Lisa Lake Langley, CEO, Emerge Canada Inc., on Courage, Disruption and the Bet on Innovation

Lisa Lake Langley, CEO/Founder of Emerge Canada Inc. (sponsor of Emerge ARK ETFs) joins us on Insight is Capital. We talk about her life's work, receiving the industry's CEO of the Year Award, nomination for ETF Champion of the Year (we get into why), and the realization that Emerge Canada Inc. is Canada's first female-owned fund company. Langley shares some early stories about when she first met and became friends with the Emerge ARK ETFs sub-advisor, Cathie Wood of ARK Invest. Don't miss this.

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[00:00:00] Pierre Daillie: Hello and welcome. This is the Insight is Capital Podcast. I’m Pierre Daillie Managing Editor at My special guest is Lisa Langley, CEO of Emerge, Canada, Inc. sponsor of the thematic and disruptive Emerge ARK ETFs sub-advised by ARK Investments.

[00:00:21] Announcement/Disclaimer: This is the Insight is Capital Podcast.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the individual guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of adviser, or of our guests.

This broadcast is meant to be for informational purposes. Only nothing discussed in this. That’s intended to be considered as advice,

[00:00:39] Pierre Daillie: Lisa Lake Langley. Welcome to the show. It’s really great to have you.

[00:00:42] Lisa Langley: Thank you, Pierre. It’s very nice to be here.

[00:00:46] Pierre Daillie: So Lisa, before we get to talking, congratulations on winning the industry’s CEO of The Year award, and also on being nominated ETF Champion of the Year.

And last but not least having the high distinction of being Canada’s first female fund company owner as well. Wow. What’s that like?

[00:01:09] Lisa Langley: Thank you. I have to say that, I didn’t know. I had that distinction and I’m quite honored, that my team works so hard that we were able to. To get some recognition in our second year of existence.

I would say that’s a very difficult thing to do and it’s truly is a team victory. And so I’m so inspired by that recognition for them at, as far as being the only, and the first female fund company owner it be. I am just absolutely thrilled that there is one. Now I will tell you honestly, and truly, I didn’t know that I was the first and I didn’t know that I was the only and so, uh, I think it speaks to some of the challenges of setting up a company.

Some of the obstacles you have to have capital, you have to have a business vision and a whole bunch of things. I think we, we should work together and you know, hopefully, next year we’ll provide, as we really recover from the pandemic, some opportunities to help other women explore that and really understand that it’s achievable because it is achievable.

I just think it looks like an insurmountable wall perhaps. And it’s definitely achievable and I hope that there are others, yeah. Well,

[00:02:38] Pierre Daillie: know, right on and keep on, keep on doing what you’re doing because it’s amazing. I think women watching this, I hope they’re inspired by you to, to get into this business because this business definitely needs more women.

[00:02:55] Lisa Langley: Without a doubt!

I think we need anyone needs a business need, right? Solving for an unmet business need. Then you have an opportunity and there was a whole, we saw a whole and I still think it’s there. I think it’s there, we see other holes. And so I think if you are, you’re truly meeting a business need and you’re doing something truly different with added value and you can communicate that thing.

You have a real, you have a real shot at helping others build their business by also identifying with that. You know, I believe a lot in our purpose and our mission. The fact that, it’s led, majority owned by a woman you know, we were just doing what we needed to do, to make ETFs in Canada.

And I’m just so thrilled. I love the Canadian marketplace. It’s fantastic to be back and running a firm in Toronto. We absolutely love what we’re doing. And so we’re very energized by the mission. And, it’s a, it’s a different community. It’s the U S it’s much more dispersed, uh, you still have to have a very finite mission.

I always believe that working small is usually your greatest strength. And in Canada there, it’s a fast innovative marketplace and you really need to be. So I think where we’re headed in a good direction and certainly have much more shoulder to the wheel. But I think we can do it.

[00:04:34] Pierre Daillie: Lots of work to be done.

Lisa, to kick things off, let’s start by talking about your career. Tell us about the arc of your career. When and where did you start? Where did you go from there? Tell us everything.

[00:04:49] Lisa Langley: Oh, that’s a big, that’s a big thing. Well, I was very fortunate to have a very business minded father. I know many people in the industry are, and there’s lots of family teams.

Uh, in great spirit and great recognition. And my father was a very good advisor. He was an investment advisor. And so I grew up with clients at the kitchen table clients at the dinner table. And so supporting advisors and being in the investment industry is something. I feel like I’ve been in my life.

And so that, has given me tremendous love of industry. And I think if you have a love of industry, a lot of great things can come from that. And then my mother also was in business. And so I’ve had some fantastic mentors in my life that just said the only limitations we have are those that we give ourselves.

