Charyl Galpin, executive vice president, managing director and head of Toronto-based BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc.'s private client division, has been appointed as the first chairwoman of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC).

The IIAC announced Galpin's appointment following its annual general meeting in Toronto on Wednesday. She has been a member of the association's board since 2015 and will serve as chairwoman for 2017-18.

Galpin takes over as the IIAC's chairwoman at a time when the investment industry is grappling with a variety of challenges, particularly in the retail investment business. Developments such as tech-driven innovation, shifting client priorities and fundamental regulatory reform initiatives — such as a possible ban on embedded commissions and the planned introduction of a best interest standard in a couple of provinces — are all threatening to transform the business fundamentally.

"I am honoured to be selected to lead the IIAC's board through this unprecedented structural change to strengthen investor protection and market efficiency, and help IIAC member firms navigate this evolving landscape for financial services," Galpin says in a statement.

Galpin adds that she's "very proud to be the first woman to serve" in this position. "I look forward to working with my IIAC board colleagues and staff to promote cost-effective regulation to benefit investors and our capital markets."

"Charyl Galpin's appointment is a testament to her experience, accomplishments and valued perspective," says Ian Russell, president and CEO of the IIAC, in a statement. "Her appointment as our chairwoman is an indication of the broadening diversity of leadership right across the Canadian investment industry and financial [services] sector."

The IIAC also announced that Steven Donald, president of Assante Wealth Management Ltd., has been named as vice chairman.

The latest incarnation of the IIAC board also includes Russell; Roger Casgrain, executive vice president of Montreal's Casgrain & Co. Ltd.; John Chambers, vice chairman and president of Calgary-based GMP FirstEnergy; Pruyn Haskins, managing director and co-head of global capital markets at Scotia Capital Inc.; Dave Kelly, senior vice president with TD Wealth Private Wealth Management; Jeff Kennedy, managing director, equity capital markets and operations, with Cormark Securities Inc.; David Lang, senior vice president, regulatory compliance and government affairs and global chief compliance officer (CCO) at Royal Bank of Canada; Benoit Lauzé, managing director and head, equity capital markets, global investment banking, with CIBC World Markets Inc.; Martin Lavigne, president National Bank Financial Ltd.'s wealth-management division; Andrew Marsh, president and CEO of Richardson GMP Ltd.; Sylvain Perreault, CCO of Desjardins Group; Stuart Raftus, president of Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management Canada; and Richard Rousseau, executive vice president, head of wealth management, private client group, at Raymond James Ltd.

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