Tom Atkinson, a former regulator and Crown attorney, has been named the new head of enforcement at the Ontario Securities Commission. The Globe and Mail reports that Atkinson previously ran Market Regulation Services Inc., which regulated trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange until it merged with the Investment Dealers Association in 2007. He left the industry in August 2007, at the time of the merger.
OSC faces recent criticism for a weak track record on fighting securities violations, and it is now involved in a high-profile case against top executives at Research In Motion Ltd. (discussed here). Former RS board member Eric Kirzner said Mr. Atkinson is a “bulldog” and has the right personality to be a tough enforcement director. “I think it’s going to be a great choice by the OSC,” he said. “That’s the background he really comes from – enforcement … He really is a policeman.”
According to the Globe and Mail, Atkinson has spent his time since August 2007 completing a legal thriller novel set in a Crown attorney’s office. “He seemed to be having fun with it when I talked to him about it,” said former RS director Gerry Rocchi. “But he’ll be busy, so if he’s not finished it yet, it will be hard for him to finish it now.” Mr. Rocchi said.