And as long as we pursue what we believe, we have our best, how we can best apply our. Then it’s really, all you really need behind that is courage and belief in yourself and attracting, those other people to work with you. Uh, I’ve been very fortunate at that early and, uh, they inspired, a strong, educational, philosophy as well, which is a critically important and I’ll give great kudos to Canada’s, Kellogg Schulich executive MBA pro.

I, uh, did completed that I had started my MBA early in my career and children and, uh, other things took away from me finishing that to my great blessing young, no regrets and then an opportunity to pursue that later in my career. Um, early career, a mutual fund company in the us, and then a later career had an opportunity to come to Canada.

I married a Canadian. And then had wonderful opportunity to learn the banking system. And so one of the main banks in Canada, I rose through the ranks over a decade and then went to work for an independent firm where we established a separately managed accounts company that really, flourished, very quickly because it was the first of its client, an independent platform before.

And then, uh, really had a fantastic opportunity to work at the Ida. Then I rock now worked out a non-compete clause there and they created a wonderful opportunity for me to complete my executive MBA at Kellogg Schulich which was a wonderful global learning. And throughout that I was recruited to work in Scotland.

For a period of time, it had a great opportunity to learn more about the global financial services landscape and really get my hands dirty in the UK and Hong Kong and things like that. Uh, that was a great experience. And then I had an opportunity to come back and join a wonderful investment manager in New York that had very special, opportunities.

And had an opportunity to actually own a portion of that from, and then use that as my launch off for emerge. So emerge started in the U S January, 2016. And you know, I had owned little pieces of this and shares of that and had incentives here and there. And finally, I guess that age 52 at that time I said I’d rally really?

Just like to see if I can take it all. And so we’ve started very humbly. In January of 2016, my children helped us move our kitchen furniture into, uh, the emerge premises and said, why are we taking our furniture into the office? He said, so we will have somewhere to sit. And so we started the started very humble.

And have just worked ever so hard, but made smart moves. And been, was very blessed in 2018 to take on a great partner but early in 2016 as, so I had my first client jumped off with my first client at the start emerge and my second client and came very quickly. And that was Kathy would have. I had been known Kathy before, and actually she was one of the inspirations because if I knew I went independently, I could perhaps help arc with distribution and some of the things that they were working on in the U S and so that started a long, you relationship, mentorship, business relationship that has just brought tremendous learning to myself and into my team.

Just seeing her incredible courage and stamina against all types of things. This industry can be exciting when you do something fantastic. It can also be punishing when you do something different. It can, you look at the situation she has now, right? One of the most famous investors in the world, and, some people are just trying to get in her social media feed by taking big hedge positioning.

It’s you know, so I was very, very, and continue to be, absolutely a target, but in admiration of, her courage and leadership and ability to strike out against the tide. And I think that’s something that, you know, I take to heart all the time. You have to really first believe in exactly what you’re doing.

And as long as you can speak your truth, then you have a very strong shot of being able to just, create a company over there in that corner because you believe, and you have the will to see it through I’ve been blessed with great clients and great partners and you know, we’re planning on taking it all the way, uh, we’re going to ring a bell, maybe we’ll do it on both sides of the border, but.

I hope that emerge now sees that, that

[00:11:01] Pierre Daillie: dream. Wonderful. So you’ve got quite a, as a globe trotting executive, you’ve got quite a world view of financial markets Canada, the U S the UK, and I’m guessing Europe as well, having been that way. And and then, and then from there you came back to Western New York Buffalo of all places.

So I’m curious why Buffalo. You know, w is that because of the proximity to Canada or was, that was,

[00:11:33] Lisa Langley: yeah. Now it’s really turned out to, to be just the most perfect location for a variety of things. The money manager that I mentioned that hired me actually to be the partner in NCO actually was staying until investment management here in Buffalo, New York at that time.

And I don’t mind telling this story because. I had several good friends and mentors in senior institutions at other organizations call me and say, come on, you’ve gotta be kidding me, Buffalo, New York. You’re going to kill your career. You can’t do that. You can’t work there, you can’t live there.

Like what are you doing? Why are you doing that thing? And I have to really give Santos so much credit because Edwin M Johnston the third, who’s the founder of that organization. Who N my first client said for God’s sakes, if Warren buffet can do it in Omaha, Nebraska, I can do it here in Buffalo, New York.

And he, you the Boston college and Yale, and worked in New York city and had worked in London in a very global background as. And I said for God’s sakes, if he can do it, and all, all follow him and learn from him here. And then I saw the opportunity for really the same thing, a fantastic location, low cost of living an hour and a half from Toronto pre pandemic.

There was a great airline cut flight GTA. So it takes me 12 minutes to get over the lake. And I hope they come back into business. And I’m 45 minutes from New York city on jobs. So I just found that it really enabled me to get around very quickly, very easily, very cost-effectively have a very cost efficient head office, which is where I am right now.

