Global X appoints US CEO to grow market position

22 February 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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Global X has appointed a new chief executive from Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). 

The ETF provider announced Ryan O’Connor will join the firm on 8 April 2024 in the leadership role. 

He joins from GSAM where he was the global head of ETF product, responsible for leading all aspects of the ETF product platform. Prior to this, he spent over a decade with State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) on its SPDR ETF franchise. 

At Global X, which was acquired by Mirae Asset, he will be responsible for “driving the firm’s strategy, reinvigorating its product suite and leading Global X’s talented, performance-driven team into a new, growth-focused era for the company”. 

The firm has been without a permanent chief executive since the departure of Luis Berruga, who worked for a decade at Global X, in November 2023. Thomas Park, co-CEO of Mirae Asset Financial Group, has been leading the firm in the interim period.

As of February 2024, the firm has US$43 billion ($65 billion) in assets under management, but this is smaller than other ETF providers such as BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street.

Hyeon Joo Park, founder and global strategy officer of Mirae Asset Financial Group, said O’Connor’s appointment is part of a push by the firm for it to be a “clear-cut leader” in the ETF space. 

He said: “It’s our desire to take Global X from a rising star to a clear-cut leader in the ETF industry. 

“Over the past few months, we’ve kicked off a journey to strategically reposition the firm in order to jump-start momentum and accelerate the business. By doing so, Global X has renewed agility, a refocus on its core competencies and a clear emphasis on its client base. 

“Now is the right time to bring in new leadership. Ryan has a notable track record of driving growth across the ETF value chain for the world’s largest asset managers. He is eager to bring his ETF industry experience and strategic, growth-oriented mindset to Global X, and we are excited to have him on board to help take the business to its next level."

At the end of 2023, the firm said it is targeting $10 billion in assets under management in Australia by the end of 2025 with help from superannuation funds, an expanded product range and expanding the sales team. 

Australian chief executive Evan Metcalf said: “For 2024, we want to build on our existing relationships and bring new products to the market where it is required based on client need for unique and interesting propositions.

“We are starting from behind in terms of resources, so we are looking to catch them up and compete with our peers on revenue, number of investors, etc.

“We are not in the business of pursuing price wars, however, we are committed to competing aggressively on price where necessary. We will continue to focus on products that we know have upfront demand and are true to our investor-first philosophy.”

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