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Horizons ETFs’ Howard Atkinson to retire


Howard Atkinson, President of Horizons ETFs, is to retire on 31 December, 2015 after almost a decade of service to the firm.

Atkinson joined Horizons ETFs in 2006 as one of its founding principals and has been responsible for the distribution and marketing activities of the firm since that time. Over the course of his 28-year career, he has also been a prolific industry commentator and advocate, often appearing in the national news media and other public forums to discuss ETF-related issues.

"Howard Atkinson has not only been the face of Horizons ETFs for the last decade, but in many ways has also been the face of the Canadian ETF industry," says Steven Hawkins, Co-CEO of Horizons ETFs. "Howard joined Horizons ETFs when it was just a startup and has been vital to building our business to become one of Canada's largest ETF providers. We thank Howard for his dedication to Horizons ETFs and wish him a wonderful retirement."

Atkinson originally joined Horizons ETFs as Executive Vice-President in October 2006. Prior to that, Atkinson was head of business development for the exchange traded products business at Barclays Global Investors Canada Ltd., now iShares; he has also held positions with a national investment dealer and major mutual fund companies. He is a past President of the Toronto CFA Society's board of directors and is a member of the S&P/TSX Canada Index Advisory Panel. Atkinson also represented Horizons ETFs as one of the three founding members of the Canadian ETF Association ("CETFA") and was elected its inaugural chair in 2011, a position he held until May of 2015.

Under Atkinson's watch, three of CETFA's major initiatives — increasing CETFA membership, enabling MFDA advisors to access ETFs and having Canadian broker/dealers report ETF holdings to ETF manufacturers — have been, or are close to being, achieved.

Atkinson is also the author of four books including: "The New Investment Frontier III: A Guide to Exchange Traded Funds for Canadians" (Insomniac Press, 2005), the first edition of which, when published in 2001, was the first personal finance book dedicated solely to ETFs.  He also published "Les Fonds Négociés en Bourse: Un outil de placement novateur pour l'investisseur avisé" (Transcontinental, 2003). He has been a contributing writer and industry commentator in many major Canadian newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, and Ottawa Citizen. Howard is a regular guest on BNN and has appeared several times on CNBC Europe and Global TV. In February 2010, he was recognized by ACTIF, Quebec's premier financial education co-operative, as the Top Educator for his efforts to foster financial literacy among Canadians. 

"I'm in my 29th year of investment management and I even bought the first ETF listed in Canada for my client accounts back in the early 1990s. My career has been extremely exciting and fulfilling, having spent the bulk of it championing this simple product structure – the ETF — a game changer that has revolutionised the global investment landscape. With ETFs, investors of all levels have the ability to build low-cost, transparent, and ultimately better portfolios," said Atkinson. 

Atkinson will spend the next two months with Horizons ETFs' senior management team working through an orderly transition of his day-to-day responsibilities.

"Howard has built and mentored an exceptional sales and marketing team here at the firm and leaves behind a lasting legacy. We are confident that the foundations Howard has built will allow Horizons ETFs to continue its growth and success,” says Hawkins. 

Atkinson adds: "I couldn't be more proud of the evolution of Horizons ETFs, from its "bull and bear" roots to achieving three unique, award-winning, product line-ups of index, actively managed and leveraged ETFs.  Horizons ETFs is well positioned to continue leading in ETF innovation."   

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