Canadian regulator temporarily stays penalties against RIM agitator Alboini


Hearing will be held on 17 December to set date for Victor Alboini’s appeal against IIROC decision.

The Ontario Securities Commission on Wednesday temporarily suspended to Dec. 18 a trading ban and financial penalties levied against Victor Alboini, the investor who waged a public campaign to replace Research In Motion Ltd.”s board and top executives for what he called the BlackBerry maker’s underperformance.

Earlier this month, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, or IIROC, the country’s stock market and brokerage watchdog, banned Mr. Alboini from trading or advising on the purchase of securities across Canada for two years after ruling he broke several trading and compliance rules between 2006 and 2010 as the ultimate overseer of compliance at Northern Securities Inc., a Toronto-based dealer. IIROC also ordered him to pay a total fine of more than 625,000 Canadian dollars (US$627,131) and permanently banned him from being a so-called ultimate designated person. A UDP is responsible for establishing a dealer’s compliance system and ensuring it is followed. Typically, the UDP is also the firm’s chief executive officer.

The Ontario Securities Commission said in a statement Wednesday it stayed the sanctions and penalties until at least the day after the regulator holds a hearing on Dec. 17 to determine a date to hear Mr. Alboini’s appeal of the IIROC decision.

An IIROC representative couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Alboini couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. In an interview last week following the release of IIROC’s decision, Mr. Alboini said he didn’t believe he did anything wrong because the IIROC ruling centered on trades that made money for his clients.”The key for us is our clients made very good returns,[and] there were no losses by anybody,” the executive said at the time.

In September 2011, Mr. Alboini, in his other role as head of Canadian merchant bank Jaguar Financial Corp., publicly called for a shake-up of RIM’s board and executive team because of RIM’s market share losses and sinking stock price.

His efforts didn’t garner much public shareholder support. But RIM, under pressure from a wide swath of shareholders, adopted much of what he wanted. RIM appointed a new CEO and board members and initiated a strategic review of the company’s operations.