The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province’s securities laws and is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta while protecting investors. But have you ever wondered who are the people at the ASC, and the roles they play in investor protection? To help answer that question, recently caught up with Dolores Ivany-Fagan, a dedicated 18-year ASC employee currently serving as an Assessment Officer, to learn more about her role and her passion for helping Albertans.
What does your team do the for the ASC?
The assessment team is the first point of contact for the public when they have a concern about an investment they’ve made. Here, we start by receiving complaints from investors and begin the process to determine if it’s an issue that the ASC can assist with. Things move forward from there.
What is your role on the assessment team?
I listen to complaints, discuss the issue with the investor and then begin the overall review process. I read everything potentially related to the situation, gather the individual’s information, do background searches and then combine it all to make an assessment. From there, I make a recommendation as to whether the issue needs to be investigated or redirected to a more appropriate organization.
Why are you passionate about your role at the ASC?
I don’t like the fact that there are dishonest, conniving, and deceitful people who try to take other people’s money for improper purposes. When you’re telling someone you’re going to take their money and invest it, do that. Don’t take it to your bank account and do with it what you please. We all know how hard it is to earn money.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
Two cases that come to mind are ‘WealthStreet’ and ‘Shire’. I had a bad feeling about the two complaints that I couldn’t shake. I searched and found information that helped support moving them forward as cases of fraud. As a result, we were able to take enforcement action on both of them.
What threats do you see right now for Albertans?
A big area of concern is real estate investments – people believe that when their name is on a lease or mortgage agreement they own part of the building. They don’t realize that they are probably in second or third positions of ownership, which can cause issues in terms of getting their money back if something goes wrong. The way offering memorandums are written can be confusing; they are often quite large documents and written in complex legal terms that not everyone understands. It’s so important to understand what you’re signing.
What is your best advice for Albertans who are looking to make solid investments?
Please make sure you check the registration status of your advisor and the registration status of the company. Don’t be fooled by high pressure tactics and do some research. People will spend six months researching a new vehicle, go to the dealership and haggle for $500. Do the same for your investments – that is going to make a lot more of a difference in your future financial security than a car. If, after that, you have a level of confidence that the investment is sound and a good fit for your financial goals, only then go through with it.