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Rating:Akins Leaves Alps and Takes Startup Action Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Akins Leaves Alps and Takes Startup Action

News summary by MFWire's editors

The head of Alps' ETF business is moving on, and he's teaming up with a pair of colleagues.

Mike Akins, Brian Burke, and Alex Shepard are building out their own online startup, ETF Action, Akins confirms, and they're moving into their new office space today. The vision, Akins explains, is to help FAs and RIAs use ETFs inside customized portfolios. Like Alps, ETF Action is Denver-based.

Akins most recently spent more than three years as head of ETFs at Alps. Burke most recently worked on ETF portfolio management and research at Alps. And Shepard most recently served as an ETF consultant and senior analyst at Alps. Their move comes after SS&C bought Alps' parent, DST, last month.

Word is that two of Akins' old co-PMs — Andy Hicks, vice president and ETF PM and trader, and Ryan Mischker, VP and PM — have taken over day-to-day PM responsibility and report to Jeremy Held, Alps' head of research.

Ned Burke, CEO of Alps, did not immediately return a call for comment for this story.

"We built out a very solid team at Alps," Akins tells MFWire. "It was a tough decision to leave Alps after 12 great years ... I wish them nothing but the best."

As for ETF Action, the founding trio are the sole owners of the startup, at least for now. They plan to offer "a low-cost, subscription-based service" that gives FAs "another tool in their toolbox that helps them map the market and meet client objectives." That service would include access to daily commentary, data playbooks, plug and play models, and more.

"Even more important than products is understanding how these tools should be used in the portfolio construction process," Akins says, noting that there are now more than 2,100 ETFs for FAs and investors to choose from. "We kind of look at our framework as solving the why, what, and how."

"We're really excited to get started. I would just encourage people to stay tuned," Akins adds. "We won't have a live product out until the middle of Q3."

Akins, an alumnus of Briar Cliff University, first joined Alps in 2006 as vice president and deputy chief compliance officer for fund services, and he later held positions in product risk management and portfolio analytics, as well as index management and product oversight. Prior to Alps he worked at UMB and State Street.

Brian Burke, an alumnus of Boston College, spent more than five years at Alps.

Shepard, an alumnus of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, spent about four years at Alps. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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