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DWS ETF head departs Emea’s second largest tracker firm

ETF pioneer Manooj Mistry (pictured) has left DWS Group after 14 years.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he managed the launch of the first two ETFs in Europe when he worked for Merrill Lynch.

Mistry has stepped down from a number of DWS roles, including global head of ETFs and index investing, chief executive and executive director of the firm’s UK board, chairman of two Xtrackers boards in Luxembourg and as a director of the Xtrackers board in Ireland, DWS said.

His ETF role will be filled by Fiona Bassett, global head for systematic investment solutions at DWS.

Commenting on his departure, DWS said: “He played a key leadership role in transitioning our ETF platform to operating as part of an independent DWS, and prior to this led an equally important transition when we took the bold step of switching from being a mainly swap-based ETF provider to one focused on providing high-quality physical replication products.”

Mistry’s strategic leadership was also significant in making DWS Xtrackers the second largest provider of ETFs in Europe, the German asset manager said.

As at 31 March 2020, DWS managed €133bn of assets under ETFs, the firm said.

Emea ETF overview

In 2019, DWS ranked ($102bn) behind Blackrock’s iShares with $452bn in ETF assets under management in Europe and ahead of Lyxor with $89bn, according to a 2020 report by TrackInsight, an independent French ETF platform (see chart below).

Source: TrackInsight


DWS offered 256 out of more than 6,000 ETFs listed globally in 2019, the report said (see charts below).

Source: TrackInsight
Source: TrackInsight

One of the key factors driving the growth of ETFs has been low management fees. In Europe, the average asset-weighted expense ratio range was between 0.243% and 0.257% at the end of 2019 (see table below).

Source: TrackInsight

In Emea, equity ETFs make up the largest part of funds offered, while fixed income ETFs saw the strongest growth, with flows increasing by 30% between 2018 to 2019 (see chart below).

Source: TrackInsight

In May, DWS, with €767bn of assets under management, announced to extend its environmental, social and governance (ESG) ETF line-up with the following changes:

  • Xtrackers JP Morgan ESG Emerging Markets Sovereign ETF (previously Xtrackers Emerging Markets Bond – Interest Rate Hedged ETF (EMIH))
  • Xtrackers J.P. Morgan ESG USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (previously Xtrackers High Yield Corporate Bond – Interest Rate Hedged ETF (HYIH))
  • Xtrackers Bloomberg Barclays US Investment Grade Corporate ESG ETF (previously Xtrackers Investment Grade Bond – Interest Rate Hedged ETF (IGIH))

Luke Oliver, head of index investing for the Americas at DWS, said: “We believe ESG will become increasingly important for investors, especially as the coronavirus pandemic brings greater attention to the investments needed to make the global economy, society and environment more sustainable.”

According to TrackInsight, the number of ESG ETFs worldwide jumped from fewer than 50 in 2014 to over 300 in 2019.

Elena Johansson

Senior Reporter

Part of the Mark Allen Group.