We’ve been here through the entire pandemic and I’m so close to Canada. And when, just last week I was in Toronto and then next week I’ll be in Toronto. So it’s very easy for me to move back and forth. See the businesses grow on both sides of the border. Um, I have to say it’s really an ideal location.

And at any of the misgivings that you’ve ever heard are not true. I didn’t know it, but.

[00:13:58] Pierre Daillie: Hey, you know what I, uh, you as a, as an entrepreneur, it just, it makes total sense to especially when you’re starting a business from scratch as you did when you came. Maybe not completely from scratch because you had relationships, obviously that you could lean on.

But. From scratch, as you mentioned at the beginning you, you brought your kitchen furniture into the office so that you had somewhere to sit to start, but I, you know, it’s a wonder what a wonderful what a wonderful beginning and a great story. Just proves that, you and especially in the world today, we can actually work from anywhere, realistically.

We have that opportunity now with the internet, right? This

[00:14:42] Lisa Langley: is very true.

[00:14:44] Pierre Daillie: Even more so than when then when you begin. Yeah. I know what’s that been six, seven years and, and I you’ve been in the business a lot longer than that, but six years ago or seven years ago, even the capabilities were not as they are today.

So it’s even in that respect is probably even easier than people realize to, to work from any location, including Buffalo.

So I’m now just on background, your business in Buffalo emerged capital management, which is your U S arm. What do you do

[00:15:22] Lisa Langley: there? Yeah, they separate accounts platform here and we distribute a separate accounts for Ark invest. We distribute separate accounts for Santell and we’ve created the first program in the U S a that only exists of women portfolio managers.

It’s called. Oh, we have it both for public equities and we also have a, for private equity strategies and we market empowered to pension plans and foundations and endowments and institutions. It’s the first of its kind. And it’s been, some of the issues around diversity do exist on both sides of the border.

I would say certainly some of them in the U S are more extreme. And empower less than 10% of the assets managed in north America are managed by women portfolio managers because we do all these inconvenient things, we take Matt leaves you know, manage family needs and, have children, et cetera.

Uh, one of the it’s hard enough to become a portfolio manager. But some of the legislation that exists in the U S actually requires that minority or woman share, a portfolio manager to also be the controlling stakeholder in a company that’s a really tough far to achieve. So we’ve created a program that once everyone to have just even a share, just some skin in the.

And be a portfolio manager. So we don’t require anyone to be the controlling shareholder though. In the case of the empower program, we’re blessed and fortunate that they are it’s also, everything is ESG. So we very much believe in the principles of responsible investing and we’re working very hard to support that premise.

And so the empower managers, we have the infrastructure here to support them and. We’re off and running. No, one’s done it before. We’re in lots of conversations. We have a few accounts, not many it’s a bit of a scratch out, but I believe we’re doing the right thing at the right time.

We originally had some people respond back to us and say things like, can you do that? Is that. And for some reason I started speaking in a hush tone too, and I was went back, I think so, and so we’re, we’re doing it. We’re kind going against the wave but we are getting some attention for it now.

And I’m so glad to draw attention to, I’m 58 years old. This definitely is my last kick, the can. And I really want to see this be a sustainable wealth management organization focused on diversity and ex. I, you can be a Martian, but you can manage money. I want to talk to you, and if you have the bravery to hang out your own shingle and try to do that, or do that with another group of people, I want to talk to you. And uh, we’re starting actually today. Perfect example, a woman portfolio manager in. Running very interesting FinTech strategy reached out to me. So we’ll be, meeting with her company next week.

So just fascinating how the word of this is starting to spread and we want to make a difference. And we hope that by giving some support and recognition, it’s very tough to run your own portfolio, run your own company, and then you have all the compliance and regulation and all the things around that, and then sell to.

So we can help lift their brand and then give them distribution support and really give a cause to it as, so please, uh, pray for us because we’re really trying to carve out some new ground. No, one’s really done that before.

[00:19:12] Pierre Daillie: I got to hand it to you. It’s very bold but what’s nice about the boldness of what you’re doing is that you’re inspiring women to be bold, to make bold moves as well.

As you’ve described it, but I love how the the culture of disruption permeates your business. It’s it’s really, it’s, it’s really amazing. I’m just wondering, do you sleep

[00:19:39] Lisa Langley: all? I both, I most definitely do. I’m exhausted at the end of the day, and then I’m just I’m out and I sleep like a rock, so I’m very blessed to have a good ability to sleep.

But we’re, we’re good. We’re good. Inspired by ideas, right? Sometimes we like to say we’re the victim of our own good ideas. But there’s so many good ideas. Now, the team, has other things they want to do. We’re working on making empower ETFs right now in the U S so that’s currently, something we’re working away on and those ETS will come on the other side of the borders.

We look forward to bringing those to Canada as well. So I’ve

[00:20:22] Pierre Daillie: ha I have an old saying that I sort lived by, which was whatever you fear, it will find you. And, uh, so I liked that. So you know, the follow-up to that is, is so why not fear, great things. Why not fear success and let it find you if you’re going to fear something, let it be.

