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Former Vanguard executive Greg Walker has joined the executive team at Evolve Funds Group Inc.

Mr. Walker, who left his position as head of institutional sales for exchange-traded funds at Vanguard Investments Canada Inc. in August, has been named executive vice-president and head of institutional sales and national accounts at Evolve.

Mr. Walker told The Globe and Mail that Evolve ETFs was a company he had been closely monitoring as one of the few independent players in the Canadian marketplace.

Prior to joining the ETF provider, he spent three years at Vanguard’s Toronto office before the company laid off a number of its Canadian staff, including Mr. Walker, during global cuts that also saw offices in Japan and Hong Kong shut down.

Mr. Walker brings more than a decade of ETF experience to his new role. Previously, he served as the global head of ETF distribution at RBC Dominion Securities, and held several executive roles for Canada’s largest ETF provider, BlackRock Asset Management Canada Ltd., including the head of iShares institutional business.

This is the first executive hire in the institutional segment for Evolve, which launched in the Canadian market in 2017. Chief executive officer Raj Lala says he began the search after seeing a surge in institutional interest for the company’s thematic funds.

“Many of our funds surround areas of disruptive technology that institutional investors are taking a closer look at,” Mr. Lala said in an interview. “Some [investors] tell us it makes more sense to express a view on a sector such as cybersecurity via an ETF versus trying to pick individual securities and we feel there is a great opportunity for further growth via channels such as multi-asset managers, family offices, as well as private wealth.”

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