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Daniel Strauss & Frederic Viger, NBC
Daniel Strauss & Frederic Viger, NBC

Cross disciplinary strengths bring rewards


National Bank of Canada Financial Markets | Best Overall ETF Liquidity Provider/Market Maker in Canada | Best Market Maker/Authorised Participant – Equity ETFs in Canada | Best Market Maker/Authorised Participant – Fixed Income ETFs in Canada | Best Capital Markets Team in Canada | Best Institutional ETF Broker in Canada | Best Retail ETF Broker in Canada | Best ETF Research Provider in Canada

In this interview, firstly, Daniel Straus, Managing Director, ETFs & Financial Products Research, National Bank of Canada Financial Markets, explains why his firm’s research division is an important part of their award-winning team across the board, and then Frederic Viger, Managing Director, Co-Head of Institutional Sales ETFs – Equity Derivatives, adds his comments on the firm’s further wins.

What is the size and scale of your business at the moment?

Daniel Straus: “Our ETF research covers all Canadian and US ETFs. In Canada alone there are 40 providers representing assets of over CAD400 billion. I have the luxury of never having to touch real money as we only write research reports in an objective and neutral capacity and sit across a wall from the banking division.

What trends have you seen over the past year?

Daniel Straus: “Some of the lingering effects of the pandemic and the stimulus that followed are still top of mind for many investors who are concerned about protecting their portfolios from inflation so looking to infrastructure or commodities.

“The level of innovation and product development is kicking up a level; we’re seeing sophisticated buffer strategies, and we feel it reflects a client need for risk management in an uncertain future. We also have lightly leveraged ETFs in Canada too, which clients can use to achieve 125 per cent exposure in an ETF that has embedded cash leverage.”

What plans do you have for growing your business over the coming year?

Daniel Straus: “In terms of research, we publish frequently. A third of our activities is publishing reports, another third is client requests from advisers and portfolio managers and the rest is going out onto the road, developing relationships and fulfilling media requests and interviews.

Where do you see the ETF industry going in terms of products over the coming year?

Daniel Straus: Going forward, there is a real symbiosis between the ETF providers launching products and investor patterns which inspire providers to create new products.

Even cash or yield products are seeing a number of launches, as there has been a regulatory change on cash deposits in Canada. We expect this feedback loop between client demand and provider product innovation to continue and accelerate.

Why do you think you won this award?

Daniel Straus: Our success at National Bank comes from our cross disciplinary nature as it’s number one in market making and can also support an independent and objective research desk on its own which can nurture the growing and precious ETF industry.

Frederic Viger: For 20 years we have focused on building a comprehensive full-service ETF offering to support ETF issuers, advisors, retail investors, and institutional money managers. We are successfully accomplishing this through a relentless pursuit of superior technology and development of our talented personnel. As a result, we have maintained top share of secondary market ETF volume and we are the Designated Broker on more than any other market maker in Canada.

The awards reflect the cross-disciplinary collaborative culture at National Bank of Canada. We have retained the industry’s top experts including our team of technology specialists, as well as our nimble trade support and operations teams that have been able to adapt to the fast-changing regulatory environment. Our prime brokerage and retail structuring teams have also been instrumental in driving idea generation with issuers. These seven ETF Express awards further inspires us to help grow the ETF ecosystem in Canada. As the top ETF desk in the country, we seek to add value to all ETF market participants, and we do this with spirit of intellectual honesty and objectivity. The goal is always to help clients first.

To read the rest of the report please click here.

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