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Former Janus chief executive joins Grail Advisors

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San Francisco-based Grail Advisors, a developer and distributor of active-managed exchange-traded funds, has appointed Gary Black, former chief executive of Janus Capital Group, to its advisory board.

Grail Advisors launched the industry’s first actively-managed equity ETFs earlier this year, including a suite of single-manager ETFs using traditional active management.

The firm will launch a series of actively-managed fixed income ETFs in early 2010.

"Having an experienced executive like Gary Black join our team is a solid validation of the Grail Advisors business strategy," says William M. Thomas, chief executive of Grail Advisors. "We are changing the face of managed investments and Gary’s presence will help us build momentum."

Black (pictured) spent five years at Janus, joining the firm in April 2004 as president and chief investment officer, and was named chief executive in January 2006.

Prior to Janus, Black was chief investment officer of global equities and a partner at Goldman Sachs in its asset management division. Previously, he served as executive vice president and global head of the institutional business for Alliance Bernstein. Black started his investment career as a senior research analyst in 1992 at Sanford C. Bernstein.

In October, Black launched a new money management firm, Black Capital Management, a SEC-registered company that will offer traditional long-only as well as absolute-return strategies to both retail and institutional investors.

"It’s clear to me that Grail Advisors is out in front of the fund industry with its actively-managed ETF product," says Black. "I’m keenly interested in helping the firm stay on the leading edge of this product evolution."

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