Jim Ross, an industry pioneer, is set to retire from his role as chairman of the global SPDR ETFs business after 27 years with the firm.

Ross (pictured) was part of the SPDR team responsible for bringing to market many of the first ETFs including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), which is the world’s largest ETF with $280bn assets under management (AUM).

State Street Global Advisors’ “godfather of ETFs” has led SPDR’s $714bn ETF business since 2005 before becoming chairman in 2016. He is set to retire in March 2020.

Rory Tobin will remain in his role as head of the firm’s ETF arm having led the outfit since joining from Barclays in 2014.

Ron O’Hanley, CEO and president of State Street, commented: “Without question Jim has been one of the most influential figures in the investment management industry.

“His role in creating many of the world’s first ETFs ensures he will go down in history as an instrumental player in perhaps the most important product innovation the industry has seen.”

Ross added: “I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had during my career at State Street.

“I am looking forward to my next chapter which will undoubtedly include remaining engaged in the ETF industry.”