ETF 2011 Toronto

Pat Bolland
Senior Counsel, Veritas Communications
Richard Jackson
Director & Senior Fellow, CSIS Global Aging Initiative
Howard J. Atkinson
President, Horizons Exchange Traded Funds
Oliver McMahon
Director, Head of Product iShares Canada, BlackRock Asset Management

Som Seif
President and CEO, Claymore Investments Inc.
Warren Jestin
Chief Economist, Scotiabank
Jonathan Lemco
Principal and Senior Analyst, Vanguard

 

Highlights From ETF Toronto 2011

More than 400 attendees energized the conference centre at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto on May 10 and 11, for the second annual Exchange Traded Forum. The initiative was created and launched by Radius Financial Education (RFE) to enhance the education and communication of exchange traded products. The target audience was investment professionals looking to further their knowledge in this rapidly expanding and changing market. The forum brings together North America’s leading thinkers from academia, journalism, regulatory bodies and investment firms, to freely exchange ideas and opinions to benefit investment professionals and ultimately their clients.

The panel discussions, presented in a comfortable, easy-chair format, provided a wealth of information, lively discussions and thought-provoking viewpoints.

As one advisor attending the forum aptly said, “You can tell by the turnout just how much interest there is in this area.”

A special thanks goes to our corporate partners, including iShares, BMO Financial Group, Horizons ETFs, Vanguard, CIBC Mellon, Claymore ETFs, National Bank Financial, Barclays Capital, CanadaClaims Management, S&P Indices, TMX Group, Investment Executive and KPMG.

The agenda began with opening remarks from moderator Pat Bolland, Senior Counsel, Veritas Communications. Pat, formerly from BNN, drew on his engaging and astute skills, stimulating additional questions and discussions during the two-day event.

Kick-starting the agenda, Trevor Cummings, Vice President, iShares, Blackrock Asset Management Canada, shared his hands-on insights on ETF: State of the Nations. Citing the “exponential growth taking place in ETFs today,” totalling $40 billion in assets in Canada, he gave a clear and compelling perspective on the increasing popularity and advantages of these products.

During the panel discussion on Global Economic Update & Forecast for 2012, Warren Jestin, Chief Economist, Scotia Capital, explored the broad and changing global landscape on the road to recovery. “Emerging markets are underpinning the recovery and increasingly driving financial market trends and commodity markets.” Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC World Markets, sees no quick recovery in the U.S. housing market – but “there’s been a renaissance in the manufacturing sector in the U.S. – and markets will continue to expand in China and emerging markets.”

The panel discussion on Index Investing addressed the many aspects and choices available today and their role in portfolios. The many benefits included cost-efficiency and transparency, but “all ETFs are not equal,” says Som Seif, President and CEO, Claymore Investments. With just shy of 200 ETFs in Canada now, Oliver McMahon, Director, Head of Product iShares Canada, BlackRock Asset Management, stressed, “it’s key to understand the product that you’re investing in.” It’s important to factor in liquidity and weightings, such as large caps vs. small caps, says David Blitzer, Ph.D., Managing Director and Chairman of the S&P Index Committee, S&P Indices.

 

Discussions from Top Practitioners on how to use ETFs as a practitioner, emphasized choosing the right ETF product to maximize a portfolio and fit the risk tolerance of clients. Long-term performance entails exposure to asset classes, rebalancing, and choosing a selective number of ETFs. “Advisor’s must do their due diligence for clients, to understand and know what’s in the ETF,” says Mark Yamada, President & CEO, PUR Investing.

Jaime Purvis, Executive Vice President, Horizons Exchange Trade Funds, gave a comprehensive presentation on Advanced ETF Strategies. Along with ways to use leveraged and inverse products, Jaime spoke on what could be the “next evolution in ETF investing” – active management – which is largely in the U.S. to date.

A duo panel discussion on Exchange Traded Portfolio Construction expanded on the importance of asset allocation and diversification to protect capital. Pat Chiefalo, Director, Derivatives & Structured Products, National Bank Financial Markets, and Ioulia Tretiakova, Director of Quantitative Strategies, PUR Investing, provided valuable insights and examples of ways to create efficient, cost-efficient, client-focused portfolios.

 

The panel discussion, Millions of Dollars are Unclaimed from Securities – Class Action Settlements by Institutional Investors!!! was presented by Jonathane Ricci, Barrister, Solicitor & Foreign Legal Consultant and Paul Battaglia, Managing Director, both with Canada Claims Management. Canadian securities class actions now represent approximately $15.9 billion in outstanding claims, and each year millions of dollars are unclaimed. The discussion included why advisors do not and should not typically perform class action claim filing services, and whether legislation is the answer.

