REFILE-ETF pioneer Kranefuss joins Warburg Pincus

Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:16am EST

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Lee Kranefuss, who spent a decade building iShares into the largest manager of exchange-traded funds, joined private equity firm Warburg Pincus to help look for investment opportunities in the consolidating ETF marketplace.

Kranefuss, who left iShares in 2010 after it was acquired by BlackRock Inc, will be an executive-in-residence at Warburg, the firm said in a statement on Monday. Kranefuss had established a firm last year to put together deals to acquire smaller ETF providers in Europe.

The move comes as the nearly $2 trillion global ETF market is consolidating. Increasing regulatory costs and investor preferences for using larger, more frequently traded funds are driving some smaller players out of the industry.

U.S. money manager Russell Investments closed most of its ETFs earlier this year, while financial services firm Guggenheim Partners sold its Canadian ETF unit to BlackRock.

At Warburg Pincus, Kranefuss will look for investment opportunities in ETFs, index investing and money management mainly in Europe, Asia and Latin America, the firm said in its statement.