State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) has appointed Frank Henze from HSBC as its new head of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for Asia-Pacific.

Based in Hong Kong as a managing director, Henze will oversee SSgA’s ETF expansion strategy in the region including Japan and Australia. He will be seeking to increase the size and visibility of SSgA’s range of SPDR ETFs. It forms part of SSgA's commitment to growing its ETF business globally, with a strategic focus on Asia-Pacific.

Henze, a German national, was previously responsible for global ETF product development at HSBC based in London, before which he spent five years with iShares in Europe, latterly as European head of product development.

He now reports to Bernard Reilly, head of SSgA’s business in Asia-Pacific, and James Ross, senior managing director and global head of ETFs at SSgA.

“Frank’s addition to the growing ETF team in the region is a significant sign of our dedication to expanding this business,” says Reilly. “His vast experience in strategic planning and product development will drive the expansion of our ETF team as well as our SPDR product footprint in Asia-Pacific.”

SSgA now has at least 10 core staff in its dedicated Asia-Pacific ETF team, which it is believed the firm is seeking to double in the near term.

Henze’s appointment comes after Sammy Yip quit SSgA as head of ETFs for Asia-Pacific based in Hong Kong earlier this year to become head of business and product development at Lippo Investment Management, which is part of Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group. Any replacement for Yip would report directly to Henze, AsianInvestor understands.

Subsequently, SSgA confirmed that there would be key hires made to its regional ETF business in an expanded structure. The firm has already brought in a regional head of ETF marketing, and is thought to be in the market to hire regional heads for other channels throughout the region.

SSgA, the investment management business of State Street Corporation, introduced ETFs in Asia-Pacific in 1999 when it launched the Tracker Fund of Hong Kong. At present it has 12 ETFs listed across four markets in the region – Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

According to a report from BlackRock, by the end of the third quarter ,SSgA was the leading ETF provider in Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) by assets with $11.5 billion under management in eight ETFs, for a 22.5% market share; iShares was second with $9.8 billion in 15 ETFs, a 19% share.

This year SSgA launched the SPDR FTSE Greater China ETF on the Hong Kong stock exchange and the SPDR MSCI Australia Select High Dividend Yield Fund on the Australian Securities Exchange. It also spoke of its plans to strengthen its product offerings throughout the region.

The SPDR FTSE Greater China ETF is structured as an umbrella trust, featuring a ‘master prospectus’ approved by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. It will enable the firm to roll out additional ETFs using the same core structure and outlining the features of any new product in an add-on filing.

“We did it with an umbrella, so hopefully it will be easier to add other products,” Kelly Driscoll, SSgA’s senior managing director for Asia ex-Japan, told AsianInvestor recently. “Our plan is to start producing several [new ETFs] a year under our structure in Hong Kong. And we’d be looking, in addition to newly created products, to bring in cross-listed ETFs.”

Separately, Lippo IM recently launched its first fund of ETFs to institutional clients. China and Southeast Asia were the firm’s two major areas of focus.