September 2023


Product innovations in ETFs

Lou Maiuri, State Street’s President, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Investment Services, speaks with Jim Ross, Former EVP and Chairman of the Global SPDR business at State Street Global Advisors, about the genesis of ETFs, and what their path to mass adoption and product evolution has looked like over the past three decades.

Known by many in the industry as the “Father of ETFs,” Ross has helped accelerate the global uptake of ETFs, introducing them to places like Japan, Australia and Taiwan. His guidance continues to be crucial to the industry’s evolution and growth.

The concept of the ETF was first brought to State Street by the US Stock Exchange, born out of the financial crisis of 1987. From the early days of the launch of SPY working on a three-person team, to witnessing the explosion of ETF usage by financial advisors and institutional investors, Ross credits the resiliency of the product structure, the ability to deliver better outcomes at a lower cost for the end investor ꟷ as well as the creation of jobs ꟷ to the ETF’s continued product innovation and international expansion.

Celebrating 30 years of ETF innovation
2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the industry’s first US-listed exchange-traded fund. Co-created by State Street Global Advisors, the Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts ꟷ better known as the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF, or SPY ꟷ revolutionized index investing, liquidity, asset allocation, intermediary distribution, portfolio construction and overall market access.

Today, among the nearly 12,0001 ETFs in existence, SPY is the largest2, most liquid3 and most heavily traded4 ETF in the world. Our ETF@30 video series examines the past, present and future of ETFs ꟷ and their impact on the world’s financial markets and industries.


Our global ETF business is committed to delivering simple, well-crafted and innovative solutions that can help investors execute on investment strategies, no matter how complex.

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