People Moves

The ETF industry’s biggest people moves in 2021

Cathie Wood, HSBC, Lyxor and BlackRock all made headlines in 2021

Theo Andrew


As workers returned to offices across Europe throughout 2021, some have been looking for a fresh start, seeking new career opportunities that have arisen through acquisitions and team restructures.

Here are some of the people move highlights from those within the European ETF industry on the back of some big trends of the year.

One of the year’s blockbuster moves was that of Cathie Wood, founder, CEO and CIO of ARK Investment Management, joining the board of directors of Amun, the parent company of cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) issuer 21Shares.

Wood, who joined the board in June, has been a long-time advocate of cryptocurrencies, investing in Coinbase’s IPO, the leading crypto exchange in the US. Her move to support 21Shares’ endeavours was a major coup for the issuer and a big momemnt for the European crypto ETP market.

In another heavyweight European move, HANetf appointed Manooj Mistry as its chief operating officer as it continued the rapid expansion of its platform. 

The former head of ETFs at DWS and European ETF pioneer joined the white label issuer in February and is responsible for product development, operational and regulatory aspects of the business. Mistry is one of the original ETF pioneers in Europe having launched the continent’s first ETFs at Merrill Lynch in April 2000.

HSBC AM hiring spree

One of the most prolific hirers of 2021 was HSBC Asset Management (HSBC AM). The firm made several key hires to its ETF team on the back of new launches and the restructuring of its $103bn passive arm.

The firm kicked off the hiring spree in March when they poached Dominic Clabby from Invesco where he was head of product engagement. He was appointed head of ETF strategy, responsible for heading up the expansion of its ETF offering.

In April, ETF Stream revealed that HSBC AM named former DWS director Bhaven Patel as global head of ETF capital markets. Patel, who is now responsible for running the firm’s ETF capital markets function, also previously held roles at BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

The asset manager was not finished there, in June HSBC AM appointed Tom Banks UK ETF business development director, reporting to Patel.

Banks joined from JP Morgan Asset Management where he was part of the UK ETF sales team.

The firm also appointed former Lyxor managing director and Italy business development executive Alex Merla as head of wholesale for southern Europe in August.  

Amundi and Lyxor make waves

Elsewhere, the news that Yves Perrier was stepping down as CEO of Amundi in February was a head-turning moment for the asset management industry.

After 11 years, Perrier left the role in May to succeed Xavier Musca as chair of the company’s board. He was replaced by Valerie Bausdon who joined Amundi in 2008 and started the firm’s ETF business.

During hist time as Amundi boss, Perrier played a crucial role in Amundi’s foundation, after Société Générale and Crédit Agricole merged their asset management businesses in 2010.

The move was announced before Amundi’s €825m acquisition of Lyxor in April which had a ripple effect across the European ETF jobs market.

In November, HANetf appointed Robin Kooijman as head of Benelux ETF sales from Lyxor following the departure of Rick van Leeuwen to Jane Street. Koojiman spent nine years at the French asset manager where he was director of sales for the Netherlands.

Lyxor also saw Samit Patel depart the business after a decade with the firm and its parent company Société Générale. The former head of UK wealth and distribution ETF sales announced his departure last month.

One eye-catching move was the appointment and subsequent departure of abrdn’s Chanchal Samadder. Having joined from Lyxor in March, Samadder was appointed as abrdn’s head of ETF sales strategy as the group prepared to push into the European ETF market.

However, ETF Stream revealed last month that he had left the business after eight months in the role.

Another big move that caught the industry's attention was the appointment by BlackRock of Jane Sloan to head up its iShares business for EMEA.

ETF Stream revealed the news that Sloan would be responsible for leading the next phase of growth for the ETF business across the region in April, replacing Stephen Cohen who was promoted to BlackRock’s head of EMEA in February after Rachel Lord relocated to Hong Kong to lead the firm’s Asia-Pacific business.


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