It’s not uncommon for a trusted connection to be established between an advisor and their clients as a result of their professional relationship, which often extends over multiple years. This trust is necessary, and is subject to major ethical obligations that the advisor must fulfil. The advisor must place their client’s best interests at the centre of their concerns, maintain their professional independence at all times, and avoid conflicts of interest.
What’s more, the advisor must aim to appropriately protect the personal information they keep on their client and use it only for purposes agreed upon with the client. Consequently, they cannot use information on a client collected in the scope of their advisor activities for purposes of their other activities without the client’s consent.
These obligations make the practice of certain activities and professions incompatible with the practice of the advisor’s activities. In terms of dual employment, the obligations require caution due to the real or potential risk of a conflict of interests.
In summary, an advisor may have one or more other jobs as long as a legislative or regulatory provision does not prohibit it, and that, as applicable, the firm, independent partnership, or dealer for which they work allows it.
Firms’, independent partnerships’, and dealers’ policies
Firms, independent partnerships, and brokers generally have established rules to follow or a code of ethics regarding the activities, functions, professions, or jobs (paid or not), other than the advisor activities, that advisors working for them cannot practise, or only with certain restrictions. These rules focus on the risk of a conflict between their personal interests and their professional duties.
For example, when an advisor would like to participate:
- in certain associations’ activities
- on a board of directors
- in certain volunteer activities
The advisor must therefore know and adhere to the policy of the firm, independent partnership, or dealer for which they work before participating in another activity.
Dual employment not permitted
Due to the risk of a conflict of interests, the advisor practising in the following positions is usually prohibited or very restricted:
- Board member for a client company
- Liquidator of their client’s estate