Generally, the exempt market facilitates
a cost-effective method for smaller or
early-stage businesses to raise capital.
Products are sold through subscription,
similar to an insurance product. There’s no
daily trading or secondary market as you
would find in the public market, and
products sold in the exempt market don’t
have market values (unlike stocks, bonds,
etc.). This equates to a lack of liquidity and
clients may be required to hold these
investments for a specified period of time
before they can access their money.
The exempt market is more specialized than
the public market, and exempt market clients
tend to be wealthier and more sophisticated.
If you’re interested in working in this market,
here’s what you’ll need to know.
Who operates in the exempt market?
Organizations in this space typically fall into
the following categories: exempt market
dealer, issuer, or service providers.
• Exempt market dealers (EMDs) are
registered with the regulators to distribute
exempt market securities. EMDs can be
either proprietary or third-party dealers.
Proprietary dealers only sell their own
products whereas third-party dealers (or
brokers) are able to sell products from a
variety of issuers.
• Issuers are product manufacturers that
build the exempt market investments.
There are many types of product
structures and issuers in Canada but
some common offerings include real
estate investment trusts (REITs), mortgage
investment corporations (MICs), and
private investment funds. If issuers are
registered as exempt market dealers,
then they are proprietary dealers as
• Service providers are firms that provide
services to participants in the industry.
They can include legal, accounting,
marketing and software firms.
What opportunities exist?
Any of these firms may have job opportunities. However, dealing representative is
the most common role available in the
Dealing representatives work as advisors
for exempt market dealers. They recommend and sell exempt market securities
to investors. Their role is typically entrepreneurial and commission-based.
What skills can help?
Many professionals who work in the
exempt market have financial or legal
backgrounds. Dealing representatives
quite often gain experience as advisors in
other registrant categories, such as
mutual funds or investment dealer, before
entering the complex exempt market.
Many also have backgrounds from
related industries such as insurance or
From an educational standpoint, the
Exempt Market Proficiency Course is an
important first step for anyone entering
How to get started
Talk to other people who work in the exempt
market. Contact the industry associations:
National Exempt Market Association and
the Private Capital Markets Association of
Canada. Look for professionals who are
doing the type of work you want to do and
contact them. If they’re open to discussing
their roles, ask about their skills,
background, how they got started and any
advice they may have for you.
You could also attend industry events,
where you’ll meet and have a chance to
speak to people about the many opportunities available in the exempt market.
Are you ready to explore IFSE courses
related to exempt markets?
• Exempt Market Proficiency Course
• Ethics for Exempt Market Dealer
If you’re looking for job opportunities in the financial services industry,
you may want to consider the lesser-known exempt market.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EXEMPT MARKET