Abbotsford mutual fund salesman Bayant S. Dhindsa has been banned for life and ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and costs for engaging in unauthorized moonlighting activities.
The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada found that from 2006 to April 2009, Dhindsa, while working at Sun Life Financial Investments, acted as a senior officer and/or director of three private companies without his employer's knowledge and consent.
Investment dealers insist on knowing their employees' outside business dealings so they can keep tabs on them and ensure there is no conflict with their clients.
According to the MFDA, Sun Life became aware in 2006 that Dhindsa had been serving as president and director of Dynegent Technologies Inc. (a telecom software company) and had received about $20,000 compensation from the firm.
Sun Life issued a warning letter to Dhindsa, reminding him that he had to obtain prior approval for all outside business activities, otherwise his job could be terminated.
In January 2009, Dhindsa and Sun Life were sued by two people who claimed that Dhindsa, while acting as an agent for Sun Life, had persuaded them to invest a total of $60,000 in Vonifone
Inc. (an Internet phone service company) and had personally guaranteed their principal, plus a five-per-cent annual return.
Dhindsa was a founder and director of Vonifone, but he had not disclosed this relationship to his employer, prompting Sun Life to issue a second warning letter.
After receiving the second letter, Dhindsa disclosed that he was a director of a third company, J. Dhal Trading Inc. (an import/ export business).
He removed himself from all three companies, but by that time it was too late.
In May 2010, Dhindsa resigned from Sun Life and the MFDA took disciplinary action against him.
He had been working at Sun Life for nearly 12 years.