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Grail Advisors hires executive team for distribution of actively-managed equity ETFs


San Francisco-based Grail Advisors, a provider and distributor of actively-managed exchange-traded funds, has announced a number of executive appointments to lead and manage the company

San Francisco-based Grail Advisors, a provider and distributor of actively-managed exchange-traded funds, has announced a number of executive appointments to lead and manage the company’s sales and distribution efforts.

The firm has registered what it says is the US industry’s first actively-managed ETFs in the equity space using traditional active management. Once effective, the funds will be distributed through registered investment advisers, bank trusts, independent broker dealers, and major financial services firms around the country.

Chet Chappell will lead the firm’s overall sales efforts as head of distribution. Chappell, who came to Grail Advisors from Charles Schwab Investment Management, will oversee the intermediary sales and distribution efforts. He will also be responsible for developing the product and marketing plan for Grail Advisor’s entire line-up of offerings.

Richard Hendl has accepted the position of vice president of distribution, Eastern Region. Hendl comes to Grail Advisors from Putnam Investments where he was senior vice president, account manager. Previously, he worked at Scudder Kemper Investments, where he was vice president, international sales manager, Canada and national sales manager.

Brian McGinty will oversee the firm’s efforts in the other half of the country as vice president of distribution, Western region. Before joining Grail Advisors, McGinty was Midwest regional director of intermediary and institutional sales for Charles Schwab Investment Management. He previously held senior positions with AXA Rosenberg and Safeco Asset Management.

Mitch Zielezinski will serve as vice president, institutional distribution for Grail Advisors. In that role, he will be responsible for distribution of the firm’s actively-managed ETFs to institutional investors, including market makers, proprietary trading firms, and other large platforms. Zielezinski came to Grail Advisors from Charles Schwab where he was a director of institutional sales. Previously, he served as managing director of Trinity Distributors.

“I believe that Chet and his team represent some of the industry’s best sales professionals,” says William M. Thomas, chief executive of Grail Advisors. “Grail Advisors intends to get out in front of the investment industry with truly innovative product, and I think we’ve put the right people in the right place at the right time to do just that.”

The two new funds are called the Grail American Beacon Large Cap Value ETF and the Grail American Beacon International Equity ETF.

Grail Advisors is currently in discussions with a number of financial institutions and asset managers about launching actively-managed ETFs and intends to make the benefits of ETFs available to investors who currently select traditional mutual funds or other vehicles to access active portfolio management. Thomas says the firm plans to work with banks and other financial institutions to create and market other customized ETFs.

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