Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.1

Introduction and Purpose

(1) National Instrument 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions (the Instrument) sets out the principal insider reporting requirements and exemptions for insiders of reporting issuers. [FN 1]

(2) The purpose of this Policy is to help you understand how the Canadian Securities Administrators (the CSA or we) interpret or apply certain provisions of the Instrument.

FN1 In Ontario, the principal insider reporting requirements are set out in Part XXI of the Securities Act (Ontario) (the Ontario Act). See Part 2 of this Policy.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.2

Background to the Instrument

(1) The Instrument consolidates the principal insider reporting requirements and most exemptions in one location. This will make it easier for issuers and insiders to locate and understand their obligations and will help promote timely and effective compliance.

(2) The focus of the Instrument is on the substantive legal insider reporting requirements rather than the procedural requirements relating to the filing of insider reports. Issuers and insiders should review National Instrument 55-102 System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders (SEDI) (NI 55-102) in order to determine their obligations for the filing of insider reports.

(3) Although the Instrument sets out the principal insider reporting requirements and exemptions for issuers and insiders in Canada, a number of other CSA instruments also contain exemptions from the insider reporting requirements, including

(a) National Instrument 51-102 Continuous Disclosure Obligations (NI 51- 102);

(b) National Instrument 62-103 The Early Warning System and Related Take- Over Bid and Insider Reporting Issues (NI 62-103);

(c) National Instrument 71-101 The Multijurisdictional Disclosure System (NI 71-101); and

(d) National Instrument 71-102 Continuous Disclosure and Other Exemptions Relating to Foreign Issuers (NI 71-102).

We have not included the insider reporting exemptions from these instruments in the Instrument because we think these exemptions are better situated within the context of these other instruments. Issuers and insiders therefore may wish to review these instruments in determining whether any additional exemptions from the insider reporting requirements are available.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.3

Policy Rationale for Insider Reporting in Canada

(1) The insider reporting requirements serve a number of functions. These include deterring improper insider trading based on material undisclosed information and increasing market efficiency by providing investors with information concerning the trading activities of insiders of an issuer, and, by inference, the insiders’ views of their issuer’s prospects.

(2) Insider reporting also helps prevent illegal or otherwise improper activities involving stock options and similar equity-based instruments, including stock option backdating, option repricing, and the opportunistic timing of option grants (spring-loading or bullet-dodging). This is because the requirement for timely disclosure of option grants and public scrutiny of such disclosure will generally limit opportunities for issuers and insiders to engage in improper dating practices.

(3) Insiders should interpret the insider reporting requirements in the Instrument with these policy rationales in mind and comply with the requirements in a manner that gives priority to substance over form.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.4(1)

Definitions Used in the Instrument – General

The Instrument provides definitions of many terms that are defined in the securities legislation of some local jurisdictions but not others. A term used in the Instrument and defined in the securities statute of a local jurisdiction has the meaning given to it in the local securities statute unless:

(a) the definition in that statute is restricted to a specific portion of the statute that does not govern insider reporting; or

(b) the context otherwise requires.
This means that, in the jurisdictions specifically excluded from the definition, the definition in the local securities statute applies. However, in the jurisdictions not specifically excluded from the definition, the definition in the Instrument applies. The provincial and territorial regulatory authorities consider the meanings given to these terms in securities legislation to be substantially similar to the definitions set out in the Instrument.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.4(2)

Definitions Used in the Instrument – Directors and Officers

Where the Instrument uses the term “directors” or “officers”, insiders of an issuer that is not a corporation must refer to the definitions in securities legislation of “director” and “officer”. The definitions of “director” and “officer” typically include persons acting in capacities similar to those of a director or an officer of a company or individuals who perform similar functions. Corporate and non-corporate issuers and their insiders must determine, in light of the particular circumstances, which individuals or persons are acting in such capacities for the purposes of complying with the Instrument.

Similarly, the terms “CEO”, “CFO” and “COO” include the individuals that have the responsibilities normally associated with these positions or act in a similar capacity. This determination is to be made irrespective of an individual’s corporate title or whether that individual is employed directly or acts pursuant to an agreement or understanding.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.4(3)

Definitions Used in the Instrument – Economic Interest

The term “economic interest” in a security is a core component of the definition of “related financial instrument” which is part of the primary insider reporting requirement in Part 3 of the Instrument. We intend the term to have broad application and to refer to the economic attributes ordinarily associated in common law with beneficial ownership of a security, including

• the potential for gain in the nature of interest, dividends or other forms of distributions or reinvestments of income on the security;

• the potential for gain in the nature of a capital gain realized on a disposition of the security, to the extent that the proceeds of disposition exceed the tax cost (that is, gains associated with an appreciation in the security’s value); and

• the potential for loss in the nature of a capital loss on a disposition of the security, to the extent that the proceeds of disposition are less than the tax cost (that is, losses associated with a fall in the security’s value).

