AllianceBernstein has hired State Street Global Advisors‘ Noel Archard to lead its expansion into ETFs.


Archard, SSGA’s global head of product for nearly five years, will join AB effective Monday as its global head of ETFs and portfolio solutions, AB announced Wednesday morning.


Under Archard, AB intends to launch its first U.S. ETFs sometime this year, the announcement notes.


“Establishing the firm’s first-ever global head of ETFs and portfolio solutions role and adding Noel to the team creates an opportunity for AB to generate an innovative and differentiated offering in a crowded space,” said Onur Erzan, head of AB’s global client group. Archard will report to Erzan.


AB filed to launch actively managed ETFs in the U.S. in mid-2010. Its initial product was described then as either a large-cap equity vehicle — the Style Purity Equity ETF — or a Treasury inflation-protected securities ETF, a regulatory filing shows. Though the Securities and Exchange Commission granted the firm is required exemptions in early 2013, no further action was taken.


It was around this time, in 2012, that AB’s then-chief investment officer for thematic portfolios, Cathie Wood, pitched the firm on her proposal to build a suite of actively managed ETFs targeting innovative companies. AB brass demurred, and Wood went on to found Ark Investment Management.


Last year, meanwhile, AB’s Australia business rolled out an ETF version of its Managed Volatility Equities Fund.


Archard joined SSGA in April 2017 to take on a newly created post charged with responsibilities including spearheading product development and evaluating existing offerings.


State Street has not yet replaced Archard, a company spokesperson said.


Archard previously spent nine years at BlackRock, including three as its Canada chief, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was also global product development and management head at iShares. Before that, he worked at Vanguard for a decade.