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Corinne Belanger, NBI
Corinne Belanger, NBI

NBI keeps it active


National Bank Investments | Best ESG Equity ETF Issuer ($1bn+) | Best Active ETF Issuer ($1bn-$5bn) | Best International Equity ETF Issuer ($100m-$1bn) | Best Canadian Equity ETF Issuer ($1bn-$5bn)

Corinne Belanger, Vice-President, Investment Solution and Analytics, National Bank Investments, answers the questions, celebrating the firm’s wins in the awards.

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

With over CAD12 billion in AUM, National Bank Investments’ (NBI) 15 ETFs provide diverse strategies for fixed income, equity, alternative and sustainable investments, focusing on active management. We recently celebrated five years since launching our first suite of ETFs in 2019. Our success stems from our distinctive strategies that align with NBI’s active management and open architecture principles, as well as the growing adoption of active management ETFs by investors and advisers.

Further to our ETF business, NBI manages more than CAD86 billion in AUM with a strong line-up of 130 investment strategies (mutual funds, ETFs, private funds) managed by 51 elite portfolio management firms.

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

In the coming year, the ETF industry is set for continued innovation and expansion, driven by evolving investor preferences, regulatory developments, and market trends. Here are some key directions we anticipate for ETF products:

• Active Management: The trend of actively managed ETFs is likely to persist, and we may even see faster growth with more asset managers offering actively managed ETFs in the US, really altering the perception that ETFs are passive index-tracking solutions. Active management, with the ability and skills to deal with the challenges of current market cycles, should have a strategic edge in optimising return while managing downside risk.

• Fixed Income: Fixed income ETFs are likely to see continued growth, driven by investor demands for diversified exposure to fixed income markets, income generation, and liquidity. Actively managed fixed income ETFs should be able to demonstrate their value proposition with the flexibility to adjust the portfolio duration, credit quality, sector allocation and security selection in response to changing market conditions.

• Liquid Alternatives: Interest in liquid alternatives is growing as investors seek to diversify their portfolios and enhance risk-adjusted returns. Liquid alternatives provide simple and efficient access to asset classes typically characterised by illiquidity, locked-in contracts, and high minimums. These ETFs come in various approaches and strategies, making it crucial for investors and advisors to understand the specific focus and strategies employed.

• Asset Allocation: Asset Allocation ETFs provide a simple way to access a diversified portfolio in a single investment solution. This offers simplicity and convenience for investors seeking a balanced approach to portfolio construction.

• ESG and Sustainable Investing: ESG integration is becoming increasingly implicit in the management approach as part of risks and opportunities assessment. We think that we are going to see further innovation in the ESG ETF landscape, mainly thematic approaches and impact investing.

How will your firm be able to support them?

We are committed to continuously innovating and enhancing our product offerings to stay ahead of market trends and meet evolving investor demands. As the leading retail open architecture provider in Canada, we have access to great strategies managed by top-tier firms that deliver on NBI’s value proposition.

To read the rest of the report please click here.

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