SEC Hires Pershkow
Reuters reported in late January that the Securities and Exchange Commission had appointed Barry Pershkow as senior special counsel in its investment management division.
Pershkow has extensive experience in the area of exchange-traded funds, and the Reuters article says he was likely hired to help the regulatory agency refine its policies with regard to ETFs. The SEC is currently investigating whether ETFs contribute to market volatility and how extensively they should be allowed to invest in derivatives, among other topics, the Reuters article noted.
Pershkow joined the SEC from law firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius; prior to that, he was employed as an attorney by ProFunds Advisors.
NYSE Liffe Hires Flax For Repo Futures
The NYSE Liffe U.S. exchange said in a February press release that it had hired Harvey Flax as the business manager responsible for its GCF Repo Index futures. In his new role, Flax will oversee the development and rollout of the contracts, the press release said. He reports to NYSE Liffe U.S. COO Lynn Martin.
Flax was previously employed by Morgan Stanley for 25 years, and was the executive director of the equity and fixed-income repo financing division when he left the company, the press release said.
Repurchase agreements, or “repos,” involve a securities dealer selling a security and repurchasing it within a brief, agreed-upon time period, a sort of short-term loan. NYSE Liffe announced plans in January to launch futures tied to the Depositary Trust & Clearing Corp.’s GCF Repo Index, which tracks the repo interest rate on Treasury securities.
Fleites To Head Invest n Retire
Invest n Retire, the Oregon-based firm at the forefront of providing software necessary to integrate index exchange-traded funds into 401(k) retirement plans, said in March it had hired longtime investment manager and ETF industry executive Agustin “Gus” Fleites as its chief executive officer to oversee the company’s push into the so-called defined contribution space.
Fleites most recently served as a managing director at Boston-based Beta Capital Advisors and helped establish the asset allocation group as State Street Global Advisors, where he worked closely with various retirement plans. He also worked at ProShares, the world’s largest purveyor of inverse and leveraged ETFs. Beta Capital helps its clients formulate passive investment strategies.
Fleites is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and he also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Wellesley, Mass.-based Babson College.
Fuhr Launches Own Firm
ETF veteran Deborah Fuhr launched an independent research and consultancy firm, ETF Global Insight, in February.
The new company publishes both independent and commissioned research, and provides investors with assistance on product comparison and asset-allocation implementation.
Fuhr has been working in the ETF industry since 1997, and was most recently global head of ETF research and implementation strategy and a managing director at BlackRock.
Fuhr left the iShares parent company in October last year and had been due to take up the post of head of global delta one strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. However, the bank announced in January it would not be going ahead with the hiring.
Shane Kelly and Matthew Murray, former BlackRock colleagues of Fuhr’s, have joined her in the new venture. The trio was instrumental in developing the first ETF global industry research reports and worldwide handbooks, and have won a number of awards for their research.