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BMO Asset Management Led Canadian ETF Industry in Growth in 2011

- BMO accounted for almost half of all Canadian ETF growth in 2011

- BMO ETFs also ranked #1 in customer loyalty

- Success attributed to products that responded to investor needs during volatile times

- Key drivers included income focused and low volatility ETFs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 7, 2012) - BMO Asset Management (BMO AM) today announced that its Exchanged Traded Fund (ETF)* business led the Canadian ETF industry in growth in 2011, accounting for $2.3 billion CDN or 49 per cent of the growth of assets under management.**

Further, BMO ETFs, currently a suite of 44 funds, more than doubled in size, increasing from $1.5 billion to $3.8 billion in assets under management in 2011.

"2011 was a tremendous year for us. Much of our success stemmed from our ability to anticipate the specific needs of investors," said Rajiv Silgardo, Co-CEO, BMO Global Asset Management. "Canadians were looking for innovative products that offered security and stability during volatile times, while also searching for yield in a low interest rate environment. We were able to respond with the right mix of offerings."

BMO AM also announced that its commitment to customer satisfaction in the ETF space resulted in it being ranked number one in customer loyalty in the Credo Research 'February 2012 Loyalty Ranking Survey' of 33 financial services firms.

Much of BMO AM's growth and success in 2011 can be attributed to its ability to provide innovative ETFs which addressed the requirements of Canadian investors. For example:

  • BMO AM was the first ETF provider to bring covered call strategies to Canada, offering an income-focused strategy that enhances yield and decreases risk.
  • BMO AM was the first to introduce a Canadian utilities ETF (BMO Equal Weight Utilities Index ETF), which delivers a high-yield, defensive sector.
  • BMO Low Volatility Canadian Equity ETF provides more risk-averse investors with exposure to a risk weighted portfolio of lower-volatility Canadian stocks.
  • BMO Aggregate Bond ETF offers low cost exposure to Canadian investment grade fixed income - a huge advantage in a low yield environment where fees come under greater scrutiny.

Mr. Silgardo commented that BMO AM's success in the Canadian ETF market would not have been achieved without having an experienced and dedicated team in place and the strength and stability of the BMO brand. Looking forward, Mr. Silgardo anticipated that BMO AM will continue to be an innovation leader in the ETF space and noted that BMO AM's ETF business grew by $500 million in net new assets in January 2012 alone.

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*BMO ETFs are managed and administered by BMO Asset Management Inc., an investment fund manager and portfolio manager and a separate legal entity from Bank of Montreal.

Commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with investments in exchange traded funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. The funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

**Calculations based on Bloomberg data

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $477 billion as at October 31, 2011, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For further information:
Media contacts:
Amanda Robinson, Toronto

Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal

Laurie Grant, Vancouver