Skip to main content

The Bank of Montreal Financial Group building in downtown Toronto is shown in this file photo.

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Bank of Montreal's Kevin Gopaul has been elected the next chair of the Canadian ETF Association (CETFA), replacing Atul Tiwari, who held the position for two years.

Mr. Gopaul, head of BMO Global Asset Management Canada, global head of ETFs and chief investment officer, joins the association as chair during a time of rapid growth in exchange-traded funds in Canada.

As regulatory changes continue to put pressure on investment fees, the ETF industry has seen a number of new players and new products, largely in the actively managed space.

Story continues below advertisement

Currently, there are 24 ETF providers in Canada managing $130-billion in assets, according to a recent report by National Bank Financial. That is up from only 10 providers managing $97-billion in assets in April, 2016.

CETFA now represents approximately 95 to 97 per cent of industry assets under management compared to just 60 per cent in June 2015.

"This growth really shows we are effectively speaking for the industry as a whole and that has resonated a lot with our discussion with regulators and others," says Mr. Tiwari, who is also the head of Vanguard Canada. "We are now a group that others seek out for comment on behalf of the industry."

The Association was formed in late 2011 by three of Canada's ETF providers including Horizons ETFs, BMO ETFs and Claymore Investments (which was acquired by BlackRock Asset Management in 2012).

The association was created to provide education and resources on ETF investing in Canada.

Since then, the association has grown to include 46 members consisting of ETF providers, affiliates and portfolio managers – as well as one of Canada's roboadvisers Wealthbar, which joined in February.

Looking back on his term, Mr. Tiwari says major changes in the ETF industry include the rapid growth of providers and assets, the increase in investment flows moving into ETFs and regulatory changes such as transparency of fees and CRM2.

Story continues below advertisement

"In the two years at CETFA, we have stepped up our game on regulatory advocacy," Mr. Tiwari said in an interview. "In areas where we are able to be more engaged, we are doing so earlier in the process with regulators.

One major issue that remains on the table for the ETF industry is the limited access to the product for investors. Currently, investors can only access ETFs through a discount brokerage or a securities licensed adviser (including a robo-adviser platform).

The initiative to give investors more avenues to buy ETFs saw CETFA work closely with a number of industry groups including the Mutual Fund Dealer Association and the Federation of Mutual Fund Dealers. In 2015, the joint effort resulted in an announcement that mutual fund dealers would be able to provide mutual fund advisers access to an exchange to purchase ETFS for their clients through a partnership with custody and trade execution provider National Bank Correspondent Network (NBCN).

But for many mutual fund investment firms the solution has been a challenging one to implement and therefore has not yet been widely adopted.

A look at Why active investors are jumping on the exchange-traded fund bandwagon
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter