Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Former adviser in the hot seat after client losses

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A former Winnipeg-based investment adviser is under investigation by regulators for allegedly steering clients into unsuitable investments.

The actions of Ken Muzik, whose registration as an adviser lapsed in April, are under the microscope of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association and, depending on what the Toronto-based regulatory body finds, an investigation from the Manitoba Securities Commission could follow.

The complaint against Muzik was filed by a former client, Bill Worthington, who said he saw his retirement savings of $600,000 drop by half after Muzik encouraged him to use a leverage investment strategy. He has since had to sell his house and look for work again.

The allegations against Muzik have not been proven.

Shaun Devlin, vice-president of enforcement at the MFDA, said he wasn't able to discuss the allegations against Muzik. The matter isn't likely to be resolved quickly, however. These cases can take four months to make an initial assessment and eight to 12 months to be fully investigated.

"We review all allegations fully and objectively and obtain all necessary information in order to make the correct determination on all complaints," he said.

Doug Brown, director of legal, registration and enforcement at the MSC, said it will co-ordinate information with the MFDA.

"We'll wait to see the outcome of their investigation to see if we'll do anything further," he said.

Officials at National Bank, which bought Wellington West last year, declined to speak about the case. The bank's compliance department was notified of Muzik's actions and reportedly cleared him of any wrongdoing.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 21, 2012 B2

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