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As competition is getting increasingly fierce, the cost of ETFs is becoming lower and lower. An ETF provider announced that it is exiting the ETF market by selling its Canadian ETF subsidiary to another sponsor.

CI Financial Corp., the parent company of CI Investments which manages the CI First Asset Exchange-Traded Funds, will acquire WisdomTree’s Canada ETF business. Upon completion of the transaction, CI will add 14 TSX-listed ETFs with $958 million in assets (as of November 4, 2019) to its current ETF family. The WisdomTree Canada ETFs will be rebranded CI WisdomTree ETFs and WisdomTree will continue as the index provider for the WisdomTree Canada ETFs that currently track WisdomTree’s proprietary indexes. WisdomTree Canada also announced that it will be terminating WisdomTree U.S. High Dividend Index ETF on or about January 31, 2020.

The race to lower fees continues as investors are more aware of the effect of fees on their returns. Vanguard cut the management fee on one of its largest equity ETFs, the Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap ex Canada Index ETF (“VXC”), by five basis points from 0.25% to 0.20%. In addition, Vanguard has also reduced the total cost of ownership with the VXC by simplifying the structure to remove a second layer of taxation with a lower withholding rate.

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Horizons ETFs also announced that it lowered the management fees on three of its technology sector ETFs and its ESG ETF by up to 23 basis points.

Fee reduction

TICKERNAMECURRENT MGT. FEENEW MGT. FEE
VXC-TVanguard FTSE Global All Cap ex Canada Index ETF0.25%0.20%
ETHI-THorizons Global Sustainability Leaders Index ETF0.65%0.45%
BKCH-THorizons Blockchain Technology & Hardware ETF0.65%0.45%
FOUR-THorizons Industry 4.0 Index ETF0.65%0.45%
RBOT-THorizons Robotics and Automation Index ETF0.68%0.45%

In new launches, IA Clarington introduced Active ETF Series for three additional mandates, the IA Clarington Floating Rate Income Fund (“IFRF”), IA Clarington Global Allocation Fund (“IGAF”) and IA Clarington Strategic Income Fund (“ISIF”). Active ETF Series provide access to the same strategies, exposures and portfolio managers as iA Clarington’s standard mutual fund series, but in an investment that trades like a stock.

IFRF seeks to generate a stream of current monthly income by investing primarily in senior floating rate loans, other floating rate securities and debt obligations of investment grade and non-investment grade North American and global corporate issuers.

IGAF combines a concentrated global equity portfolio with a high conviction U.S. and global fixed income allocation. Security selection is driven by bottom-up fundamental research. Managers look for valuation disparity in the market place to position the portfolio where the greatest risk/reward opportunities lie, which typically runs counter to macro trends.

ISIF seeks to provide a consistent stream of income and capital appreciation by investing primarily in Canadian equity and fixed income investments. The fund may invest up to 49% of its assets in foreign securities.

October ETF launches

TICKERNAMEASSET CLASSINCEPTION DATEMGT. FEE
NUBF-TNBI Unconstrained Fixed Income ETFFixed Income10/18/20190.75%
QEBL-TMackenzie Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond Index ETFFixed Income10/24/20190.45%
IFRF-TIA Clarington Floating Rate Income Fund (ETF Series)Fixed Income11/4/20190.70%
IGAF-TIA Clarington Global Allocation Fund (ETF Series)Multi-Asset11/4/20190.85%
ISIF-TIA Clarington Strategic Income Fund (ETF Series)Multi-Asset11/4/20190.70%
XUS-U-TiShares Core S&P 500 Index ETFEquity10/15/20190.09%
XEF-U-TiShares Core MSCI EAFE IMI Index ETFEquity10/15/20190.20%
XUU-U-TiShares Core S&P U.S. Total Market Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.07%
XEC-U-TiShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets IMI Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.25%
XAW-U-TiShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.20%
XDU-U-TiShares Core MSCI US Quality Dividend Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.14%
XDG-U-TiShares Core MSCI Global Quality Dividend Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.20%
XMC-U-TiShares S&P U.S. Mid-Cap Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.15%
XMU-U-TiShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.30%
XFS-U-TiShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Index ETFEquity10/28/20190.45%

October ETF terminations

TICKERNAMEASSET CLASSTERMINATION DATEAUMMGT. FEE
HID-TWisdomTree U.S. High Dividend Index ETF (Hedged Units)Equity1/31/2020$3.236 M0.38%
HID-B-TWisdomTree U.S. High Dividend Index ETF (Unhedged Units)Equity1/31/2020$1.108 M0.35%

Source: Inovestor

Kimberly Yip Woon Sun is an ETF analyst at Inovestor Inc.

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