Bank of Montreal BMO-T has teamed up with Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s BAM-A-T investment fund subsidiary to launch a group of funds that offer retail Canadian investors greater access to the real asset market.
On Friday, BMO Investments Inc., the bank’s asset management division, and Brookfield Public Securities Group LLC announced the launch of two mutual funds and two exchange-traded funds that will focus on hard assets such as global tech-focused real estate, renewables and sustainable infrastructure. The group of funds will be co-branded by both companies and managed by Brookfield.
The two ETFs, BMO Brookfield Global Real Estate Tech Fund (TOWR) and BMO Brookfield Global Renewables Infrastructure Fund (GRNI), began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday morning.
By partnering with a large Canadian bank, which is also the country’s second-largest ETF provider, Brookfield will expand its distribution network to include BMO’s more than 900 retail bank branches.
“Global renewables, sustainable infrastructure and real estate tech are specialized exposures that capture two significant trends in the market and can help investors build better portfolios,” Kevin Gopaul, president of ETFs at BMO Global Asset Management, said in a statement.
Managing about US$690-billion of assets, Brookfield Asset Management is known for its giant portfolios in “alternative assets,” such as real estate, infrastructure, energy and distressed debt. Brookfield also attracts outside money from institutional investors and ultrahigh-net-worth retail investors.
Brookfield Public Securities Group launched in 2009 and has about US$20-billion in assets. The company invests in real assets through actively managed strategies for publicly-traded equity and debt. In Canada, the company has several sub-advisory agreements and has independently managed two Canadian closed-ended funds, Brookfield Global Infrastructure Securities Income Fund and Brookfield Select Opportunities Income Fund, since 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Last month, Brookfield Asset Management chief executive officer Bruce Flatt told shareholders at the end of his quarterly letter that the asset management business may be “carved” out into a separate company, causing his company’s stock price to jump nearly 10 per cent that day.
In the letter, Mr. Flatt said Brookfield’s asset management business “is now one of the largest and fastest-growing scale alternative investment businesses globally.”
With a report from David Milstead