from the date of mailing;

(c) the Manager shall record the number and summary of complaints received from Direct Securityholders about not receiving the annual financial statements and shall file on SEDAR, under the annual financial statements category, this information within 30 days after the end of each quarterly period beginning from the date of mailing the request forms and ending 12 months from the date of mailing;

(d) the Manager shall, if possible, measure the number of "hits" on the annual financial statements of the Funds on the www.assante.com website and shall file on SEDAR, under the annual financial statements category, this information within 30 days after the end of each quarterly period beginning from the date of mailing the request forms and ending 12 months from the date of mailing; and

(e) the Manager shall file on SEDAR, under the annual financial statements category, estimates of the cost savings resulting from the granting of this Decision within 90 days of mailing the request forms.

(f) this decision shall terminate upon NI 81-106 coming into force.

February 25, 2004.

"Robert L. Shirriff"
"Robert W. Davis"

 

SCHEDULE "A"

THE FUNDS

THE ASSANTE OPTIMA STRATEGY POOLS

INCOME POOLS

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY CASH MANAGEMENT POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY SHORT TERM INCOME POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY CANADIAN FIXED INCOME POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY GLOBAL FIXED INCOME POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY RSP GLOBAL FIXED INCOME POOL

CANADIAN EQUITY POOLS

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY CANADIAN EQUITY VALUE POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY CANADIAN EQUITY DIVERSIFIED POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY CANADIAN EQUITY GROWTH POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY CANADIAN EQUITY SMALL CAP POOL

US EQUITY POOLS

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY US EQUITY VALUE POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY US EQUITY DIVERSIFIED POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY US EQUITY GROWTH POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY RSP US EQUITY DIVERSIFIED POOL

INTERNATIONAL EQUITY POOLS

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY INTERNATIONAL EQUITY VALUE POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY INTERNATIONAL EQUITY DIVERSIFIED POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY INTERNATIONAL EQUITY GROWTH POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY RSP INTERNATIONAL EQUITY DIVERSIFIED POOL

SPECIALTY POOL

    • OPTIMA STRATEGY REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT POOL

ASSANTE ARTISAN PORTFOLIOS

ARTISAN CANADIAN T-BILL PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN MOST CONSERVATIVE PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN CONSERVATIVE PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN MODERATE PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN RSP MODERATE PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN GLOBAL ADVANTAGE PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN RSP GLOBAL ADVANTAGE PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN GROWTH PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN RSP GROWTH PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN HIGH GROWTH PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN RSP HIGH GROWTH PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN MAXIMUM GROWTH PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN RSP MAXIMUM GROWTH PORTFOLIO
ARTISAN NEW ECONOMY PORTFOLIO