A little initiative can go a long way

A got a call last year from a keen guy at the New Brunswick Securities Commission. Someone gave him my name and he wanted to chat about the lack of investment capital flowing into New Brunswick firms. The NBSC, he said, had decided enough is enough and they wanted to do something about it.

I blogged about this at the time and we had a lively debate about whether or not it’s the role of the the NBSC to stimulate investment and in fact whether it might even be some form of conflict of interest (regulator and promoter at the same time).

I said yes and still say yes. Somebody has got to figure out a way to get investment flowing into SME business in New Brunswick. The McCains and Irvings can’t beat external investment away with a stick but small firms have a lot harder time of it.

A year or so later and after reports, roundtables and, I think, two proactive conferences on the subject, the NBSC was rewarded by its peers at the Canadian Investment Awards last night with the:

Best New Initiative Award
Fostering Capital Markets in New Brunswick
(New Brunswick Securities Commission)

Now, I have to say for a New Brunswick regulatory agency like this to win a national award is pretty friggin’ amazing. I suspect that Louisbourg or others may have won awards in the past but for the government to win a ‘best new initiative’ award, I think that is fantastic.

I’d like to think that the government of the day – Lord/Volpe/Mesheau- went to the NBSC and provided leadership on this initiative but I am told this was an internally generated effort. The folks at the NBSC decided they were tired of presiding over the worst capital market in Canada and did something about it.

Now, I think it’s too early in the game to assess ‘results’ which will be the ultimate measure of this initiative’s success. But it can’t hurt for an NB government agency (not named Tourism) to win some form of national award and not within some government only association. Any firm in the financial sector can win this specific award.

Congratulations, NBSC. Pat yourself on the back. Tinkle the glass.

Then go to back to work.