Over the past decade, direct distribution channels have been among the fastest-growing distribution channels in the Canadian financial services landscape. Once the near-exclusive battleground for capturing the attention of the self-directed trader, the direct channels are evolving—and, in some respects, returning to—their retail investor roots. No longer are the concepts of order execution and small-“a”-advice mutually exclusive. Traditional and newly-formulated direct conduits are redefining the notion of self-reliance. In turn, this is redrawing competitive structures for intermediated-advice givers and the most digitalized distribution channel of them all: online/discount brokerage (ODB).
The Spring 2016 edition of the Retail Brokerage and Distribution Advisory Service delves into the details of the ODB space, providing an in-depth examination of the client base and the future of the channel. This is an important read, not just for ODB executives, but for distributors and manufacturers alike who are looking to understand the current online distribution landscape and the forces that are shaping its future.