Franklin Hires Ex-BlackRock Executive O'Connor to Lead ETFs

  • O'Connor helped start iShares unit more than a decade ago
  • Money manager oversees more than $800 billion in assets

Franklin Resources Inc., which has more than $800 billion under management, hired Patrick O’Connor, formerly of BlackRock Inc., to head global exchange-traded funds.

O’Connor, who helped start BlackRock’s iShares business and served as partner in the ETF business for more than a decade, will shape and develop Franklin’s offerings in the newly created role, the San Mateo, California-based money manager announced Tuesday in a statement. He will be based at headquarters and will report to Franklin co-presidents Jenny Johnson and Vijay Advani.

Chief Executive Officer Greg Johnson said in the statement that while Franklin focuses primarily on active funds, the company sees opportunities for investors to use a wider range of strategies to meet their needs. Franklin’s website lists one ETF, the Franklin Short Duration U.S. Government ETF.

Asset managers including Nuveen Investments and OppenheimerFunds, which is owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., have made hires and acquisitions in recent months to expand their ETFs.

Managing Director Pat Chiefalo replaced O’Connor as head of iShares product development for Canada, according to a person familiar with the move who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.

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