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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

An ETF Legend Dies At 69

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The ETF industry is mourning the loss of its "SPDR Woman."

The late Kathleen H. Moriarty
New York City-based Kathleen Moriarty, special counsel at Chapman and Cutler LLP, recently passed away at the age of 69. Morrison Warren, co-lead of the law firm's investment management practice group, revealed the news last week of Moriarty's death.

Kathleen H. Moriarty earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and art history at Smith College, then earned her JD at the University of Notre Dame's law school. She started her career at Hawkins Delafield & Wood.

In 1987, Moriarty joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. It was during her time at Orrick (nearly a decade) that she helped out the American Stock Exchange (Amex, now part of the NYSE) with the creation of the United States' first exchange traded fund: SPY (aka SSGA's SPDR S&P 500 ETF).

Moriarty continued helping with the launch of more SPDRs and other ETFs as she changed law firms over the years, and in more recent years she's worked with companies in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. She moved to Carter Ledyard & Milburn in 1997, to Katten Muchin Rosenman in 2007, and to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer in 2017. She joined Chapman and Cutler in 2017 as partner in its New York office and as part of the firm's investment management group.

For her efforts with SPDRs, Moriarty gained her industry nickname. She also won a number of awards, including: the Nate Most Greatest Contributor to the ETF Market award in 2017; two Global ETP Icons of the Industry awards; the IMN 2016 William F Sharpe Lifetime Achievement award; and the 2016 ETF.com Lifetime Achievement award. She was also an inaugural member of ETF Database's ETF Hall of Fame.

"Kathleen was a pioneer in the investment management industry and was at the forefront of some of our industry's most impactful innovation of the last thirty years," Warren states. "Throughout her time at Chapman, she was a humble and thoughtful colleague and universally recognized as a kind-hearted and beloved individual. She will be deeply missed by all of those who knew her and her contributions to the industry." 

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