People Moves

ETF industry’s biggest people moves in 2022

Stuart Kirk, DWS, State Street and LGIM all made headline moves this year

Theo Andrew

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From CEO resignations to high-profile poaches, the past 12 months have proved to be another bumper year for people moves in the European ETF industry.

ETF issuers across Europe have been looking to bolster their sales and product teams in all regions as competition continues to heat up and digital distribution becomes a priority.

There have also been some senior departures from the ETF industry over the past 12 months, with scandal and controversy in sustainable investing having a major impact.

With this in mind, ETF Stream has put together some of the major people moves of 2022.

1. Tabula names State Street’s Chiu as head of product

The first major hire of the year was Tabula’s appointment of former State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) head of EMEA and APAC ETF product Mandy Chiu.

Chiu joined as the ETF issuer’s head of product in January having left SSGA a month earlier and is responsible for building on Tabula’s product growth after it surpassed $650m in 2021.

During her time at SSGA, Chiu oversaw the launch of the $6.6bn SPDR Bloomberg SASB U.S. Corporate ESG UCITS ETF (SPPU) in October 2020, which has gone on to become one of the firm’s largest ETFs available in Europe.

2. State Street hires fixed income ETF sales head from BlackRock

SSGA made headlines again in March after it appointed Konrad Kleinfeld from BlackRock as head of fixed income distribution EMEA for the firm’s SPDR ETF division.

Kleinfeld spent five years at BlackRock, most recently as a senior member of it’s institutional ETF and index investments distribution team in Germany.

Reporting to Matteo Andreetto, head of SPDR ETF business, EMEA, at SSGA, his arrival follows several senior departures from the business including Chiu, its UK wealth head James Thomas and head of ETF distribution EMEA Rima Haddad.

3. HSBC AM appoints Bourcier CEO of France division from BNP Paribas AM

Following her departure from BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM), Isabelle Bourcier was named CEO of HSBC Asset Management’s French business in March.

Bourcier spent six years at BNPP AM as head of its ETF and then quantitative and index divisions, where she was responsible for the launch of a series of Paris-Aligned Benchmark (PAB) ETFs, thematic ESG products and overhauled a series of ETFs to tracking ESG indices.

In December 2021, she was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to ETFs at the inaugural ETF Stream awards.

4. LGIM appoints EMEA ETFs head after Li promotion

Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) appointed Aanand Venkatramanan as head of ETFs for EMEA in May following the promotion of Howie Li to global head of index and ETFs in December 2021.

Reporting to Li, Venkatramanan is responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm’s ETF team and prior to this was LGIM's head of ETF investment strategies, a role he has held since joining in 2018 as part of the firm's acquisition of ETF Securities' Canvas platform.

Li, who also joined from ETF Securities, will lead the next phase of growth of LGIM’s combined index and ETF business.

5. DWS CEO resigns following police raid over greenwashing concerns

One of the most eye-catching stories over the summer was the resignation of DWS CEO Asoka Woehrmann just hours after police raided its offices following allegations of greenwashing.

Woehrmann, who spent four years as CEO, announced his departure just hours after 50 officers from the Frankfurt public prosecutor, German regulator BaFin and Federal Criminal Police Office.

The former DWS chief, who was replaced by Stefan Hoops, also had personal question marks raised about his conduct after the Financial Times reported he had used his private email for business purposes and alleged a Deutsche client had transferred Woehrmann €160,000.

6. Stuart Kirk resigns from HSBC Asset Management following suspension

One of the most talked about departures of the year was the resignation of Stuart Kirk from his role as global head of responsible investment at HSBC AM following his controversial presentation at a Financial Times conference.

Kirk was suspended from his role on 23 May after he attacked the ESG industry in his now infamous speech. HSBC AM was quick to distance itself from the comments which ultimately led to his resignation in July.

He hit back at the firm in his resignation statement, saying there was “no place for virtue signalling in finance”, adding he would continue to call out the “nonsense, hypocrisy, sloppy logic and group-think inside the mainstream bubble of sustainable finance”.

7. State Street appoints head of SPDR for Germany from Vanguard

SSGA has been active in the ETF hiring market over the past 12 months and in July, hired Markus Weis as the country head for Germany for SPDR from Vanguard.

Weis, responsible for leading the business development efforts in the region, joined following the departure of Stefan Kuhn who joined Fidelity International in March.

Prior to his four-year stint at Vanguard, Weis spent eight years at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and five years at Fidelity.

8. Qontigo poaches Degroote from FTSE Russell for global sales role

Qontigo continued its senior hiring spree in September with the appointment of FTSE Russell’s Stephane Degroote as global head of investable product sales.

In the newly-created role, Degroote has been responsible for building out the firm’s relationships with ETF issuers and positioning its STOXX and DAX indices as the underlying for new investable products.

While at FTSE Russell, he was regional director for Russell Investments and was also EMEA sales director at FactSet and head of equity derivatives sales at Markit Group.

9. Northern Trust AM hires EMEA ETF capital markets head from Vanguard

Vanguard lost another senior member of staff in November after Northern Trust Asset Management appointed Chirag Pandya as head of ETF capital markets EMEA for FlexShares.

Pandya spent 10 years at Vanguard and prior to this worked at BlackRock in its iShares ETF sales and business development team.

Reporting to Dan Madden, global head of capital markets, Pandya will be responsible for engaging with authorised participants, assisting the internal sales team and developing the FlexShares ETF offering. He replaces Jean-Baptiste Faure who joined PIMCO in May.

10. DWS promotes Öztürk to passive digital distribution head for EMEA

In one of the last big promotions of the year, DWS named Ferat Öztürk to head of passive sales digital distribution for EMEA as the firm looks to capture the sharp uptake in ETF savings plans across Europe.

Öztürk joined the firm’s ETF sales team in 2017 from VanEck and for the past two years has only been responsible for digital distribution in Germany.

The promotion comes amid increasing demand for ETFs via digital channels, an area the German asset manager expects to grow across Europe.

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