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Interview with Lillian Ferndriger of BMO GAM: Retail Investment Trends in Canada

Join us for an insightful conversation between LockDocs CEO Anne Marie Stetler and Lillian Ferndriger, Director of Alternatives Distribution at BMO Asset Management. They discuss some of the trends Lillian is seeing in BMO's client base in regards to alternative assets, with some excellent suggestions for fund managers interested in finding ways to access retail capital in Canada. You can see the key takeaways below or click to watch the video interview its entirety.

Key Takeaways

Investor interest in alternatives is increasing.
The firm has recently launched several new products to meet client demand. Earlier this year they announced a partnership with Georgian for a tech focused offering and just last week announced the launch of BMO Partner Group Private Markets Fund, a global offering spanning private equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure.

Yield never goes out of style.
There is significant client interest in yielding products including private credit, real estate and infrastructure.

Liquidity still rules.
While there is more openness to closed-end funds, products with liquidity are still an easier sell with financial advisors and investors alike. In addition, the risk rating methodology used by the vast majority of dealers in Canada presents a huge challenge for illiquid products due to the high risk rating.

In order to work with the major Canadian wealth managers, Lillian offered some great insights:

1. Operational capabilities are critical and firms with scale have a distinct advantage. Also, get ready for significant operational due diligence.

2. Partnerships can be the key to success. Smaller firms may want to consider partnering with a larger firm that has the distribution capability to sell product into their channel, or find ways to work with mutual fund managers that are willing to make an allocation.

3. Use technology to make it easier for financial advisors to deploy capital.

4. Advisor education and awareness is key. Once on the shelf, significant effort is still required to educate advisors about the merits of the strategy.