Former PI Financial owner Gary Ng receives $5-million fine and a permanent ban from working in securities industry

Gary Ng, the former owner of PI Financial Corp. and a former co-owner of Bridging Finance Inc., has received a $5-million fine and a permanent ban from working in the securities industry after a regulatory panel found he engaged in fraudulent conduct with loans he used to finance the purchase of several investment advisory companies.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) imposed the fine during a penalty hearing on May 27. Mr. Ng was also ordered to pay $194,000 in costs.

Earlier this month, IIROC announced that the hearing panel had concluded Mr. Ng engaged in fraudulent conduct and had failed to co-operate with the regulator’s enforcement staff who were investigating. IIROC’s reasons for the hearing decision and the penalty have not yet been made public.

Mr. Ng has been a part of two high-profile investigations by Canadian regulators.

The first of those, launched by IIROC in February, 2020, alleged that Mr. Ng used fabricated investment account statements to inflate his personal net worth and persuade lenders to provide him with $172-million in loans.

A large portion of that debt was used to finance Mr. Ng’s purchase of several investment advisory companies, the most significant of which was his 2018 acquisition of PI. Mr. Ng paid $100-million in an all-cash deal to acquire the Vancouver-based dealer, which offers investment-banking and wealth-management services and had $4.5-billion in assets under management at the time.

The regulator also alleged that Mr. Ng supplied falsified collateral when buying a 50-per-cent stake in private debt manager Bridging Finance in the summer of 2019. Bridging lent Mr. Ng’s companies more than $131-million – and the loans are now part of a much larger investigation into Bridging by the Ontario Securities Commission.

Earlier this year, the RCMP’s Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) charged Mr. Ng with one count of fraud over $5,000 and one count of laundering the proceeds of crime.

Mr. Ng’s defence lawyer, Christi Hunter, declined to comment on the IIROC decision earlier this month when contacted by The Globe and Mail, but said Mr. Ng denies the criminal allegations against him and “intends to fully defend himself through the criminal process.”

The alleged violations occurred while Mr. Ng was a director, investor, executive and registered representative with PI Financial Corp. and a director, executive and registered representative with Chippingham Financial Group Ltd., both regulated by IIROC.

Mr. Ng is no longer a registrant with any IIROC-regulated companies.

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