Northern Trust Names David Abner New ETF Head

Northern Trust Names David Abner New ETF Head

David Abner was previously global head of business at the Winklevoss-founded Gemini Crypto Exchange.
Contributing Editor
Reviewed by: Kent Thune
Edited by: Ron Day

Northern Trust Asset Management, which oversees $1.2 trillion in assets under management, has named David Abner as its new head of global ETFs and funds, the firm announced Tuesday.

Abner, who begins his new role on June 17, will direct product strategy for NTAM's mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. NTAM had more than $230 billion in AUM in U.S. mutual funds and global ETFs as of the end of this year's first quarter. He will also be responsible for research and development, product management, and fund oversight and treasury functions, among his responsibilities. 

"As we innovate and continue to build our suite of funds, David's proven leadership and deep expertise will help drive NTAM's continued growth in this key area of our business," NTAM President Daniel Gamba said. 

NTAM has 29 ETFs with a combined $20.2 billion in AUM trading on U.S. markets, according to data. The funds, which carry an average expense ratio of 0.32%, target three categories: equities, fixed income and asset allocations. Its largest fund, the 13-year-old FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index Fund (GUNR), tracks companies in the energy and natural resources space and manages more than $6 billion in AUM. 

GUNR ETF Growth of 10k Chart

ETF Industry Innovator

Abner was most recently global head of business development at Gemini Crypto Exchange, the company founded by mega-entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Prior to that role, Abner spent over a decade with ETF giant WisdomTree Asset Management in a number of roles, including as CEO of WisdomTree Europe. Earlier in his career, he held leadership positions in the ETF space for traditional financial services firms BNP Paribas and Bear Stearns & Co. 

He will report to NTAM Global Head of Product Paula Ker. In a statement, Ker called Abner "a visionary leader in the ETF industry." 

"As NTAM advances its mutual fund and ETF strategy, we are confident that David's expertise in building new businesses will allow us to provide our clients with innovative and improve solutions to all of their investment needs," she said.

James Rubin is a contributing editor for, where he produces the Morning Exchange and Weekly Exchange newsletters. A longtime financial writer, editor and book author, he formerly held positions as a news and markets editor for the Americas at CoinDesk, where he focussed on cryptocurrencies. 

He provided editorial guidance for a Wall Street Journal best-selling book on Bitcoin and oversaw a startup newsroom focused on digital financial assets. He has edited for TheStreet and Unchained, where he wrote daily news stories about the trial of fallen crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried. His writing has also appeared in The Hollywood Reporter,, AdWeek, Bankrate, The Financial Brand and The Wall Street Journal. He has also written for Forbes Insights and the Economist Intelligence Unit, including papers presented at World Economic Forums in Davos and Mumbai. 

James is the co-author of The Urban Cyclist’s Survival Guide (Triumph Books) and has been interviewed about bike safety on a number of NPR affiliates. In a prior career, Rubin was a world-ranked tennis player, once competing in Wimbledon’s qualifying rounds. He speaks fluent German and is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received his BA at Columbia University.