The, let it be success. And you know, people, very seldomly think about the, you know, the commitment or the cost of success, the things that come with being successful and the responsibility and the time that’s required, the energy that’s required to maintain it. And, uh, you I think most people fear, failure and few people, minority of people actually fear success.

Um, so it was through your work. I want to just segue a little bit. It was through your work that you became acquainted with and got to know well, and became friends with Kathy wood and eventually Ark ETFs. How did you two meet? What was the you know, what was the original meeting?

[00:21:43] Lisa Langley: It was in 2015, we were attending a nonprofit event in New York city and we wound up sitting next to each other. And that was just one of those synchronicity, events where we were speaking about the industry and she was telling me about her challenges and she had just launched ETFs. And I think it was in the winter of 2015.

It was early 2015. And we just, found a kinship in, what she was trying to do. And we’ve continued speaking after that and met several times after that, that, and kept talking. And I, a year later ish, something like that, maybe a year and a half later started emerge and, the whole time was speaking with her.

And then I think we signed in may of 2016. At that time, our CAD $235 million under management, now they have 80, uh, I was just actually speaking to an advisor. There’s a branch in Illinois. I won’t say what firm. But Kathy and I back in the day used to drive around and do branch presentations and train plane car, whatever was required.

And go and, tell the story because in the early days, 2000 for the good old days, 1718 know, people thought that disruptive innovation was like going to the casino and laying your money down, and advisers would say I’m going to have to think about what clients have a risk profile like that.

And they would just really have to sit back and think who their real gamblers. And, you know, at the end of the day, trout travel a million miles forward. It’s really it’s. They have tremendous asset quality. They’re just investing in the opportunity of the future with unbelievable research.

So she made this bet that she could construct a research model and invested millions upon millions of. And I saw that and got to know that and suspense so much time at arc talking to the analyst, traveling with the analyst trolley with Kathy, listening to this woman, share her vision for the future and how they worked and just being so generous with her comments and ideas and pricing models and valuation theories.

It, every single, I would walk away from every meeting and every interaction. I just pray to God. And more that woman went to wake up tomorrow morning and yeah, it just spurred me on, to, uh, try to do something that would someday also be of such great merit. And, but what her vision became with the talent of her team is extraordinary and truly they do have world-class research.

And if everyone would understand that, sometimes they think that disruptive innovation. It’s oh, you’re up there flying around in the Jetsons. You’re investing in stocks that aren’t profitable yet. And you don’t care about quarterly earnings estimates. And the truth of the matter is that, you they understand all of that and, they understand the bigger picture, right?

And they’re not interested about one snippet of a quarter of time. They’re looking at five and 10 years. Anyway, it was a tremendous opportunity. And you couldn’t help, but be inspired by her brilliance and her bravery and you know, then the team around her, just absolutely incredible and was just, something that, we were just totally honored to be able to support and very blessed for the learning you a really incredible,

[00:25:39] Pierre Daillie: but I’m sure it cut both ways as well.

I’m sure she was inspired equally. By your drives and there you were Thelma and Louise going all over the country.

[00:25:51] Lisa Langley: It’s a very interesting, I should tell her that. I’ll go tell her that you said that appear as she enjoyed her conversation that she had with you. They didn’t play Montreal. And, uh, yeah, she very much believes that if you’re determined, you will find a way.

And if you just totally removed. And don’t let those natural obstacles be your obstacles. Yeah. Like you said, there’s other things, to worry about it at a much higher level. I say

[00:26:22] Pierre Daillie: that, I say that knowing that, that, knowing a little bit of the early story, her early story, which was that she had tried in vain to get AllianceBernstein to, uh, get on board and they must be, I just wonder what the, I wonder what the backroom conversation is with this, with the.

The companies, the executives, kicking themselves that

[00:26:46] Lisa Langley: that’s not true. So I did it that comment, to your point. So we’re in a car and I’d been trying to get into this top producing branch and I’d been trying to get in there and trying to get in there. And I’m on my cell phone. And I keep saying, you don’t understand, and this is now we’re like 2018.

I’m like, you don’t understand. I have Cathy wood in the car with. Can we just come in for 15 minutes, Kevin just have coffee with you. Can we just have water? Can we just stand in, talk to you for like we’re too busy you know, too much going on here, you need to get on the proper schedule and all this kinda stuff.

We kind of joke about it now with those advisors who are just like, who are still apologetic years later, they’re just like, that’s funny.

[00:27:45] Pierre Daillie: So from there you eventually w you came to the realization, how did that happen? You came to the realization, I gotta, I gotta bring this to Canada.

