Shakeup at Ontario Securities Commission sees senior officials depart

Heads of enforcement, investor office, innovation and compliance are gone or leaving

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A handful of senior executives from across the Ontario Securities Commission have left or are on their way out on the heels of a five-year extension of the term of chief executive Grant Vingoe.

The head of enforcement at Canada’s largest capital markets regulator, Jeff Kehoe, left at the end of February, and Tyler Fleming, who headed the investor office and was a member of the executive management team, is also gone, according to sources.

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In addition, Debra Foubert, the regulator’s director of compliance and registrant regulation, and Pat Chaukos, who leads the innovation office at the regulator, are leaving after moving into other undefined roles to ease the transition.

Foubert has been at the Ontario Securities Commission for more than 11 years, where she oversaw the introduction of client-focused reforms to manage the relationship between investment dealers and their clients, including conflicts of interest. She was also a key player behind the OSC’s regulation of cypto trading platforms.

Chaukos joined the regulator more than 20 years ago and was responsible for LaunchPad, introduced in 2016 as a way for fintechs and other technology-based startups to test the waters of the Canadian market in a small closely monitored regulatory “sandbox” without the full financial burden of registration and regulation. Later iterations within the OSC’s office of economic growth and innovation, which she led, included TestLab. Its aim was to find technology or other innovations that could solve specific issues or create new opportunities in Ontario’s capital markets.

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In a statement March 4, OSC spokesperson JP Vecsi confirmed the departures. 

“I can confirm that Pat Chaukos, Tyler Fleming, Debra Foubert and Jeff Kehoe have transitioned or will be transitioning out of their roles at the Commission as part of our strategic evolution,” he said. “We are grateful for their years of service and leadership within the OSC, as well as their positive contributions to Ontario’s capital markets. We will be commencing a search for permanent successors.”

In early February, Vingoe’s term was extended through April 2029 and the regulator is in the midst of setting out a strategic plan for its direction over the next six years. A former vice-chair of the OSC, Vingoe became chair and CEO after the early departure of Maureen Jensen in the spring of 2020 and was the first dedicated chief executive of the OSC after the roles of chair and CEO were split in 2022.

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The division of roles was the result of the legislation passed by the government of Ontario following recommendations from an expert panel on modernizing securities regulation. As part of the overhaul, the regulatory policy-making and adjudicative functions of the OSC were also split.

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