MIB: Sharon French, Oppenheimer Funds

This week we speak with Sharon French, who at the time of our interview was Director of Beta Solutions at Oppenheimer Funds, and ran the ESG effort there also. She will soon take the reins at AIG’s life and retirement funds business, which manages more than $85 billion in assets. She worked at Blackrock right after Larry Fink took over iShares, where she was the head of private client & institutional sales at BlackRock, working the front lines with CIOs and managers.

French is currently president and member of the Global Governance Committee for Women in ETFs and a member of the Investment Company Institute’s ETF governance committee.

She has spent the better part of her career on the ETF side, focusing primarily on enhanced indexes — which covers a full spectrum of non-capitalization weighted indices. French explains why both the active and passive approaches are complementary to each other.  She believes the best way to use ETFs is to create a portfolio that is anchored in low-cost, passive, indexes that is flavored with other approaches that can range from fundamental weighted to quantitative to

We discuss why there are 3 dominant giants in the ETF industry, and why the rest of the marketplace has been forced to experiment and focus on non-beta offerings.

Her favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite host sites can be found here.

Next week we speak with Jonathan Stein, founder and chief executive of Betterment, which has $18 billion in assets under management.




Sharon French’s favorite books

I Love Capitalism!: An American Story by Ken Langone

Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn

Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead: The Ten Most Innovative Lessons from a Long, Strange Trip by Barry Barnes

Not Dead Yet: The Memoir by Phil Collins

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