That’s my first question. My next question. Is, uh, w w we’ll get to it as why, but, so you came to the inspiration and the drive to bring AHRQ to Canada and packages as a Canadian ETF, as a group of Canadian ETFs. How did you know what inspired you to do that? Aside from, I think what you said is pretty obvious what made you wake up one day and, and realize I gotta do this.

[00:28:27] Lisa Langley: I had really wanted to bring emerge to Canada. So that was something that we’ve percolating about how to do it and what would be, the launch point for that. And when would we do it? And so there’s a lot of talk about when we would do that. Emerge was only two years old. What I was seeing with Ark was worldwide adoption and this unbelievable appetite for the learning of the exposure that research.

Then I saw other partners of arc sticking up their hand saying I’ll take Asia, I’ll take, Australia, I’ll take New Zealand, kind of thing. That is one holy week, Christmas trees, uh, you know, here I am a Canadian and how could I possibly let that opportunity pass me by?

So I, stuck on my hand, right? And then I said, we would love to make the emerge, our key TFS in Canada. And, after some discussions. Kathy and team said yes. And uh, we embarked on an exclusive opportunity to make, to make those. And so they became our sub-advisor and yeah, I’m just ever so thankful, it was a real at that time I thought, now maybe they’ll say no, maybe that maybe they’ll say yes.

[00:29:44] Pierre Daillie: So I’m guessing, I’m guessing that was a, that was an easy thing

[00:29:48] Lisa Langley: to get the gas or what.

[00:29:52] Pierre Daillie: Nope, just to launch a fun company in Canada and get that off the ground. That was pretty easy.

[00:29:58] Lisa Langley: I think you, the answer to that, uh, so it’s very interesting and it was you know, always more than you think it is, and always involves more heavy lifting, great, partners in Canada Desmond Alverez.

Partner and our head of operations and CFO, and to just a real, it was a passion, but we did it. And we did an unusual way. We did something that a lot of other companies don’t do, and that is, we launched five ETFs all at once. And I must say I did have some feedback along the way I saying, are you sure you really need to do five at one.

Legislator with two, how about three? Uh, but once you get to understand arcs following of the general purpose technology platforms, it would be like leaving a child, at home. Uh, and so you needed to start with all five so that you had your basis covered. And then where recently in April we added in space exploration, but

[00:31:09] Pierre Daillie: that we spoke to, I spoke to Sam.

And you, and we, we had, we spoke earlier this year about that. That’s an amazing development as well. So go big or go home, basically, you can’t leave any of the children behind and you launched five ETFs all at once. And so, so that, which brings me to the question now and I’m sure it’s a question that, that you get asked a lot by advisors, Canadian advisors in particular, which is.

I can just buy the, AR KK directly from the New York stock exchange. Why, why would I buy ear K instead of that, what’s the story on that?

[00:32:01] Lisa Langley: As a Canadian resident, you’re going to miss out on any of the inherent tax advantages of participating in a Canadian listed ETF and. They’re very much is a bit of a regulatory loophole existing in Canada right now where apparently us listed ETFs are not to be sold, but can be purchased.

So yes, you’re quite right. You can go on your discount, brokerage account and you can type in those tickers and you can buy those for yourself and in our virtual world where we can all work virtually the border just evaporates away. And U S mutual fund companies. ETF companies are easily able to invite anybody who pings their website to participate in webinars and to learn more about their us listed ETFs.

So there’s a true, and that’s an impossible thing for any regulatory organization to track. But what I think is missing is the understanding that, You, the growth rate of us listed ETFs is exponential. Okay. And it’s already creating a it’s the wording, the natural development of the Canadian ETF industry.

Uh, I’ve done, done my most, and not yet. Okay. But I’m doing more to try to enhance the learning about this particular. There are active, direct mutations of purchasing us listed ETFs. I think that at the most, or at the least every investors should have to sign some acknowledgement that they understand what those tax implications are and that they are aware of what that means to them.

So, you know, we all abide by the Canadian regulations. Do our very best. We pay our fees. We, submit and file our reports and we follow all the rules. And, uh, U S li listed ETFs are just invisibly floating across the border and they aren’t doing any of those things and they aren’t subject to any of the same requirements.

So yeah, I don’t mind competition. I welcome it on the street standing next to me. But I don’t like it when it’s not really fair play. And so I do think we have some issues there. We ran up against it in some unusual ways from saying, when we were going to get approved so that we could offer our ETFs as solutions in different Canadian firms.

And they said okay, great. How do you compete against X and Y and Z? So we had answers for that and how we were different, et cetera. And then they said, okay, here’s 10 us listed ETFs. How do you compete against these? It was like, excuse me. And so, I it’s so commonplace. It’s so much of what is happening.

Every major Canadian dealer who was issuing an ETF, a research report is doing one for Canadian listed ETFs and us listed ETFs. So for this thing that isn’t supposed to be sold, but can be purchased. It’s getting a lot more promotion then is being recognized and so work needs to be done. And you know, the voices are starting to rise.

