Inside Exchange — Tom Hendrickson | ETF Trends

Every week, Evan Harp sits down with one of the founders of Exchange to learn more about them, their perspective on life, and what they hope Exchange can bring to the industry.

This week he talks to Tom Hendrickson, the President of ETF Trends and ETF Database.

Evan Harp: What is something surprising about you?

Tom Hendrickson: I’m Canadian.

Harp: What inspires you creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

Hendrickson: Learning. I like to learn, and I think that that hits on all of those different elements, and whether it be in family life, or personal life, or in business, I think just the constant inevitability that every day you’re going to learn something. The sobriety of how little you know, as you start to know a little bit more, and just embracing that.

Harp: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Hendrickson: Well, I grew up, as a good Canadian boy would, playing hockey. So I always dreamt of playing in the NHL, that was always the number one dream. But, as you know, as I ride into my late 30s, early 40s, there’s only really one professional sports group that I have a shot at. The Senior PGA Tour is really my only hope, and I look forward to over the next 10 to 15 years honing that craft and taking a crack at that.

Harp: Why did you want to launch Exchange?

Hendrickson: To connect to the advisors that we’re connecting with in a digital way in person. I think that as ETF Trends and ETF Database have grown, the level of engagement that we have with this exceptionally vibrant, dynamic, and really interesting group — which sits on top of so many individuals’ and families’ wealth, and is stewarding that wealth — connecting with that group in person was really just an evolution of the deepening of that relationship. I think that we do it in so many ways, which are great and continue to add value to that world in a digital realm.

But there’s never anything that will replace shaking a hand, looking at someone in the eyes, sitting down with them, having a coffee, hearing about all the things that maybe don’t come out, that are more personal and relevant to their personal experience and story. That may only be facilitated by being there physically in person.

I think, collectively, as we thought about that, and got excited about the ways in which we could differentiate that in-person experience and create something really, really new and unique and valuable to that world that was going to keep them coming for years to come, and being highly engaging members of the community in a digital realm and an offline realm and in an ongoing realm throughout the year, I think that was the most enticing part.

Harp: What are you personally most looking forward to at Exchange?

Hendrickson: Yeah, really, it’s not too much different than what I was just talking about, and being a component of the in-person interactions that get to happen.

Obviously, connecting with advisors, building relationships, learning more about ways in which we can be helpful to each other in this broader ecosystem. Then, maybe selfishly, we have great connectivity to a whole bunch of other parts of the ecosystem that services that advisor, be it issuer partners, index partners, exchange partners, research partners. Getting to see a lot of the people that we’ve spent a lot of time with on Zoom calls and otherwise over what will be more than two years when we get together in person in southern Florida in April —  just kind of breaking down some of the digital barriers and, like I say, shaking hands and sitting down with people and looking them in the eye and hearing more about the depth of their personal life and grabbing a coffee and doing that for the better part of three and a half days. I couldn’t be more excited about it!

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