SOURCE: Powerscourt LLP

September 26, 2011 05:11 ET

ETF Opportunity Partners - Launch Announcement

LONDON--(Marketwire - Sep 26, 2011) -


London, 26 September 2011 - Lee Kranefuss and Rory Tobin announced
today the formation of ETF Opportunity Partners, a new firm that is
focused on driving transformational opportunities in the rapidly
expanding global Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) industry.

The founding partners of the firm bring a wealth of ETF, asset
management and capital markets experience to the venture. Both were
instrumental in the development of iShares, the world's largest ETF
provider. Lee Kranefuss is the former Global CEO of iShares, while Rory
Tobin is the former CEO of the International iShares business.

During their time at iShares, assets under management grew from $2bn in
2000 to $470bn, accounting for nearly 50% of the global ETF
marketplace. Kranefuss and Tobin were instrumental in the development
of critical mass in the ETF product category in North America, Europe,
Asia and Latin America.

ETF Opportunity Partners expects to pursue a number of organic and
inorganic opportunities to drive continued change and innovation in the
ETF industry.

Kranefuss said: "ETFs have been one of the most successful financial
products of the past 50 years - bringing investors liquidity,
diversification, low cost, and access to a wide range of asset classes
around the world. While asset growth in the ETF industry has been
tremendous, much more room exists to serve investors well through
innovative ETF products and services. ETF Opportunity Partners has
been set up to drive that change across the globe."

Tobin added: "The global ETF opportunity is even greater today than at
any time in the past ten years. Across Europe, Asia, and Latin America,
there are exciting opportunities to bring ETFs to more investors in
more countries with quality investment products that serve their
requirements. We believe the industry will see significant change as
investors and regulators demand greater fiduciary alignment between ETF
providers and the ultimate investor. Too often there has been a lack of
transparency in products sold as ETFs, and we expect a reshaping of the
regulations and the industry for the benefit of investors globally."

ETF Opportunity Partners is a passionate advocate of the value
proposition offered to investors by the ETF product category. We
believe that true ETFs have been a tremendous boon to investors,
providing transparency, liquidity, diversification, and choice to
millions of investors. ETFs have grown from less than $100 billion of
assets globally in 2000 to more than $1,500 billion - saving investors
more than $50 billion in fees and costs along the way.

ETF Opportunity Partners is a strong believer of the principles of
transparency, liquidity, fiduciary standards and investor alignment as
they apply to the ETF industry, and intends passionately to advocate
these standards in its business model.

About Exchange-Traded Funds:

ETFs have been one of the most successful financial products over the
last 25 years because of the tremendous value they provide to
investors. Global assets under management (AUM) stands at approximately
$1,500bn, and since 1995 the product category has generated
consistently positive annual net flows through both up and down market

This growth is set to continue, with a recent McKinsey report
predicting global ETF assets under management to increase to between
$3,100bn and $4,700bn over the next five years.

ETF Opportunity Partners sees considerable opportunities in the Global
ETF marketplace, and wishes to apply its knowledge, experience and
track record to harnessing these opportunities.

The US market represents approximately $1,100bn in AUM, with 1,000
products provided by 29 providers on two stock exchanges.

The international marketplace, by contrast, is still in the early
stages of development. International AUM is approximately $450bn, but
significantly there are approximately 1,800 products offered by 117
providers across 47 stock exchanges. For a variety of reasons, current
providers in the international market appear somewhat challenged in
gathering new assets and growing the overall category. ETF Opportunity
Partners intends to act as a catalyst to unlock these market

About Lee Kranefuss:

Lee Kranefuss started the iShares ETF business, which is the largest
ETF family globally, and currently has more than $500bn in assets under
management. He retired from BlackRock, the current owner of iShares, in
April 2010, and has been pursuing a range of investments in the asset
management industry globally.

About Rory Tobin:

Rory Tobin was CEO of the International iShares business. In this role,
Mr Tobin was responsible for leading and developing the iShares
business outside the US (EMEA, Asia, Latin America), with particular
focus on Europe. He retired from BlackRock, the current owner of
iShares, in July 2010.

Media Contacts:

Conal Walsh
+44 (0)20 7250 1446 

Lisa Kavanagh
+44 (0)20 7250 1446 

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