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In 2017, Emil Tarazi and his colleagues saw a gap in the market: exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers needed a tool to help them better navigate ETF liquidity. So Tarazi co-founded ETFLogic and developed that tool.

Soon after, the team started hearing that wholesalers working for the ETF issuers were using the tool to answer questions from financial advisors. It became clear that advisors wanted access to the data ETFLogic was consolidating to help construct and manage optimized portfolios.

In 2020, LOGICLY—which came to Canada the following year as TMX LOGICLY*—was born.

“I began my career as an ETF market maker and saw the tremendous growth in ETFs. When we started ETFLogic, there were fewer than 2,000 ETFs with about $3 trillion in assets. Today, five years later, there are 3,000-plus ETFs with about $7 trillion in assets,” says Tarazi, now CEO at ETFLogic. “The ETF is a building block. We think of it as an essential, foundational piece of a portfolio. But there are so many different types of these building blocks, so the question is, how do you build better portfolios?”

Also, ETFs aren’t the only building blocks for portfolios. So, while LOGICLY still puts ETFs first, it has expanded to encompass mutual fund and stock analytics as well. And data isn’t the only thing advisors needed from what started as a robust research platform. The tool now incorporates workflows for fund screening and portfolio construction.

“[LOGICLY] is a place where you can get very deep into fund comparisons [and] find similar funds, and then, once you’ve done that initial research, move towards understanding how those building blocks fit together in a portfolio,” Tarazi explains.

Emil Tarazi, CEO and Co-Founder of ETFLogic
Emil Tarazi, CEO and Co-Founder of ETFLogic

An evolving tool

Tarazi describes the journey to build LOGICLY as client-driven and iterative. The team started by asking the advisors in its network what they needed from a fund research tool. Then the team developed and tested, responded to feedback and tested, enhanced further and tested—always focused on their customers’ requirements.

In a platform that relies on data, the timeliness and quality of that data were paramount. Since ETFs have daily transparency, LOGICLY had to incorporate daily updates. And since advisors wanted quality data, the team arranged for as much information as possible to come directly from the source instead of passing through third parties or vendors.

Repositioning LOGICLY for the Canadian market as TMX LOGICLY required further tweaks. Canada has different fund categories and different ways of handling expense ratios for funds. The team was also able to capitalize on the potential to exploit the powerful advanced analytical capabilities of TMX Grapevine™.

“It’s never a finished product,” Tarazi says. “The markets are constantly evolving. New products come to market and old products get retired….The platform has to evolve with the markets—[and with] the way people build portfolios, which is also changing.”

Adding value with interface, data, and tools

As TMX LOGICLY establishes itself among Canadian advisors, Tarazi says the feedback has been positive. The first thing advisors notice, he suggests, is the intuitive, easy-to-use interface. That interface provides user-friendly access to a tremendous depth of data that helps cut through marketing to reveal facts, as well as workflow tools that are intended to make it seamless for advisors to perform complex back-testing and generate compelling client presentations, for example.

“We have a unique set of data points. When it comes to Canadian funds, we have TMX market data that sets us apart from other platforms. So we have very good high-quality views on volumes and spreads for Canadian securities,” Tarazi says, emphasizing that it’s the combination of interface, data, and tools coming together that creates value for users.

One tool Tarazi highlights is the Portfolio Coach, an “autopilot for portfolios” powered by artificial intelligence. Tarazi believes the tool makes it easier to comply with Canadian client-focused reform and know-your-client requirements by allowing advisors to set objectives on accounts and keep an audit trail of their research. It can also monitor portfolios and alert advisors when they stray from factors or investment policies.

In the end, Tarazi says, all the workflow tools integrated within TMX LOGICLY are intended to simplify the investment research process for advisors so they can build and manage portfolios more efficiently. That frees up time to spend with clients. After all, shifting several hours every week toward client meetings and outreach can strengthen relationships, uncover new opportunities, and enable advisors to better meet their clients’ long-term financial needs. “Ultimately, that’s what all advisors want.”

This information is provided for information purposes only. Neither TMX Group Limited nor any of its affiliated companies guarantees the completeness of the information contained in this publication, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions in or your use of, or reliance on, the information. The views, opinions and advice provided in this article reflect those of the individual author. This publication is not intended to provide legal, accounting, tax, investment, financial or other advice and should not be relied upon for such advice. TMX, the TMX design, TMX Grapevine, TMX Group, The Future is Yours to See., and Voir le futur. Réaliser l’avenir. are the trademarks of TSX Inc. 

* TMX is the trademark of TSX Inc. and LOGICLY is the trademark of SigmaLogic Inc. and is used under license.