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Former health secretary Thompson appointed chairman of ETF provider HealthShares

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HealthShares, a family of exchange-traded funds created by New York-based XShares Advisors, has appointed Tommy G Thompson, the former US secretary of health and human services and governo

HealthShares, a family of exchange-traded funds created by New York-based XShares Advisors, has appointed Tommy G Thompson, the former US secretary of health and human services and governor of Wisconsin, as chairman of the board.

‘We are delighted that Governor Thompson has been appointed chairman of HealthShares,’ says Jeffrey L. Feldman, founder and chairman of XShares Group. ‘He has long been recognised as a progressive voice for healthcare reform, in particular recognising the need to engage the capital markets to improve efficiency and innovation in healthcare development and delivery.

‘He also brings unique insights into how public policy and new legislation will directly impact the industry. It is this experience and vast knowledge of the healthcare sector that will be invaluable to our company.’

‘I’m looking forward to working with the other members of the board and contributing to HealthShares,’ Thompson says. ‘As spending on healthcare increases and new legislation continues to be introduced, interesting developments will continue to affect the healthcare sector.

‘XShares is bringing innovative investment tools to the public providing opportunities to invest in specific therapeutic ‘verticals’ in the complex and rapidly changing healthcare, life science and biotechnology industries.’

Thompson, who was appointed secretary of health and human services in 2001 by president George W. Bush, worked on healthcare initiatives including the Medicare Modernization Act, which provided a prescription drug benefit and increased preventive screenings to Medicare beneficiaries.

Since leaving government in 2005, Thompson has been president of Logistics Health, a senior advisor at consultants Deloitte & Touche and independent chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, as well as senior partner at Washington, DC law firm Akin Gump.

Thompson came to national attention as a champion of welfare reform, access to health care and education programmes during his four terms as governor of Wisconsin between 1987 and 2001.

The HealthShares family of ETFs are organised into therapeutic so-called verticals representing distinct sub-segments of the healthcare, life science and biotechnology industries, such as the diagnosis and treatment of specific therapeutic areas including cardiology, cancer and infectious disease, and the development of medical devices such as orthopaedic repair and cardio devices.

Each ETF tracks an index of 22-25 stocks and offers institutional and individual investors a more precise financial instrument for healthcare investing while mitigating the risks of single stock selection.

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