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Rating:Will a U.S. ETF Entrepreneur Become a Head of State? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 17, 2017

Will a U.S. ETF Entrepreneur Become a Head of State?

News summary by MFWire's editors

An ETF entrepreneur is running for head of state in his native land, and he just might win.

Kevin O'Leary
O'Shares ETF Investments
Kevin O'Leary, reality TV star known as "Mr. Wonderful" on Shark Tank who is also chairman of New York City-based O'Shares Investments, appears to be the frontrunner to be the next leader of the Conservative Party in his native Canada, Slate reports. That would make O'Leary the leading challenger against sitting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

O'Leary and his O'Shares team entered the U.S. ETF business in 2015 with the launch of the O'Shares FTSE US Quality Dividend ETF, and the firm now offers six ETFs in total. Its tagline is "ETFs for Conservative Long-Term Investors," and its allies include FTSE Russell, J.P. Morgan, NYSE Arca, and Stradley Ronon.

Trudeau "is vulnerable," Slate argues, and polls show O'Leary having the support of 21 to 31 percent of Canadian Conservative party members. There are 13 other contenders to lead the party, reminiscent of the U.S. Republican party's divide in the run up to last year's presidential election that led to another reality TV star, Donald Trump, becoming President of the United States. Indeed, the publication notes, O'Leary's numbers are "good enough for a real lead" over those other contenders, and "no one has found enough oxygen to become the logical rival to O'Leary." Despite, as Slate points out, O'Leary spending lots of time in the U.S. and not speaking French, and despite O'Leary only participating in three of the eleven debates held since November.

"O'Leary has strong polling, some indications he's a good fundraiser, and all the other campaigns see him as the guy to attack," Canadian poll watcher Eric Grenier tells Slate.

O'Leary announced his candidacy in January, the week before telling Inside ETFs attendees that "we're in the second inning" of the rise of ETFs.

"I'm going to make Canada wonderful," O'Leary said at the giant ETF industry conference.

There's no word on what that means for O'Shares, where O'Leary serves as chairman and longtime O'Leary colleague Connor O'Brien is CEO and president. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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