, and Mortgage Investment Corporations out west have their own associations – which begged the question: why not Ontario?
“We should have done this years ago. The one in Alberta has been around for six years; the one in B.C. has been around for some time, and they are all well-organized,” says Chris Couprie, CEO of Secure Capital MIC and one of the founders of ONMICA
: the Ontario Mortgage Investment Companies Association. “We’ll get there – we’re just getting started.”
The Ontario MICs have gathered informally for years, sharing referrals and industry knowledge, but the creation of a formal association finally gives purpose to a group of lenders that is flourishing in the alternative lending space.
“MICs and private lending has been a little more prevalent out west,” Couprie told MBN
. “Here, MICs never really caught on. It is an expensive infrastructure - with the layers of registration, the accredited investor rules and the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission), you really have to be serious about what you are doing.”
The purpose of ONMICA is to:
- Facilitate the exchange of information and ideas between members;
- Present a unified voice to regulators and other stakeholders to protect the specific interests of our industry;
- Set and uphold industry standards for ethics and professionalism;
- As an advocacy group for the MIE “community” dealing primarily with securities regulators (such as the Ontario Securities Commission) to further their understanding of the business of MIE’s and ensuring the regulation of capital raising is fair, simple, and specific to our industry;
- To raise the profile and understanding of MIE’s in the minds of both investors and capital raising industry participants; and
- To assist the members of our organization with advice, problem solving, professional referrals and industry knowledge
With all the ongoing regulatory changes since 2011 being a MIC is not for the faint of heart, says Diana Soloway, president of Brookstreet MIC, with both FSCO and OSC as the primary regulators.
“The reason mortgage brokers prefer MICs is that they are dealing with a lender who has infrastructure and accountability,” Soloway told MBN. “Borrowers expect brokers to produce results fast. It is too stressful trying to chase down individual investors who may or may not be on the same time frame.”