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American Century Investments announced its entry into the exchange traded fund market yesterday with the launch of two ETFs on the heels of two BlackRock Inc.-pedigreed hires recruited specifically to ensure the success of the endeavor.

The two ETFs are American Century STOXX1 U.S. Quality Value (VALQ) and American Century Diversified Corporate Bond (KORP).

Holding the title of ETF portfolio manager, Rene Casis will manage the STOXX1 ETF alongside Peruvemba Satish, the firm's senior vice president, portfolio manager and director of global analytics, out of the firm's Mountain View, Calif. office. 

Sean Walker

Casis hailed from San Francisco-based 55 Capital Partners where he was a partner. Prior to that, he spent 19 years at New York-based BlackRock, including his tenure at Barclays Global Investor, most recently as director for iShares as an investment strategist and senior portfolio manager. See: TD Ameritrade angers RIAs who feel 'blindsided' after TD Ameritrade's actions prompt the departure of all Vanguard and some iShares ETFs from its NTF platform.

Sean Walker is the firm's new VP ETF specialist. He came aboard the $175-billion asset management firm directly from BlackRock where he was vice president and market leader responsible for all active and passive product platforms for the West Coast of Florida. Before that, Walker managed Florida and southeast regional distribution for FlexShares ETF.  

A classic medium-sized mutual fund company founded in 1958, Kansas City, Mo.-based American Century gave notice of its strategy shift early last year when it poached Jay Hummel from Chicago-based Envestnet Inc. to serve as SVP direct sale and service. See: After leaving Envestnet, Jay Hummel pops up at American Century with a 21st century plan.

“Rene and Sean will play a critical role as we establish American Century as an ETF destination, a company priority for 2018 and beyond,” said Satish in a statement. “This is an exciting time as we continue to build our ETF business.”



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