Goldman Sachs Hires IShares Veteran Tony Kelly for ETF Business

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which is looking to issue exchange-traded funds this year, hired BlackRock Inc. veteran Tony Kelly as head of product development for that unit.

Kelly, who spent 15 years working in the iShares ETF business at Barclays Plc and BlackRock, will join Goldman Sachs as a managing director, according to an internal memo sent Friday, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. He’ll report to Michael Crinieri, who moved from the New York-based bank’s trading division last year to lead the ETF effort.

Goldman Sachs is seeking to capitalize on the explosive growth in ETFs as it pursues a goal of increasing revenue at its investment-management division by more than 10 percent a year. The ETF industry took 23 years to reach $2 trillion in assets and just two more years to reach $3 trillion, which it did in May, according to research and consultancy firm ETFGI.

The bank has sought regulatory approval for 11 funds focused on so-called active beta strategies, or weighting indexes based on valuation or growth instead of size or share price, and liquid alternatives, which seek to replicate hedge-fund trading tactics. Goldman Sachs expects to begin issuing funds this year, according to a person briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing the offering’s timing.

Kelly helped oversee the development of more than 100 funds at iShares and later founded the capital markets group for that business, according to his LinkedIn profile. The Baruch College graduate left New York-based BlackRock in April with plans of “taking a break and enjoying life,” the profile says.

For more, read this QuickTake: Exchange-Traded Funds