Mutual Reliance Review System for Exemptive Relief Applications -- Exemption from subsection 4.1(1) of National Instrument 81-102 Mutual Funds to allow a dealer managed mutual fund to invest in securities of an issuer during the prohibition period. -- Affiliate of the Dealer Manager acted as an underwriter in connection with the distribution of securities of the issuer.
Applicable Legislative Provisions
National Instrument 81-102 Mutual Funds, ss. 4.1(1, 19.1.
June 26, 2007
IN THE MATTER OF
THE SECURITIES LEGISLATION OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA, ALBERTA, SASKATCHEWAN,
MANITOBA, ONTARIO, QUÉBEC, NEW BRUNSWICK,
NOVA SCOTIA, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND,
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR,
THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, NUNAVUT
AND THE YUKON
IN THE MATTER OF
THE MUTUAL RELIANCE REVIEW SYSTEM (MRRS)
FOR EXEMPTIVE RELIEF APPLICATIONS
GOODMAN & COMPANY, INVESTMENT COUNSEL LTD.
(the Applicant or Dealer Manager)
MRRS DECISION DOCUMENT
The local securities regulatory authority or regulator (the Decision Maker) in each of the Jurisdictions has received an application from the Applicant, the portfolio adviser of the fund listed in Appendix "A" (the Fund or Dealer Managed Fund) for a decision under section 19.1 of National Instrument 81-102 Mutual Funds (NI 81-102) for:
• an exemption from subsection 4.1(1) of NI 81-102 (the Investment Restriction) to enable the Dealer Managed Fund to invest in the Securities (as defined below) of Ascot Resources Ltd. (the Issuer) during the distribution of the Units and FT Units (each as defined below) (the Distribution) and the 60-day period (the 60-Day Period) following completion of the Distribution (the Distribution and the 60-Day Period together, the Prohibition Period), all in connection with the offering (the Offering) of units (each a Unit) and flow-through units (each an FT Unit) of the Issuer, with each Unit consisting of one common share (each a Common Share) of the Issuer and one-half of one transferable Common Share purchase warrant (each whole warrant a Warrant) and each FT Unit consisting of one flow through Common Share (each an FT Common Share) and one-half Warrant (collectively the Units, FT Units, Common Shares, FT Common Shares and Warrants are referred to herein as, the Securities), in a brokered private placement as described in a Retail Term Sheet dated June 11, 2007 (the Retail Term Sheet).
Under the Mutual Reliance Review System for Exemptive Relief Applications:
(a) the Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) is the principal regulator for this application, and
(b) this MRRS decision document evidences the decision of each Decision Maker.
It is the responsibility of each of the Decision Makers to make a global assessment of the risks involved in granting exemptive relief from the Investment Restriction in relation to the specific facts of each application.
Defined terms contained in National Instrument 14-101 - Definitions have the same meanings in this decision unless they are defined in this decision.
This decision is based on the following facts represented by the Applicant:
1. The Dealer Manager is a dealer manager with respect to the Dealer Managed Fund, and the Dealer Managed Fund is a dealer managed fund, as such terms are defined in section 1.1 of NI 81-102.
2. The head office of the Dealer Manager is in Toronto, Ontario.
3. The securities of the Dealer Managed Fund are qualified for distribution in all of the provinces and territories of Canada pursuant to a simplified prospectus that has been prepared and filed in accordance with the applicable securities legislation.
4. The Issuer is a Canadian based junior resource company involved in exploring and developing mineral and resource properties.
5. According to the Retail Term Sheet, the Offering is expected to be of up to 2,000,000 Units priced at $1.50 per Unit and up to 1,000,000 FT Units priced at $1.70 per FT Unit, with the gross proceeds of the Offering expected to be up to $4.7 million. In addition, the Underwriters may elect to receive their commission of 7% of the gross proceeds of the Offering in Units and will receive compensation options equal to 7.0% of the aggregate number of Units and FT Units sold in the Offering, which compensation options will be exercisable at $1.75 per Common Share for two years following the Closing Date.