For example, a reporting insider who owns securities of his or her reporting issuer could reduce or eliminate the risk associated with a fall in the value of the securities while retaining ownership of the securities by entering into a derivative transaction such as an equity swap. The equity swap would represent a “related financial instrument” since, among other things, the agreement would affect the reporting insider’s economic interest in a security of the reporting issuer.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.4(4)

Definitions Used in the Instrument – Economic Exposure

The term “economic exposure” is used in Part 4 of the Instrument and is part of the supplemental insider reporting requirement. The term generally refers to the link between a person’s economic or financial interests and the economic or financial interests of the reporting issuer of which the person is an insider.

For example, an insider with a substantial proportion of his or her personal wealth invested in securities of his or her reporting issuer will be highly exposed to changes in the fortunes of the reporting issuer. By contrast, an insider who does not hold securities of a reporting issuer (and does not participate in a compensation arrangement involving securities of the reporting issuer) will generally be exposed only to the extent of their salary and any other compensation arrangements provided by the issuer that do not involve securities of the reporting issuer.

All other things being equal, if an insider changes his or her ownership interest in a reporting issuer (either directly, through a purchase or sale of securities of the reporting issuer, or indirectly, through a derivative transaction involving securities of the reporting issuer), the insider will generally be changing his or her economic exposure to the reporting issuer. Similarly, if an insider enters into a hedging transaction that has the effect of reducing the sensitivity of the insider to changes in the reporting issuer’s share price or performance, the insider will generally be changing his or her economic exposure to the reporting issuer.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.4(5)

Definitions Used in the Instrument – Major Subsidiary

The definition of “major subsidiary” is a key element of the definition of “reporting insider”. The determination of whether a subsidiary is a major subsidiary will generally require a backward-looking determination based on the issuer’s most recent financial statements.

If an issuer acquires a subsidiary or undertakes a reorganization, with the result that a subsidiary will come within the definition of major subsidiary once the issuer next files its financial statements, the subsidiary will not be a major subsidiary until such filing, and directors and the CEO, CFO and COO of the subsidiary will not be reporting insiders until such filing.

Although not required to do so, insiders may choose to file insider reports upon completion of the acquisition or reorganization rather than wait for the issuer to file its next set of financial statements. Similarly, if a subsidiary ceases to be a major subsidiary because of an acquisition or other reorganization by the parent issuer, but the subsidiary continues to be a major subsidiary based on information contained within the issuer’s most recently filed financial statements, the issuer or reporting insiders may wish to consider applying for an exemption from the insider reporting requirement as the reporting obligation will continue until the issuer next files its financials statements.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.4(6)

Definitions Used in the Instrument – Related Financial Instrument

Historically, there has been some uncertainty as to whether, as a matter of law, certain derivative instruments involving securities are themselves securities. This uncertainty has resulted in questions as to whether a reporting obligation existed or how insiders should report a derivative instrument. The Instrument resolves this uncertainty by including derivative instruments in the definition of “related financial instrument”. Under the Instrument, it is not necessary to determine whether a particular derivative instrument is a security or a related financial instrument since the insider reporting requirement in Part 3 of the Instrument applies to both securities and related financial instruments.

To the extent the following derivative instruments do not, as a matter of law, constitute securities, they will generally be related financial instruments:

• a forward contract, futures contract, stock purchase contract or similar contract involving securities of the insider’s reporting issuer;

• options issued by an issuer other than the insider’s reporting issuer;

• stock-based compensation instruments, including phantom stock units, deferred share units (DSUs), restricted share awards (RSAs), performance share units (PSUs), stock appreciation rights (SARs) and similar instruments;

• a debt instrument or evidence of deposit issued by a bank or other financial institution for which part or all of the amount payable is determined by reference to the price, value or level of a security of the insider’s reporting issuer (a linked note); and

• most other agreements, arrangements or understandings that were previously subject to an insider reporting requirement under former Multilateral Instrument 55-103 Insider Reporting for Certain Derivative Transactions (Equity Monetization) (MI 55-103).


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.4(7)

Definitions Used in the Instrument – Reporting insider

We developed the term “reporting insider” specifically for the purposes of the insider reporting requirements and exemptions in the Instrument. It allows us to focus the insider reporting requirement on a core group of persons and companies who in some cases are not “insiders” as defined in securities legislation. There are additional obligations and prohibitions on ‘insiders’ as defined in our Acts, such as the important prohibition on illegal insider trading. The concept of reporting insider is discussed in section 3.1 of this Policy.


Companion Policy to NI 55-104 Insider Reporting Requirements and Exemptions
Part 1 Introduction and Definitions
Section 1.6

Persons and companies designated or determined to be insiders

Section 1.2 of the Instrument designates or determines certain persons and companies to be insiders of a reporting issuer. The Instrument uses the terms “designate” and “determine” since these are the terms used in securities legislation in different jurisdictions. The designation or determination is for the purposes of the insider reporting requirements in the Instrument only. However, in many cases, persons and companies designated or determined to be insiders will also be insiders in another capacity. For example, section 1.2 designates or determines officers and directors of a management company that provides significant management or administrative services to a reporting issuer to be insiders of that reporting issuer. These individuals may also be officers and directors of the reporting issuer under the extended definitions of “officer” and “director” which typically include persons acting in capacities similar to those of a director or an officer or individuals who perform similar functions. The purpose of designating or determining these individuals to be insiders is to clarify these individuals’ insider reporting obligations and to avoid uncertainty.