You great firms like McKenzie with commercials about buying Canadian ETS. We’re running our own campaign called think Canadian than Canadian ETFs. Very important because individually. At home purchasers, the Reddit users, a lot of, of individual investors just are completely unaware.

And to be very honest, we’ve hosted webinars had tax experts. We’ve prepared presentations, and we are been, we’ve had numerous questions from Canadian advisors about these issues. So it’s really little understood. Canadian dealers are just grappling.

[00:36:16] Pierre Daillie: I it’s it’s, you know, I just realized is probably something that we should get behind as well.

[00:36:24] Lisa Langley: And well, I would appreciate that. I have a lot more information I can share with you on this topic because it’s really unbelievably misunderstood. It’s a loophole and it’s not supposed to be being us companies are exploiting. For goodness sakes, you get invited to a us ETF conference until, and I say, oh, I’m sorry, but we’re a Canadian ETF provider.

They say, oh no, so many Canadian advisers are participating in this U S ETF conference. Yes. If you don’t go and if you don’t present, you’re going to be left out. Okay. Yeah. And, and that’s just one of them, right? Lots of, lots of interesting things ahead, I used to work at a regulator, a totally believe in the hard work that they do, but I think sometimes the way things play out over the years on the street is entirely different than an unintended consequences.

And that’s what we’re dealing with right now. I grew up surprised

[00:37:28] Pierre Daillie: I’m surprisingly, so that the regulators or the governing bodies, aren’t getting behind this as well, in terms of, being, you doing like, is it up, is it entirely up to the ETF association here? Or is it like, is it entirely up to

[00:37:41] Lisa Langley: set there?

They’re aware and I am speaking with them. They are. And it’s, it’s early days for people raising voice about it, but avoid a big voice needs. And we all know

[00:37:57] Pierre Daillie: it needs to be really, I think for Canadian advisers, which we’ve always had this bias of wanting to buy American stocks. And so why not just buy the U S ETFs as well while we’re at it but there should be a delineation.

There should be a really clear cut delineation. That’s made a distinction that’s made with. Very openly, very publicly like a public service announcement to say, Hey, don’t buy the U S ETFs when there’s a Canadian counterpart right here. When you know, it’s actually to your benefit into your client’s best interests to be in the Canadian version of that exact same fund.

[00:38:36] Lisa Langley: Wow. We have fantastic Canadian ETF manufacturers in this. With super talented portfolio managers and product development teams. And now when they go to make a new ETF, they have to consider, does it already exist in the U S they really have to look at that. And while we have gained assets, we’re probably a perfect example of this issue.

Now, some people say I still going to buy a R K because I want to buy exactly, and sure there may be. You know, we get the trade instructions from arc and so it’s close, but I could never say it’s exactly the same thing. It’s managed by the same people. It shares the same research and onto blah, blah, blah.

But this issue, is just completely, it’s just not understood. And by that in bits,

[00:39:30] Pierre Daillie: it’s by no means it’s not nuance either. Is it? It’s. Clear cut. It’s not like it’s not just a subtlety that we’re talking about here. We’re talking about something that is definitely in the best interest of Canadian investors.

[00:39:44] Lisa Langley: Without a doubt, it impacts everything from estate planning to taxes. And there’s no reason why Canadian alternatives, do exist. But they have to compete against us listed ETFs. And we need to understand that the us mutual fund. It’s growth is slowing down and they are rapidly converting mutual funds, ETFs.

It will dwarf the Canadian ETF industry. So we have a tremendous opportunity. We just need to fight a bit for our independence and make sure that it’s really a level playing field. And so it’s, uh, you know, this is one of the cases where the virtual illness of social media. You have one Twitter account, you have one LinkedIn account, you have one Facebook, right?

So it’s a very.

[00:40:38] Pierre Daillie: You can’t watch, you can’t watch unless you’ve got a VPN, you can’t watch us. The us Netflix, you can’t watch Hulu. You can’t a Hulu account. You can’t, you cannot get a Hulu account. In Canada, unless you figure out how to connect to the U S through, through,

[00:41:03] Lisa Langley: we will continue to raise our voice about interesting, entered.

We really appreciate it.

[00:41:09] Pierre Daillie: Yeah. I’d love to help with that. That’s a huge, um, that is a huge distinction to make, to to advocate

[00:41:18] Lisa Langley: that it’s then it’s just. We’re getting some energy, when you see major mutual fund companies, ETF companies in Canada, advertising to Canadians that they should buy Canadian listed ETFs.

It’s you know, it goes to show it is a significant issue.

[00:41:37] Pierre Daillie: This idea of though getting in front of advocating for Canadian ETF companies for Canadian investors is, is a, is a big. So

[00:41:49] Lisa Langley: I think it’s an important deal for them too. So hopefully we’ll have a lot more voices, trimming Chi-Ming in on this topic.