6. According to the Retail Term Sheet each Warrant shall be exercisable for a period of two years following the Closing Date at an exercise price of $2.00 per Common Share, except that if over a period of 10 consecutive trading days between the date that is four months following the Closing Date and the expiry of the Warrant, the daily volume weighted average trading price of the Common Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange, or such other stock exchange where the majority of the trading volume occurs, exceeds $2.50 on each of those 10 consecutive days, the Issuer may give notice in writing to the Warrant holders within 30 days of such an occurrence that the Warrants shall expire at 4:00 p.m. (Vancouver time) on the 30th day following the giving of such notice unless exercised by the holders prior to such date.
7. According to the Retail Term Sheet the net proceeds of the Offering will be used for development of the Issuer's Swamp Point sand and gravel deposit, exploration of the Issuer's Dilworth Project and for working capital purposes.
8. The Offering is being underwritten, subject to certain terms, by a syndicate which is expected to include as co-leads Dundee Securities Corporation (the Related Underwriter), an affiliate of the Dealer Manager, and Pacific International Securities Inc. among others (the Related Underwriters and any other underwriters, which are now or may become part of the syndicate prior to closing, the Underwriters).
9. The Dealer Manger understands that the Issuer will apply to the TSX Venture Exchange (the TSXV) to have the Common Shares issued as part of the Units and issuable under the Warrants listed on the TSXV. The listing of the Common Shares and those issuable under the Warrants will be conditional upon the Issuer fulfilling all listing requirements and conditions of the TSXV.
10. The Retail Term Sheet does not disclose that the Issuer is a related issuer or connected issuer as defined in National Instrument 33-105 -- Underwriting Conflicts (NI 33-105), of the Related Underwriter.
11. Despite the affiliation between the Dealer Manager and the Related Underwriter, they operate independently of each other. In particular, the investment banking and related dealer activities of the Related Underwriter and the investment portfolio management activities of the Dealer Manager are separated by ethical walls. Accordingly, no information flows from one to the other concerning their respective business operations or activities generally, except in the following or similar circumstances:
(a) in respect of compliance matters (for example, the Dealer Manager and the Related Underwriter may communicate to enable the Dealer Manager to maintain an up to date restricted-issuer list to ensure that the Dealer Manager complies with applicable securities laws); and
(b) the Dealer Manager and the Related Underwriter may share general market information such as discussion on general economic conditions, bank rates, etc.
12. The Dealer Managed Fund is not required or obligated to purchase any Securities during the Prohibition Period.
13. The Dealer Manager may cause the Dealer Managed Fund to invest in Securities during the Prohibition Period. Any purchase of Securities will be consistent with the investment objectives of the Dealer Managed Fund and represent the business judgment of the Dealer Manager uninfluenced by considerations other than the best interests of the Dealer Managed Fund or in fact be in the best interests of the Dealer Managed Fund.
14. To the extent that the same portfolio manager or team of portfolio managers of the Dealer Manager manages the Dealer Managed Fund and other client accounts that are managed on a discretionary basis (the Managed Accounts), the Securities purchased for them will be allocated:
(A) in accordance with the allocation factors or criteria stated in the written policies or procedures put in place by the Dealer Manager for the Dealer Managed Fund and Managed Accounts, and
(B) taking into account the amount of cash available to each Dealer Managed Fund for investment.
15. Except as described above, the Dealer Manager has not been involved in the work of the Related Underwriter and the Related Underwriter has not been and will not be involved in the decisions of the Dealer Manager as to whether the Dealer Managed Fund will purchase Securities during the Prohibition Period.
16. There will be an independent committee (the Independent Committee) appointed in respect of the Dealer Managed Fund to review the Dealer Managed Fund's investments in Securities during the Prohibition Period.
17. The Independent Committee will have at least three members and every member must be independent. A member of the Independent Committee is not independent if the member has a direct or indirect material relationship with its Dealer Manager, the Dealer Managed Fund, or any affiliate or associate thereof. For the purpose of this Decision, a material relationship means a relationship which could, in the view of a reasonable person, reasonably interfere with the exercise of the member's independent judgment regarding conflicts of interest facing the Dealer Manager.