The presentation, Beyond our Borders – What in the World is Going On? held the audience’s full attention. Alex Jurshevski, founder, Recovery Partners, emphasized the need for a “major fiscal retooling in the U.S. – or there will be a crash,” while considering the Canadian dollar as having a safe haven. Alex also provided a cautionary perspective on investing in China.

When it comes to ETFs: Are They Being used Effectively in a Portfolio, five panellists shared their views on the many choices and factors that go into building an effective portfolio strategy for clients, that starts with asset allocation.

On Evolutions and Revolutions in Canada’s Capital Markets, Kevan Cowan, President, TSX Markets and Group Head of Equities, offered his view on the pace of change in Canada “at the speed of revolution.” On the issue of consolidation, that “is shaping the industry,” and the proposed UK merge, “we’re convinced that pooling our assets will maximize liquidity and opportunities.” The discussion sparked lively audience participation.

We finished day one with an animated networking reception that brought together peers and friends after a stimulating day of learning.

Day two proved as action packed and informative. The panel discussion on the Risks & Regulatory Impact on ETPs, offered positive viewpoints on the regulatory standards in Canada, but also shared concerns about the growing number of ETFs that has created some confusion. Collectively, the participants stressed the need for adequate education by both advisors and investors on the products that they’re buying.

The panel discussion on Trading Execution and standards, provided insightful information on trading ETFs, discussing factors such as liquidity and pricing efficiency. Andrew McOrmond, Managing Director, WallachBeth Capital LLC, captivated the audience by going “live to Scotty” at a U.S. trading desk, to illustrate an ETF trade execution.

The Fixed Income panel of four participants discussed the broad scope of ETF choices across the bond spectrum, along with highlighting the transparency aspect and the risk management factor of essentially ‘buying a basket of bonds.’

Howard Atkinson, CFA, President, Horizons Exchange Traded Funds, discussed What’s in Your ETF and investment strategies of ETFs “as a portfolio management tool and good long-term vehicle.”

Jonathan Lemco, Ph.D., Principal and Senior Analyst, Vanguard, provided insightful presentation slides on Analyzing Global Developments for Investors. Sharing many macro views, Jonathan “is not bearish on the U.S.,” thinks that emerging markets, lead by Asia, are driving global growth, and is uncertain about the future for the euro zone.


The sometimes complex world of Commodities Through ETPs was discussed by Jeffrey Logan, Vice President and Director, Claymore Investments, and Tim Simard, Managing Director, National Bank Financial Markets. Using ETFs as a strategy in commodities offers diversification, a good hedge against inflation, and risk reduction – but understand what you invest in!

Our keynote speaker, Richard Jackson, Director & Senior Fellow, CSIS Global Aging Initiative, discussed How Global Aging will Reshape the Economy and Financial Markets. Richard gave a compelling glimpse into the “unprecedented era of hyper aging,” where 27% of the population in Canada in 2050 will be age 65 plus, and discussed the fiscal challenges of “greying means paying.” Among his future forecasts, living standards may slow as the rates of saving and investment decline, while manufacturing and services will accelerate and shift to the needs of the “new silver demographics.”

The last speaker of the day, Neil Bearse, Manager, Web-based Marketing, Queen’s School of Business, captivated the audience with Beyond Friends and Fans: Doing Business on the Social Web. Consider that at least once per month, 57% of online Canadians participate, either reviewing services or contributing. Using lively video examples, Neil illustrated the power of online sites as marketing tools. When it comes to social media links and the financial industry, “this is a customer services tool, not just a social media tool, so get to know the tools available. Your web site is your restaurant.”

Wrapping up day two, Radius Financial Education held a draw for a 47-inch LCD television that was won by Laszlo Kramer.

 

RFE would like to thank our speakers and sponsors for their invaluable contribution in providing a truly educational event. We would also like to thank everyone who completed an evaluation form. Those comments are essential for planning our upcoming events.


 

Radius Financial Education
20 Toronto Street, Suite 820 Toronto, ON M5C 2B8

P: 416-306-0151 F: 416-848-0278
E:
info@radiusfinancialeducation.com



 
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Sponsor and Speaking Opportunities and Press Inquiries
If you're interested in sponsorship and speaking opportunities, or if you are a member of the media interested in attending the event please contact:

Sara Kasuji
kasuji@radiusfinancialeducation.com

T: 416.306.0151

General Questions

If you have a general question about the Forum please contact:
info@exchangetradedforum.com