It’s important to create access to world-class product all over the world. And I totally agree in that. I’m just asking for more awareness, knowledge, education kiddo. There’s, there’s a lot of aspects to. And, uh, the exchanges, we don’t have a big role. I mean, look at what we did, you know, here we are, two and a half years later having spent millions of dollars to launch six ETFs in Canada.

Yeah. Some companies that I’ve spoken to about joining, are forced and being a part. I’m already, we’re already selling our ETFs in Canada, so we don’t really need to go over there. That’s very interesting to, you know, I have a very unusual cross border view, so I hear the conversations, I understand what’s happening and I see the impact of.

So hopefully we’ll be able with help, like yours. We’ll be able to raise awareness because this is very important.

[00:43:04] Pierre Daillie: Yeah. It’s a great, it’s, I’m just thinking it’s a great topic to to really open up. So fun question. I know these are your children. I want to come back to the emerge Ark, ETFs.

Which one is your favorite?

[00:43:22] Lisa Langley: I would have to say it’s ear. Because it gives you a taste of everything. And, uh, it truly is the best picks of what arc is thinking about in each one of the themes. So that alone, really makes it stand out. You know, it benefits from the unbelievable research and the true.

Focus that our has by saying, okay, this perfect club combination of these five general purpose technology platforms will give us this set of approximately 40 stocks and they actively manage it every single day. And so I continued to be and ha, and throughout anything we’re doing on both sides of the border active management and, are truly is, following this concentrated portfolio very closely.

A lot of ETFs, yeah. Have hundreds of stocks. Uh, but we’re talking about a fairly concentrated portfolio based on tremendous research at the end of the day, they have asset quality and that’s really what makes it different than going to the casino, to use my earlier fear that people had.

[00:44:43] Pierre Daillie: Um, as. Tell us about your your day to day running of these two companies, but let’s, how, how do you do it? What do you, what you know, how are your day spent? Are you still very hands-on I’m guessing? Yes. And, and, are you, do you find yourself devoting or do you find yourself devoting more and more of your time to replicating your experience?

With, with your crew at

[00:45:19] Lisa Langley: very on both sides of the border. Early days, the crew in the U is bigger just because we started first. So, uh, we’re approximately 17 employees in the U S and we are just about yet heading into eight in Canada. So, you know, one is ahead of the. You know, I pray constantly for leadership and wisdom in order to create a framework where people can thrive and figure out, how to make the best decisions and lead things.

And so we are at early stages, right? There are businesses, so we are five and a half years old in the U S and two plus years, two, almost two and a half years old, Uh, and those are very fragile years. So very involved, I’m involved in operations. I’m involved in plans. I’m involved in all the key aspects.

And as we, I call like getting out of the woods, where we’re really have, just a little bit more buffer as far as you know, can we make a strategic experiment? Can we launch an ETF? That might be a little. On the, there, we’re not a hundred percent about or something like that, but we’re not in those years, we’re in the very fragile early years where every ounce of management time and capability is important.

And, I get great strength and support from, my team, very blessed to have talented people on board, and that makes all the difference and have great. That are very helpful as well and some wonderful mentors. And so that really helps it all keep going, but it’s very much of a division of duties and you know, a lot, it’s just a lot of shoulder to the wheel task management and, It’s a bit of, it’s a bit of a push, right?

Yeah. But you have to do that because, if you want to take something public, if you want to build something sustainable, it’s not about a flip it’s about the long-term build, then you build it differently. You build it to be everlasting, what you hope. And so you really have to try to.

Have make the best decisions because those foundational decisions can save you an extraordinary amount of money if you call it right. And do it right in the early days. So it’s a, it’s a wonderful challenge. Definitely makes me wake up in the morning.

[00:48:00] Pierre Daillie: Yeah, no kidding. No shortage of

[00:48:04] Lisa Langley: motivations. No, none at all. And many blessings, we’re, we’re just extraordinarily blessed. Have great managers and the empower program as well. And we’re very excited to be doing exciting things in the U S but we’re bringing that to Canada next year. And we’re really excited about that too.

[00:48:23] Pierre Daillie: So on, uh, just to change gears again how was it as a woman coming into what was for the most part and old boys? In the eighties and nineties.

[00:48:41] Lisa Langley: That’s a great question. We’re, I’m part of a generation of women that, on both sides of the border that we really were soldiers. We just took it on the chin.

And so every type of, now, um, certainly, I can’t even, I would say probably notably, at least the handful of true sexual harassment, issues. Uh, but you just figured out how to say something to that person to deal with it very directly. And you just, something like, you know what, I won’t even give examples, but you resolve it.

Okay. And I see a soldier forward, because you’re not going to not compete. And if you want to compete, you have to figure out how to prove. I give great recognition to a women and, in more earlier years and now, uh, for having the courage to just totally say, stop the presses, this is wrong.