18. The members of the Independent Committee will exercise their powers and discharge their duties honestly, in good faith, and in the best interests of investors in the Dealer Managed Fund and, in so doing, exercise the degree of care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in the circumstances.
19. The Dealer Manager, in respect of the Dealer Managed Fund, will notify a member of staff in the Investment Funds Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission, in writing of the filing of the SEDAR Report on SEDAR, as soon as practicable after the filing of such report, and the notice shall include the SEDAR project number of the SEDAR Report and the date on which it was filed.
Each of the Decision Makers has assessed the conflict of interest risks associated with granting an exemption in this instance from the Investment Restriction and is satisfied that, at the time this Decision is granted, the potential risks are sufficiently mitigated.
Each of the Decision Makers is satisfied that the test contained in the NI 81-102 that provides the Decision Maker with the jurisdiction to make the Decision has been met.
The Decision of the Decision Makers is that the Requested Relief is granted, notwithstanding that the Related Underwriter acts or has acted as underwriter in the Offering provided the following conditions are satisfied:
I. At the time of each purchase of Securities (the Purchase) by a Dealer Managed Fund pursuant to this Decision, the following conditions are satisfied:
(a) the Purchase
(i) represents the business judgment of the Dealer Manager uninfluenced by considerations other than the best interests of the Dealer Managed Fund, or
(ii) is, in fact, in the best interests of the Dealer Managed Fund;
(b) the Purchase is consistent with, or is necessary to meet, the investment objective of the Dealer Managed Fund as disclosed in its simplified prospectus; and
(c) the Dealer Managed Fund does not place the order to purchase, on a principal or agency basis, with the Related Underwriter;
II. Prior to effecting any Purchase pursuant to this Decision, the Dealer Managed Fund has in place written policies or procedures to ensure that,
(a) there is compliance with the conditions of this Decision; and
(b) in connection with any Purchase,
(i) there are stated factors or criteria for allocating the Securities purchased for the Dealer Managed Fund and other Managed Accounts, and
(ii) there is full documentation of the reasons for any allocation to a Dealer Managed Fund or Managed Account that departs from the stated allocation factors or criteria;
III. The Dealer Manager does not accept solicitation by its Related Underwriter for the Purchase of Securities for the Dealer Managed Fund;
IV. The Related Underwriter does not purchase Securities in the Offering for its own account except Securities that are sold by the Related Underwriter on Closing;
V. The Dealer Managed Fund has an Independent Committee to review the Dealer Managed Fund's investments in Securities during the Prohibition Period;
VI. The Independent Committee has a written mandate describing its duties and standard of care which, as a minimum, sets out the conditions of this Decision;
VII. The members of the Independent Committee exercise their powers and discharge their duties honestly, in good faith, and in the best interests of investors in the Dealer Managed Fund and, in so doing, exercise the degree of care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in the circumstances;
VIII. The Dealer Managed Fund does not relieve the members of the Independent Committee from liability for loss that arises out of a failure to satisfy the standard of care set out in paragraph VII above;
IX. The Dealer Managed Fund does not incur the cost of any portion of liability insurance that insures a member of the Independent Committee for a liability for loss that arises out of a failure to satisfy the standard of care set out in paragraph VII above;
X. The cost of any indemnification or insurance coverage paid for by the Dealer Manager, any portfolio manager of the Dealer Managed Fund, or any associate or affiliate of the Dealer Manager or any portfolio manager of the Dealer Managed Fund to indemnify or insure the members of the Independent Committee in respect of a loss that arises out of a failure to satisfy the standard of care set out in paragraph VII above is not paid either directly or indirectly by the Dealer Managed Fund;
XI. The Dealer Manager files a certified report on SEDAR (the SEDAR Report) no later than 30 days after the end of the Prohibition Period, that contains a certification by the Dealer Manager that contains:
(a) the following particulars of each Purchase:
(i) the number of Securities purchased by the Dealer Managed Fund;
