A Distro Leader Retires From a $65B-AUM Firm
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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A Distro Leader Retires From a $65B-AUM Firm

At a mid-Atlantic mutual fund shop, a longtime distribution leader has retired.

Donald Ray "Don" Roberson
Friday, June 17 was Don Roberson's last day with Bethesda, Maryland-based ProShares, MFWire has learned. He served as managing director of distribution. Roberson heads into retirement with over forty years of industry experience under his belt, and he joined ProShares back in 2010.

A ProShares spokesperson writes to MFWire, "We can confirm that Don Roberson is retiring after a long and successful career. His duties will be absorbed by other members of ProShares management."

Roberson tells MFWire, "I'm looking forward to figuring out what I'm going to do for the rest of my life!"

"I always say it's difficult to try and plan your retirement when you're still working," he continues, noting that the first item on the post-work docket is visiting Greece with family.

Recalling his time in the industry, Roberson explains that during his time with Lincoln Financial Distributors, he led a team that "built a world-class distribution organization." Roberson was a head of distribution in employer markets (defined contribution, executive benefits, and group insurance) with Lincoln's distribution wing from 2006 to 2009, and a senior vice president and head of distribution in national and regional broker-dealer channels with Lincoln Financial Group for three years before that.

At Funds Distributor, Roberson served as a senior vice president and head of business development between 1992 and 1998. He says of his time there, "We worked with some great asset managers and helped them with third-party distribution."

The ProShares years, Roberson adds, were among his favorites. "ProShares is probably one of the more interesting places I've [worked]," he explains, "and it's privately-held, a very lean company."

As for his successor(s), Roberson says that the ProShares team is "shuffling the organization a bit" in the wake of his absence. The distribution organization, he expects, will be placed in the confines of the company's product group.

"I think they're looking to hire a head of business for the strategic products, and the sales force will report to that person. They're not replacing me as a head of distribution, but instead hiring a head of business."

Roberson concludes, "It's been a lot of fun. My wife always [jokes] with me that I don't have any friends, but all my friends are in the industry, so I find that funny."

"I look forward to staying in touch with people, and I hope that people reach out, because I plan to reach out to folks," he adds.

Roberson was with Prudential Securities from 1981 to 1990, and briefly worked for at the start of the 2000s. He is an alumnus of the Florida State University College of Business.

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