We are approaching the end of a strong performing year for most companies within the ETF industry and while many are enjoying their celebratory Christmas parties, others are preparing to take a new step in their careers.

There have been many new hires, promotions, poaches, career changes and retirements in 2019, so let’s have a look at some of the highlights.

At the beginning of the year, Amundi signalled its intent in the UK market with the appointment of Ashley Fagan as head of ETF, indexing and smart beta development for UK and Ireland. Joining from BlackRock where she spent over 10 years, this was a significant hire for the French asset manager.

Amundi has poached several other notable experts in the industry including Liz Wright from Vanguard and Pav Sharma from WisdomTree. Both joined the firm as senior sales specialists.

WisdomTree also saw its head of Europe and industry guru, David Abner, leave to set up his own consultancy firm after 11 years with the ETF provider.

The European head vacancy was filled by Alexis Marinof, who joined WisdomTree two years prior to Abner’s departure as head of European distribution.

In November, Adam Laird, Lyxor’s head of ETF strategy for Northern Europe, stepped down from his role after spending three years with the asset manager.

Laird is looking to shake-up the asset management industry with the start of a new business that will launch in the new year.

Elsewhere, a couple of industry pioneers have hung up their boots for good. SPDR’s chairman Jim Ross is set to retire in March 2020 after 27 years with the firm.

Ross was involved with many of the first ETFs including the world's largest and most famous SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY).

Meanwhile, the man behind the S&P 500 calculations retired in April. David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, was with the index provider across four decades.