The Private Capital Markets Association of Canada

Natalie Reynolds

The Private Capital Markets Association of Canada (PCMA)™ is Canada’s largest private capital markets community with over 500 members. It is a not-for-profit association originally founded in 2002 by a group of Canadian business professionals whose firms were active in the exempt securities market. The PCMA is governed by its membership through a volunteer Board of Directors (BOD) elected by its members each year at the annual general membership meeting. The PCMA is managed on a day-to-day basis by the President, Executive Directors and the Membership and Operations Manager.

The PCMA has more than 300 member firms coming from various industry backgrounds including, but not limited to:

  • Firms registered as exempt market dealers with securities regulators in one or more jurisdictions across Canada and the dealing representatives of those firms;
  • Exempt market issuers;
  • Professional advisors and service providers to the exempt market; including lawyers, accountants, compliance officers, financial institutions, software providers, corporate communications advisers, investment professionals and others.

The PCMA’s vision is to be the effective national voice of the private capital markets in Canada with a focus on the exempt market. In doing so, the PCMA works to provide a forum for the exempt market industry and policy-makers to work together to enhance the integrity and growth of the industry, while strengthening investor understanding and confidence.

There are several ways in which the PCMA builds integrity within and advocates for the industry. First and foremost, by promoting the industry as a respected participant in regulatory policy development with all stakeholders. To do this, the PCMA responds effectively to regulatory and government proposals with solid fact-based arguments, alternative proposals and clear messaging. The PCMA works with regulatory bodies and not against them. As a result, the PCMA has built a mutually respectful relationship with the government and regulators. The PCMA offers regular webinars to its membership and the industry to help inform and clarify any new regulatory changes within the exempt market, as well as advise on how to navigate these changes. The association also seeks input from its membership to bring forward when developing comment letters. This input allows the association to better represent its membership with responses. A full list of PCMA comment letters can be viewed on the website under Advocacy here.

Secondly, the PCMA works to build public confidence and understanding that the exempt market is an ideal way to build wealth and the Canadian economy. We do this by building constructive messaging about the exempt market and products, and actively promoting and defending private product investments. The best way to promote the industry and the association is at the Annual PCMA Canada Conference & Awards. The conference draws professionals from across the country to discuss opportunities and challenges in the industry. By securing qualified, high calibre speakers with a wealth of knowledge about the latest industry trends, the PCMA helps to inform and educate its members, professionals and the broader investor community. The PCMA also actively promotes the industry through its bi-annual magazine publication, The Private Investor.  The magazine offers insightful and educational pieces about the latest industry trends. The Private Investor (formerly the Private Capital Markets magazine) is the only industry magazine that provides information and analyses on regulatory changes, compliance challenges and best practices, and leading insights into deal structures, financial reporting, legal, accounting and other issues. The Private Investor is released twice a year and is comprised of articles written by Members, Directors and industry professionals outside of the PCMA. Each edition of The Private Investor can be found on the website under Resources.  

The PCMA has four active committees that meet regularly. The Advocacy Committee’s role is to advise the BOD on any issue likely to influence the compliance and regulatory requirements of members and to prepare relevant submissions and proposals. The Compliance Committee makes it possible for compliance officers to share common concerns and to discuss standard industry practices. They also interact with regulatory organizations and work alongside the PCMA’s other committees on joint initiatives. The MIC|MIE Committee focuses on analyzing federal and provincial legislative activity, as well as regulatory issues of interest to the MIC/MIE community. The DR Advisory Committee is responsible for encouraging and fostering industry collaboration from leading registrants. The DR Advisory Committee works to further education, awareness, advocacy and overall best practices among registrants in the private markets. Each committee meets regularly and shares knowledge with the membership through educational webinars. All PCMA webinars are recorded and offered to our memberships through our extensive educational Webinar Library.  

Education is an important pillar of the PCMA. The more the PCMA educates its members and industry, the greater likelihood that the private markets will remain a profitable market open and available to all Canadians. In 2016, the PCMA worked alongside IFSE to develop the Exempt Market Proficiency (EMP) course. The PCMA and IFSE Institute worked collaboratively to update the content of the EMP Course to reflect the changing industry and educational needs of Dealing Representatives in the exempt market. The PCMA and IFSE considered the feedback of the industry, regulators and past students to assess the strengths of the existing EMP Course and identify areas of improvement and new areas of focus.

The PCMA and IFSE developed entirely new content and updated the focus of the course materials and exams to reflect the increasing complexity of exempt market products and the rapid development of the exempt market across Canada. The Exempt Market Proficiency Course Exam (and its predecessor, the Exempt Market Products Exam) is a proficiency requirement for those individuals seeking registration as Exempt Market Dealers - Dealing Representatives and Chief Compliance Officers. An added bonus of PCMA membership is discounted tuition rates for IFSE courses.

Become a member and get involved

Becoming a member of the PCMA demonstrates that you are committed to enhancing integrity and growth within the industry. PCMA members are the voice for the private capital markets of Canada and are paramount to the success of the association. PCMA Directors and the Executive, together with its membership, makeup a large team of professionals who are working to better the industry and ensure that new ideas make it to market and succeed. Private capital markets play an essential role in our economy through capital raising, job creation, and funding growth opportunities for small, medium and large businesses. Capital raised in the private markets supports our communities and offers important investment opportunities for Canadians.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Olympia Trust Company, Olympia Financial Group Inc., or any of its affiliates. The author’s views and opinions are based upon information they consider reliable, but neither Olympia Trust Company, Olympia Financial Group Inc. nor any of its affiliates, warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such.

Natalie Reynolds

Natalie Reynolds hails from the tiny province of Prince Edward Island and is the Membership and Operations Manager for the PCMA. She wears many hats for the association including, but not limited to: ensuring the membership is looked after, running the day-to-day operations of the association, managing PCMA events and liaising with the Board of Directors and Executive. As the main point of contact for the association, she enjoys working alongside and learning about the industry. Before working with the PCMA, Natalie obtained a Psychology degree from University of Prince Edward Island, and then moved to Toronto to complete her Master’s in Communications at Ryerson University. She recently returned to the PCMA after taking a year off on maternity leave. She currently resides in beautiful Kelowna, BC with her husband, daughter, four stepchildren and her trusty German Shepherd.