Rebecca A. Cowdery  


Executive Summary

Rebecca Cowdery is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Rebecca practises corporate, commercial and securities law, focusing on the compliance, regulatory and governance issues facing participants in the investment management industry, including fund managers, portfolio managers and dealers.

Rebecca has over 25 years of experience in working with the investment management industry as a lawyer and a regulator. Rebecca works with fund managers to establish new products and to manage and administer funds in compliance with applicable regulation. Among other things, she assists fund managers and independent review committees to effectively implement and comply with fund governance regulations in Canada. Rebecca also advises firms about effective implementation of the regulatory and compliance requirements for registrants mandated by the Canadian securities regulators.

Rebecca joined BLG in November 2003, after nine years as a senior investment funds regulator with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

Rebecca is a frequent speaker and writer about topics of interest to the investment management industry.

Representative Work

  • Regularly consults with Canadian and international industry participants on a wide range of governance, sales practices, marketing, private placement and regulatory compliance matters.
  • Extensive experience in working with fund managers to establish, manage and distribute investment funds.
  • Extensive experience in working with registrant firms to improve their compliance systems through, among other things, providing assistance in preparing policies and procedures, advice in testing compliance systems, conducting "mock" compliance audits and working with registrant firms to respond appropriately to regulatory compliance audits and surveys.
  • Works with industry participants to obtain relief from regulatory requirements through novel and practical exemption applications.
  • Acted as regulatory counsel to the RESP Dealers Association of Canada (2008-2015) and regularly participates in committees of the Portfolio Management Association of Canada, The Investment Funds Institute of Canada and the Investment Industry Association of Canada.
  • Has recognized expertise in investment management public policy, regulation and practice. Rebecca was at the forefront of all major investment fund regulatory reform initiatives during her tenure at the OSC. Her responsibilities while at the OSC included:
  • Leading the Canadian Securities Administrators policy projects to update and reform mutual fund regulation. This work included creating and implementing the national instruments dealing with mutual fund prospectus disclosure (81-101), mutual fund operations and management (81-102), commodity pools (81-104) and mutual fund sales practices (81-105).
  • Authoring, as principal author, the CSA concept proposal "Striking a New Balance: A New Framework for Regulating Mutual Funds and their Managers" and working after its publication in March 2002 to develop draft rules to regulate fund governance.
  • Leading the Canadian Securities Administrators work to harmonize the regulation of mutual funds and segregated funds.
  • Leading the Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia securities commissions work to create and recognize the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada as a self-regulatory organization.

Publications & Presentations

Recent Selected Presentations – 2015 and 2016

  • Participant, with Lynn McGrade in a series of six videos on the "targeted reforms" proposed by the Canadian securities regulators for the regulation of registrants September-October 2016
  • Moderator Regulatory Update and Overview of Recent Policy Developments Portfolio Management Association of Canada Toronto Compliance Forum September  22, 2016
  • Participant, with Kathryn Fuller in the Investment Executive Webinar Point of Sale – in Force May 30 – Make it work for you April 30, 2016
  • Presenter on Whither Financial Planning in 2016 and 2017 Association of Canadian Compliance Professionals – 2016 Annual Conference  April 25, 2016
  • Moderator of the Regulatory Panel held at IFIC's Operations Day November 18, 2015
  • Panel Participant – Regulatory Developments: How recent initiatives will affect segregated funds 2015 Wealth & Retirement Conference CLHIA November 10, 2015
  • Presenter on Compliance Tsunami  Toronto Fall Summit Independent Financial Brokers of Canada November 3, 2015
  • Moderator Key Issues on the 2015/2016 Compliance Radar Portfolio Management Association of Canada Toronto Compliance Forum September 24, 2015
  • Presenter on 50 Shades of Regulation: What can an Advisor Expect for 2015 and 2016 13th Annual National Conference 2015 of the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners June 4, 2015
  • Moderator Challenges and Tips: Meeting CRM2 Deadlines Investment Industry Association of Canada March 31, 2015
  • Panelist Point of Sale – Meeting the Challenges 2015 IIAC Compliance & Operations Symposium April 1, 2015
  • Panelist CRMII Deadlines – SS&C Corporate Update and Regulatory Luncheon December 11, 2014
  • Panelist Successfully Navigating a More Challenging Regulatory Environment 2014 MMI Toronto Wealth Management Summit November 12, 2014
  • Panelist Guideline G2 Update 2014 Wealth & Retirement Conference – CLHIA October  30, 2014
  • Moderator – International Trends on the Regulatory Horizon 2014 Annual Conference – Investment Funds Institute of Canada October 2, 2014

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2017) of the Chambers Canada — Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Investment Funds)
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada (Mutual Funds Law).
  • Recognized in every edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Investment Funds and Asset Management - Most Frequently Recommended) since 2008.
  • Recognized as a 2019 Acritas Star (and since 2017).
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Mutual Funds Law).
  • In every edition of The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Investment Funds and Asset Management) since 2008.
  • In every edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Mutual Funds Law) since 2008.
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada® 2012 Toronto Mutual Funds Law Lawyer of the Year.