As part of New Frontier, Natixis’ strategic plan, Natixis Global Asset Management continues to grow its global presence by focusing on key marketplaces.
One such location is America’s sprawling neighbor to the north, Canada, which, as a nation, is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. Abe Goenka, CEO for Natixis Global Asset Management – Canada, spent a few minutes with us to talk about this growing market and how his team are uncovering opportunities.
Why is Canada important to Natixis?
Canada is one of the world's largest retail markets with more than $1 trillion in long-term mutual fund assets, which makes it a highly desirable place to conduct business. That's why it made sense when Natixis entered the Canadian retail marketplace in January 2015 when it acquired Toronto-based asset manager NexGen Financial.
The Canadian market is largely similar to the U.S. However, unlike the U.S., banks play a much larger role. As a result, it's an interesting dynamic being an independent asset manager in Canada, where we compete but also partner with all the major banks to grow our business.
Why the NexGen acquisition?
NexGen has been part of Natixis' multi-affiliate business model since January 2015.
Under the old NexGen name, the firm was recognized for offering unique, tax-efficient wealth management strategies, and those capabilities still exist today. In addition, the firm distributes through more than 1,600 financial advisors and more than 100 dealers throughout Canada.
However, being under the Natixis umbrella has clearly helped resource our business. NexGen's assets under management were $974 million (CAD) when it was acquired by Natixis. As of July 10 of this year, the Canadian business has grown to nearly $2 billion (CAD, including serviced assets). Three years ago, we had approximately 20 employees, and now, we have almost 40. This is all reflective of the continued growth of the business in Canada.
What are you doing to bring the business forward?
We've enjoyed a variety of highlights since joining the Natixis family. Following the acquisition of NexGen by Natixis, we unveiled four Natixis-affiliated funds to the Canadian marketplace in September 2015 – Gateway Low Volatility U.S. Equity Fund, Loomis Sayles Strategic Monthly Income Fund, Oakmark Natixis Class, and the Oakmark International Natixis Class). Since then, we have launched two additional Loomis Sayles funds.
Roughly a year ago, we held our first-ever Durable Portfolio Construction Symposium in Canada, with more than 100 advisors in attendance, and last fall we added approximately $800 million CAD of institutional serviced assets across multiple affiliates.
This year we have continued to build momentum, starting in April when we unveiled our Portfolio Research & Consulting Group's capabilities, which has resulted in nearly 175 requests for portfolio analytics and evaluations. This June was our best mutual fund gross and net sales month since the acquisition as the firm has now been fully branded under the Natixis umbrella. This includes our new Natixis Canada web site: www.NGAM.Natixis.ca.
There's a lot of great things going on for us now. What has me most excited, is seeing everyone in the company motivated and working hard toward a common goal of growing the business in Canada.