(ii) the date of the Purchase and purchase price;
(iii) whether it is known whether any Underwriter or syndicate member has engaged in market stabilization activities in respect of the Securities;
(iv) if Securities were purchased for the Dealer Managed Fund and other Managed Accounts of the Dealer Manager, the aggregate amount so purchased and the percentage of such aggregate amount that was allocated to the Dealer Managed Fund; and
(v) the dealer from whom the Dealer Managed Fund purchased the Securities and the fees or commissions, if any, paid by the Dealer Managed Fund in respect of such Purchase;
(b) a certification by the Dealer Manager that the Purchase:
(i) was made free from any influence by the Related Underwriter or any affiliate or associate thereof and without taking into account any consideration relevant to the Related Underwriter or any associate or affiliate thereof; and
(ii) represented the business judgment of the Dealer Manager uninfluenced by considerations other than the best interest of the Dealer Managed Fund, or
(iii) was, in fact, in the best interests of the Dealer Managed Fund;
(c) confirmation of the existence of the Independent Committee to review the Purchase of the Securities by the Dealer Managed Fund, the names of the members of the Independent Committee, the fact that they meet the independence requirements set forth in this Decision, and whether and how they were compensated for their review;
(d) a certification by each member of the Independent Committee that after reasonable inquiry the member formed the opinion that the policies and procedures referred to in Condition II(a) above are adequate and effective to ensure compliance with this Decision and that the decision made on behalf of the Dealer Managed Fund by the Dealer Manager to purchase Securities for the Dealer Managed Fund and each Purchase by the Dealer Managed Fund:
(i) was made in compliance with the conditions of this Decision;
(ii) was made by the Dealer Manager free from any influence by the Related Underwriter or any affiliate or associate thereof and without taking into account any consideration relevant to the Related Underwriter or any associate or affiliate thereof; and
(iii) represented the business judgment of the Dealer Manager uninfluenced by considerations other than the best interests of the Dealer Managed Fund, or
(iv) was, in fact, in the best interests of the Dealer Managed Fund.
XII. The Independent Committee advises the Decision Makers in writing of:
(a) any determination by it that the condition set out in paragraph XI(d) has not been satisfied with respect to any Purchase of the Securities by the Dealer Managed Fund;
(b) any determination by it that any other condition of this Decision has not been satisfied;
(c) any action it has taken or proposes to take following the determinations referred to above; and
(d) any action taken, or proposed to be taken, by the Dealer Manager or a portfolio manager of the Dealer Managed Fund, in response to the determinations referred to above.
XIII. For Purchases of Securities during the Distribution only, the Dealer Manager:
(a) expresses an interest to purchase on behalf of the Dealer Managed Fund and Managed Accounts a fixed number of Securities (the Fixed Number) to an Underwriter other than its Related Underwriter;
(b) agrees to purchase the Fixed Number or such lesser amount as has been allocated to the Dealer Manager no more than five (5) business days after the closing of the Offering;
(c) does not place an order with an Underwriter of the Offering to purchase an additional number of Securities under the Offering prior to the completion of the Distribution, provided that if the Dealer Manager was allocated less than the Fixed Number at the time of the closing of the Offering for the purposes of the closing of the Offering, the Dealer Manager may place an additional order for such number of additional Securities equal to the difference between the Fixed Number and the number of Securities allotted to the Dealer Manager, in the event that the Option is exercised at the time of the closing of the Offering; and
(d) does not sell Securities purchased by the Dealer Manager under the Offering, prior to the listing of the Common Shares issued in the Offering on the TSXV;
XIV. Each Purchase of Securities during the 60-Day Period is made on the TSXV; and
XV. For Purchases of Securities during the 60-Day Period only, an Underwriter provides to the Dealer Manager written confirmation that the dealer restricted period in respect of the Offering, as defined in OSC Rule 48-501 - Trading During Distributions, Formal Bids and Share Exchange Transactions, has ended.
THE MUTUAL FUNDS
Dynamic Precious Metals Fund