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Exchange: Reuniting the ETF Community

To celebrate the pending Exchange conference, VettaFi and some key industry partners were at the Nasdaq MarketSite to help ring the opening bell last week. Exchange will be the industry’s largest ETF-, and most valuable advisor-focused, conference. It kicks off on February 11 in Miami. VettaFi anticipates there will be close to 2,000 people on site. We will have more advisors than last year. They will be coming to learn from each other and industry experts. 

We previously covered some of the panels at Exchange that caught this ETF nerd’s eye and some compelling sessions geared to support advisor best practices. However, when you review the agenda for the event, you will see lots of time built in for the community to network. This is intentional, as we heard from advisors that they don’t want to feel rushed to attend sessions. They want in-person opportunities to connect with one another and asset managers. Advisors are not alone in seeking time to engage in Miami in February. 

The ETF Community Is Small, But Well-Connected 

The industry continues to grow at a rapid pace based on ETF asset growth and product development. Each year at Exchange, there is a growing number of recent entrants looking to educate the community about their capabilities. Indeed, we have more than 100 industry partners. In many cases, the leaders of these relatively new teams have extensive ETF experience.  

I was reminded of this at last week’s Nasdaq Bell Ringing event. One of my VettaFi colleagues, Sebastian Jakob, was reunited with his former iShares colleague Allyson Wallace

Wallace is now the global head of ETF capital markets at Morgan Stanley. The issuer is behind the Parametric Equity Premium Income ETF (PAPI). 

Short Rundown of ETF Executives 

Let’s play a game of who’s where: 

  • Noel Archard, global head of ETFs at AllianceBernstein, worked in leadership at State Street Global Advisors for five years. His work history includes nine years at iShares and 10 at Vanguard. Archard’s team brought to market the AB Ultra Short Income ETF (YEAR).
  • Brandon Clark heads ETF product development and capital markets at Federated Hermes. He spent 16 years at Vanguard, with some time also at Legg Mason. One new ETF from Clark’s group is the Federated Hermes Total Return Bond ETF (FTRB).  
  • Tim Coyne, who has headed ETFs for T. Rowe Price for four years, previously spent 13 years at State Street Global Advisors. The T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation Equity ETF (TCAF) quickly became the firm’s largest ETF. 
  • Holly Framsted is also an alumna of iShares. Her 15-year run included being head of ETF products. For the last three years, she has been at Capital Group, and now leads global product strategy and development. The Capital Group Dividend Value ETF (CGDV) has nearly $6 billion in assets.  
  • Nicole Hunter worked 15 years at iShares, including time in leadership. She is now running ETF Capital Markets at Dimensional Fund Advisors. The Dimensional U.S. Core Equity 2 ETF (DFAC) has $25 billion. 
  • John Hoffman is head of distribution and partnerships at Grayscale Investments. He has previously been the head of ETFs and indexed strategies for Invesco. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) converted into an ETF recently and has $20 billion. 
  • Bryon Lake is global head of ETF solutions at JPMorgan. He previously spent 11 years at Invesco. With $31 billion, the JPMorgan Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPI) is the industry’s largest active ETF. 

I’m going to stop here because there are too many other examples. I need to get ready for the conference in Florida. 

Largest Firms Still Doing Fine 

Despite these moves, Invesco, iShares, State Street Global Advisors, and Vanguard are well-run ETF businesses. This has happened as younger people moved up who worked with the above leaders or the firms’ added talent from other companies. For example, Jay Jacobs leads the active and thematic ETFs segment at BlackRock’s iShares. Previously, he was head of research and strategy at Global X. 

When you see ETF industry folks from different firms catching up at Exchange, don’t be surprised. Indeed, I’m a former head of ETF research at CFRA who looks forward to seeing some old colleagues in Miami.  

Register for Exchange 2024 today. 

For more news, information, and analysis, visit VettaFi | ETF Trends.

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