And, uh, recognizing that change is needed and change is still very much needed. Okay. I’m the only woman, fun company owner that just says a lot of it, uh, but yeah, I’m a totally of the generation of you just soldier through. Uh, and I think that in some ways I’m so glad that the culture now is, has more of an ear to listening to what created the need for us to soldier.

I don’t want younger women. I wouldn’t want my, daughters, I wouldn’t want other women to experience some of the things that I was forced to experience and just had to take it in the teeth, in order to just go sit at the next meeting. Uh, and so I think that we have a much more ball.

I just, I love where we are right now that if someone, has a, a need for. I believe that there are audiences that will hear that cry for help. At least I certainly hope so. And that’s part of what we’re trying to do with the impact bar program is really give a voice, to a group of women portfolio managers who are all their brilliance just have not yet been totally appreciated.

And so they haven’t gotten their fair time in the sun. And so we’re trying to do that and I hope that we are going to. Some major pension plans behind us, we certainly have asked for that kind of help that it was, I, you know, I’ve had three children, three working mat leaves, uh, and, um, I’m, I’ve been very blessed to have a very good career, but I can tell you that it’s been certainly harder, certainly harder uh, because, the types of things that come at you and I’m not going to.

Go down a negative road. But the PA the positive is that if it hadn’t been for that journey pier, I wouldn’t be here today because I came to, to do this, to set all this stage. Right. Like that’s what this is about. I endured all of that and was very gracious, in the insults and slights and discrimination of every type you can possibly imagine.

To come back and say, okay, there’s a better way to do this. And so that’s why I certainly hope we can create a lasting impact. We can have a firm that recognizes people equally, green purple, blue, whatever, and also help the industry. Appreciate, the women have a lot to offer. In all ways, and it’s certainly goodness gracious way.

Oh, wonderful.

[00:52:48] Pierre Daillie: You know, I imagine that, this conversation was going to be so much more than meets the eye. Um, you know, it’s been it’s been, it’s been a terrific conversation. I’ve really enjoyed what we’ve talked about today. I think we’ve, we’ve definitely a lot of food for thought and Uh, definitely.

I think there’ll be a lot of inspiration as well from our conversation. I have one final question. It’s a, would you rather question,

would you rather be the best player on a horrible team or the worst player on a great team?

[00:53:43] Lisa Langley: Wow. I don’t know about that. I’d probably just start a couple new team, I mean, that’s the way I do things, I would always rather just start a new, I wouldn’t want to be a part of a team that I didn’t admire. And if I was feeling on the team, I was on, Yeah, it hasn’t happened to me.

But if I was feeling on the team that I was on, then I would probably figure that it didn’t belong there. But I would probably start a new team or maybe start a new game, uh, change the rules of the game. Or do something of that nature. Cause I always believe if you, you have to set yourself up to win because that’s how others are going to.

People follow you and people, listen to your vision. If they believe that you’re going to win the game and that you know how to win the gate. And so, uh, I would, uh, I’ve, haven’t started a new treat.

[00:54:47] Pierre Daillie: Wonderful. Lisa, thank you so much for thank you so much for your time. I’ve again, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation.

It’s I think, I think there’s so much. For our audience and I think they’re going to enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you so much for joining.

[00:55:06] Lisa Langley: Thank you. Thank you for recognizing what we’re trying to do. If I really appreciate it.

Listen on the Move


Where to find Lisa Langley and Emerge ARK ETFs

Lisa Langley on Linkedin
Emerge Canada, Inc. (sponsor of Emerge ARK ETFs)
In addition to championing diversity in the financial industry, Emerge Canada Inc.'s Lisa Langley is also championing the "Buy Canadian," mantra – U.S. ETF sponsors have long had a free pass in terms of their products wafting into the Canadian market space by way of 'ozmosis.' Canadian investors/advisors who favour investing in the shares of U.S. companies, have also naturally come to love U.S.-domiciled ETFs, without realizing that Canadian ETF on a like-to-like basis offer superior tax treatment, e.g.. Canadian-domiciled S&P 500 index ETFs vs. U.S.-domiciled S&P 500 index ETFs - are you aware of the fact that Canadian-domiciled ETFs offer Canadians significant tax advantages over their U.S. counterpart ETFs.

Lisa Langley had a great deal to say about this issue during our conversation. The following are some resources on the subject.

Why Buy Canadian?

Think Canadian ETFs - Why It's In Canadians' Best Interests to Buy Canadian-Domiciled ETFs vs. U.S. ETFs

Canadian-domiciled and Canadian listed ETFs are better suited for Canadian residents because it is not considered U.S. property and you benefit from Canadian listed ETF tax advantages. For more information on the tax implication of buying U.S. listed ETF as a Canadian resident please see below for a short webinar and our tax fact available to download.
Download Tax Sheet

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