FISHER ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC
Application to the Director for an exemption, pursuant to section 6.1 of Rule 91-502 -- Trades in Recognized Options (Rule 91-502), exempting certain of the advising officers of the Applicant (the Representatives) from the proficiency requirement in section 3.1 of Rule 91-502, which requires that no person shall trade in, or give advice in respect of, a recognized option unless he or she has successfully completed the Canadian Options Course. The Applicant and the Representatives are United States residents and conduct advising activities in Ontario pursuant to registration in the categories of investment counsel and portfolio manager. It is a condition of the exemption that the Applicant and the Representatives maintain their respective registrations which permit them to advise in respect of options in the United States.
Ontario Securities Commission Rule 91-502 -- Trades in Recognized Options, sections 3.1 and 6.1.
February 12, 2007
IN THE MATTER OF
THE SECURITIES ACT (ONTARIO)
R.S.O. 1990, c. S.5, AS AMENDED
IN THE MATTER OF
FISHER ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC
(Section 6.1 of OSC RULE 91-502)
UPON the application (the Application) of Fisher Asset Management LLC (the Applicant) to the Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) on behalf of certain of its advising officers (the Representatives) for an exemption pursuant to section 6.1 of OSC Rule 91-502 Trades in Recognized Options (Rule 91-502) from the proficiency requirement in section 3.1 of Rule 91-502 as it applies to advice in respect of "recognized options" (as that term is defined in Rule 91-502) to the Applicant's Ontario clients.
AND UPON considering the Application and the recommendation of staff of the Commission.
AND UPON the Applicant having represented to the Director that:
1. The Applicant is a multi-product money management firm serving large corporate and public pension plans, in addition to endowments, foundations and high net worth individuals located in the United States and also in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. Assets under management as of October 31, 2006 were in excess of (USD) $34 billion.
2. Fisher Investments, Inc. (FII) was incorporated in the state of California in 1986 and was registered as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 in 1987. The Applicant, which carries on business under the name Fisher Investments, was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of FII in March 2005 and succeeded to the investment adviser registration of FII in April 2005.
3. The Applicant's and Representatives' registrations with the SEC include authorization to advise in respect of equity options in the United States.
4. The Applicant is registered with the Commission as a non-Canadian adviser, investment counsel and portfolio manager and, as such, is not restricted in the advice it may give or discretion it may be granted in respect of its Ontario clients' investments, subject to proficiency requirements applicable to its Representatives. The Applicant is also registered with the British Columbia Securities Commission as a portfolio manager and investment counsel (securities and exchange contracts).
5. The Representatives are: Kenneth Fisher, currently Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer; Jeffery Silk, currently Vice-Chairman; and Andrew Teufel, currently Co-President and Director of Research.
6. The Applicant has been advising U.S. clients regarding recognized options and exchange contracts since its inception. The Applicant does not use options in a speculative manner. All of the investment decisions for the Applicant and its Ontario clients, including all decisions regarding recognized options and exchange contracts, are made by the three Representatives, who form its Investment Policy Committee (the IPC). The IPC, in its current form, has been together since 1996, and two of the three members have worked together for over 20 years. Collectively, the IPC members have over 60 years of combined industry experience.
7. The regulations in the U.S. applicable to the Applicant do not impose any proficiency requirements on representatives of the Applicant, including the members of the IPC, in respect of their advice regarding options. The Applicant's registration in British Columbia allows the Applicant and the Representatives to advise in respect of "exchange contracts", which term includes recognized options within the meaning of the Rule.
8. The Representatives were exempted from the proficiency requirements set out in OSC Rule 31-502 Proficiency Requirements for Registrants at the time that the Applicant was first registered in Ontario.
9. None of the Representatives have the additional specified proficiency required by Rule 91-502 regarding advice in respect of recognized options.
10. Each of the Representatives has an extensive background and experience of advising the Applicant's U.S. clients in respect of options.
AND UPON the Director being satisfied that it would not be prejudicial to the public interest to grant the exemption requested;
IT IS THE DECISION of the Director, pursuant to section 6.1 of Rule 91-502 that the Representatives be exempted from the proficiency requirement in section 3.1 of Rule 91-502, provided that the Applicant and each of its Representatives relying on this Decision shall maintain appropriate registration with the SEC in order to continue to advise in respect of options in the U.S.
"David M. Gilkes"