Robert Tull, vice president of new product development at the American Stock Exchange, has been named head of Amex ETF Services, the company's newly created business unit [see page 2]. Before joining the Amex, Tull was managing director and chief operating officer for global custody market trust and benefit payment business at Deutsche Bank. Tull recently spoke with Mutual Fund News Reporter Andrew Brent about the Amex's new unit. An edited account of their conversation follows:
MFMN: How did the development of the new ETF business unit come about?
TULL: Believe it or not, the Amex has been providing advisory services to ETF products since the launch of the SPDRs [State Street Global Advisors' S&P Depositary Receipts] in 1993. It's always been on a sort of ad hoc basis. When the ETF market was young, having an informal ad hoc system was ok. But, now that the market has grown up, the Amex wants to have a very professional service unit to provide advisory services to potential issuers, sponsors and service providers. We think that Amex ETF Services is the best way to do that.
MFMN: In what direction do you see the ETF market moving?
TULL: There's going to be a greater array of index and other type products - enhanced ETFs, leveraged ETFs. I also think there's going to be a lot of new entrants into the ETF market. Right now, in the current universe of knowledge, there's no turnkey service provider for ETF development. There are independent consultants, but each specializes in different things, whether it be marketing, investment management, etc. You couldn't go to one place for all of that.
MFMN: What experience did you have with ETFs before going to the Amex?
TULL: I went to Deutsche Bank in 1996 and was the chief administrative officer for the Country Baskets product, which were launched and then removed the following year. Before that, at Morgan Stanley, Nate Most and I worked together to develop the iShares.
MFMN: Is leading Amex ETF Services your total responsibility now or is it an addition to your current ones as vice president of new product development?
TULL: It's in addition to that. Specifically, the new product development division is working on active ETF discussions and product development.