MFDA Names Smarten Up Institute as Approved ETF Educator

May 4, 2016I SUI

For immediate release

MFDA Names Smarten Up Institute as Approved ETF Educator

 MFDA-registered advisors now able to sell ETFs but require accredited ETF courses

TORONTO, May 4, 2016 Canadian financial advisors registered with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) will be allowed to sell exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but to do so they will be required to complete ETF proficiency education. Smarten Up Institute (SUI®), the leading independent Canadian financial education provider, is proud to announce that it has received MFDA approval as an accredited ETF educator. The ability of MFDA-registered advisors to offer ETFs is a victory for the Canadian investor. MFDA-registered advisors currently oversee approximately $450 billion, just less than half of all investment fund assets in Canada. Regulatory changes that allow these advisors to sell ETFs give all Canadian investors the opportunity to integrate ETFs into their investment portfolios.

“This development is a major milestone that will enable investment professionals to serve the increasingly complicated needs of investors in a world of growing financial complexity and risk,” said Laurie Clark, Smarten Up Institute President & CEO, who founded SUI in 2010 in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.  “The MFDA’s citing of SUI® as an approved provider is a testament to SUI’s expertise with ETFs and our education programs in general.”

SUI currently offers 6 ETF-related courses as well as the only ETF specialist designation program in Canada, the Certified ETF Specialist (CETFS®) designation. These courses are updated systematically in real time and accessible online or in person for financial professionals and the general public. Combining traditional and new teaching methods and featuring practice application, gaming, guests and humour, SUI’s “Over-the-Top” methodology promotes student learning retention and satisfaction.

“SUI has built the most robust ETF education platform in Canada. Even before these recent regulatory changes, we recognized how important ETFs would become to advisors and their clients.” Clark continued.  “The real winners are those who take SUI courses:  ETFs will round out the products mutual fund professionals offer and provide cost savings, better serving Canadian investors.”


  •  In 2015, the B.C. Securities Commission and MFDA requested feedback on education, training and proficiency standards for advisors selling ETFs, which differ in important ways from traditional mutual funds.
  • Smarten Up Institute has built one of the largest suites of ETF-focused courses in North America, and launched the country's first complete course on investing in leveraged ETFs 
  • With a growing number of ETF listings and providers in Canada, it is more important than ever for investors, advisors and regulators to understand the basics and the complexities of the Canadian ETF market, now exceeding $95 billion in value.


Smarten Up Institute ( offers real-world financial and securities instruction to industry professionals working for banks, dealers, wealth managers, investment counsel/portfolio managers, correspondent firms, credit unions, regulators and others. It provides expertise in investment and private banking, retail products including mutual funds and ETFs, derivatives, private equity, portfolio management, hedge funds, trading, compliance, ethics, sales, finance, operations, credit, risk, IT, regulation, communications and more to professionals wishing to further cultivate their skills to remain current and increase their industry marketability. SUI’s in-person, online and customized classes are led by the industry's best and most respected experts.

SUI is also proud to give back to the investment industry through its founding of the Top Under 40 Award and SUI Smart Mentor Program, as well as by providing Merit Bursary Awards for youth and internships to young graduates.

About the Certified ETF Specialist (CETFS) Designation
The CETFS is the only ETF-focused designation in Canada. Advisors and other industry professionals can obtain their designation after completing 72 hours of course work, including four required courses and the remainder from optional modules, with a take-home assignment. Information on Smarten Up Institute certificates is available on SUI’s website at 

Media Contacts:

Laurie M. Clark
+1 (416) 907-8468 Ext. 301/ +1 (604) 608-6186



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