State Street ETF Head Sue Thompson Retiring

State Street ETF Head Sue Thompson Retiring

SPDR passed $1 trillion in assets under Thompson’s leadership, firm says.

RonDay
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Managing Editor
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Kent Thune
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Sue Thompson, head of distribution for State Street’s SPDR Americas, is retiring after six years at the company in which she helped the ETF unit grow past $1 trillion in assets. 

Thompson, 61, will retire in the second quarter to spend more time with her family, State Street said in an emailed statement. 

Boston-based State Street is the No. 3 ETF issuer after BlackRock Inc.’s iShares and Vanguard Group. The firm manages $1.21 trillion in 137 funds, including 18 issued in the period since Thompson joined in 2018. It manages the world’s biggest and first U.S. ETF, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) with $486.6 billion in assets.

“Sue has been instrumental in growing our ETF distribution in the Americas,” State Street Global CEO Yie Hsin-Hung said in the statement.

The ETF business has become increasingly competitive over the past few years, with issuers cutting fees and creating new varieties of funds to pull in customers. At the same time, the industry has passed $8 trillion in assets, in part by taking market share from mutual funds.

SPDR ETF Assets Doubled Under Thompson

SPDR assets have more than doubled since the $566 billion the firm managed at the end of 2018, State Street said. Last year the unit brought in more than $80 billion in inflows, State Street said. 

State Street said that in conjunction with Thompson's retirement, it's realigning its executive leadership responsibilities. It named Allison Bonds Head of Intermediary Distribution, responsible for defining and leading SSGA’s distribution strategy.

Thompson, who ran her consulting firm Thompson Peak Advisory before joining State Street, has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance by Barron’s for the past three years. She held positions at BlackRock’s and Vanguard’s ETF businesses before starting her consulting firm. She’s a founding member of Women in ETFs and a board member. 

Thompson graduated from the University of California, Davis School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar association. She holds a B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Washington. 

Ron Day is Managing Editor at etf.com. He joined the company in October 2022 and previously served as editor and deputy managing editor.

Ron covered business and financial news at Bloomberg News for 20 years, working on the breaking news, technology, commodities, headlines and First Word teams. He was previously senior editor at ESG news outlet Karma Impact and filled the same role at Boundless Impact. He also covered a variety of beats at New Jersey daily papers including the Daily Record in Parsippany, the North Jersey Herald & News and the Asbury Park Press. Ron's freelance work has been published in AARP.com, Investopedia.com and BigThink.com.

Ron is an advocate and fan of literacy. He hopes to one day master his Telecaster, rather than the other way around. His wonderful family includes a 10-lb. malti-poo named Emmy.