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Vic AlboiniFernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Vic Alboini's boutique investment firm has been ordered to transfer all its client accounts to another investment dealer and get out of the business of managing client money.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, which is Canada's brokerage industry regulator, issued an order Friday requiring Northern Securities Inc. to have a deal in place by Dec. 31 to do a bulk transfer of all its retail and institutional client accounts to another dealer by no later than Jan. 15.

The order means Northern Securities will be restricted to doing mergers and acquisition deals, providing research and working in corporate finance.

The order comes after Northern lost its business agreement with its carrying broker, Penson Financial Services Canada, and was unable to find a new carrying broker. Penson announced in September it was closing its Canadian operations. It provides clearing, settlement and custodial services to smaller brokerage firms.

In a November ruling, IIROC suspended Mr. Alboini for two years and permanently banned him from being the "ultimate designated person" at a brokerage firm for failing to comply with several industry trading rules. Mr. Alboini and two others have filed an appeal of the decision with the Ontario Securities Commission, which has stayed the sanctions at least until Dec. 18 to give both sides time to deal with the appeal.

Mr. Alboini has been an active participant in merger and takeover deals at smaller firms and has been an outspoken critic of technology firm Research In Motion Ltd.

Friday's IIROC ruling requires Northern to contact its clients by Dec. 17 to notify them that their accounts will be restricted to liquidating trades or transferring money out of the accounts as of Dec. 31. Clients have the right to move their money to another dealer immediately to avoid the restrictions.