Occupying a unique place in today’s investment fund industry, CIFSC was formed in January 1998 by Canada’s major mutual fund database and research firms with a self-imposed mandate to standardize the classifications of Canadian-domiciled retail mutual funds. Prior to the Committee’s creation, there had been a proliferation of mutual fund listings and analysis services which created confusion, and made fund comparisons difficult for investors and other market participants.
Each of the participating firms permitted their respective databases and analysis capabilities to be used in this categorization project. Building from classification schemes that had been previously developed by individual members, the Committee developed the basis of the current fund classification scheme. While the Committee recognizes that no fund category scheme is suited for all purposes, establishing and maintaining a standard is nonetheless considered essential for the mutual fund investor. The categories are in a constant state of review and as such, the Committee extends an invitation for comments from all investment fund industry participants.
CIFSC is made up of leading investment fund data publishing and analysis firms, consultants and other industry participants. Fund managers and distributors are not permitted to be direct members of the Committee, although input from these participants is received through membership of their representative trade associations. The Committee welcomes interested parties that are directly involved in the dissemination of investment fund data, and selected industry, investor and regulatory representatives. Since many of the Committee members are competitors in the marketplace, it is imperative that the Committee governs itself in a democratic fashion. No one member possesses any more decision-making power than any other.