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Exclusive: Goldman moves executive to new role building ETFs

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has moved an executive from its trading division to its investment-management division to launch a business that will sponsor exchange-traded funds and sell them to retail clients through third parties, according to a memo and people familiar with the matter.

Michael Crinieri, who previously headed Goldman's global ETF business in equities trading, is now global head of ETF strategy in Goldman Sachs Asset Management's third-party distribution business, according to the memo, whose contents were confirmed by a spokeswoman.

In his new role, Crinieri will work with portfolio managers to develop ETF products and sell them to clients "across the asset class spectrum," Jim McNamara, head of GSAM's global third-party distribution business, said in the memo. That business sells Goldman-sponsored products to retail clients through large brokerages and registered investment advisers.

Goldman's equities trading business largely provides liquidity for institutional clients who want to buy and sell ETFs sponsored by other companies. As the ETF industry has matured and institutional investors have become more familiar with the product, there was less of a need for Crinieri's skill set in the trading business, a source familiar with the matter said.

Crinieri, a managing director, joined Goldman Sachs in 2000 from Morgan Stanley and has been involved with the ETF business for 19 years. His move comes as Goldman is trying to build its investment management business, and as the ETF industry balloons in size.

ETFs now have total assets of about $2.6 trillion globally, up 73 percent from just three years ago, according to data from State Street Corp . The United States is the dominant market, with about $1.86 trillion in total assets, as of the end of June. The top three ETF providers, BlackRock Inc , State Street and Vanguard, together account for about 70 percent of total assets in the global ETF industry.

(Additional reporting by Ashley Lau)

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