RBC Global Asset Management and BlackRock Canada form strategic alliance for Canadian ETF market


RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM Inc) and BlackRock Asset Management Canada (BlackRock Canada) have formed a strategic alliance aimed at delivering what the companies says will be the most comprehensive ETF offering in the Canadian marketplace.

The ETF families offered in Canada by BlackRock Canada and RBC GAM Inc are being brought together under one new brand – RBC iShares. Combined, this USD60 billion solution suite represents Canada's largest and most comprehensive ETF offering, including index, factor, quantitative and active strategies. The RBC iShares suite includes a total of 150 ETFs: 106 high-quality, liquid, cost-competitive index solutions managed by BlackRock Canada, and 44 index, smart beta and actively managed solutions managed by RBC GAM Inc.
 
"This alliance is a win for Canadian investors and reflects our unwavering focus on the interests of clients," says Damon Williams, CEO of RBC Global Asset Management. "Canadian investors deserve a level of choice, quality and cost competitiveness that is second to none – and that is what RBC iShares delivers. This exciting step forward in the ETF space complements our continued focus on expanding our industry-leading Canadian mutual fund business."
 
There is no change to the names or ticker symbols of RBC ETFs or BlackRock Canada's iShares ETFs as a result of the alliance. Canadian investors and advisors will be able to access RBC iShares ETFs through the channels they know and trust, including through full-service advisors, discount brokerages, and robo-advice platforms.
 
"Around the world, iShares is known for the breadth of its ETF offerings, technology operating expertise, and investor education, while RBC Global Asset Management is the leader in Canadian mutual funds and has built a leading franchise developing innovative solutions," says Martin Small, BlackRock's Head of US & Canada iShares. "Our aspiration is to champion a new standard for the Canadian ETF market by providing the best solutions and service and help grow the industry through innovative tools and technology for existing and new managers."
 
Pat Chiefalo, Head of iShares Canada, adds: "This transformational ETF alliance is dedicated to delivering to Canadian investors the ETF products they trust, the world class investment talent they want, and the service they deserve."
 
RBC GAM Inc and BlackRock Canada will offer a unified distribution support and service model for RBC iShares in support of investors and advisors, and will work together to jointly develop new and innovative strategies to further expand and refine the solution set. The two firms remain separate legal entities. They will continue to maintain separate fund management and portfolio advisory responsibilities for their specific core capabilities, drawing on both firms' complementary strengths and expertise.
 
Specialised services will also be provided to third-party discretionary portfolio managers, advisors and institutions, including capital markets support, portfolio construction resources, and dedicated ETF strategists.
 
Leveraging the opportunities offered by the strategic alliance, RBC GAM announced changes to a number of RBC index ETFs and index mutual funds. These changes are designed to serve the best interests of investors by capturing economies of scale and simplifying the RBC iShares ETF lineup. The changes to RBC ETFs offer greater efficiency and liquidity, as well as slightly lower management fees in some cases. The proposed changes are subject to regulatory and/or unitholder approval.
 
Under the alliance framework, RBC GAM Inc. and BlackRock Canada will work together to pursue further opportunities to enhance the RBC iShares suite over time.

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