22. Michael Sapir
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

22. Michael Sapir

Michael Sapir
Chairman and CEO, ProFunds/ProShares
One summer morning three years ago, Michael Sapir rang the opening bell at the American Stock Exchange to mark the launch of the industry's first leveraged and short ETFs. This summer, as the ETFs entered their third year of existence, the mood at ProShares -- as well as rivals Direxion Funds and Rydex -- is far from celebratory. The SEC and Finra came out with an alert on leveraged and inverse ETFs, several brokerages decided to halt sales of the products, and the ETFs also attracted the attention of Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, not to mention class-action lawyers. Throughout the firestorm, Sapir has been very visible in the media, explaining the ETFs' purpose.

Sapir co-founded ProFunds Group, the largest manager of short and leveraged funds, in 1997 and serves as chairman and CEO. The group, with $30 billion of AUM, offers 90 ProShares ETFs and 115 ProFunds mutual funds.

Before he started ProFunds, Sapir was a principal at Padco Advisors, adviser to the Rydex Funds. Earlier, he was a partner at Washington D.C. law firm Jorden Burt, where he represented financial institutions.

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