Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus said it has haired former iShares CEO Lee Kranefuss to help the company identify and evaluate investment opportunities in exchange traded funds and other areas.

Warburg said Kranefuss has been appointed an executive-in-residence.

Kranefuss played a key role in the development of the iShares ETF business at Barclays Global Investments before the unit was sold to BlackRock (NYSE: BLK).

Kranefuss oversaw the global expansion of iShares from launch in 2000 to over $600 billion in assets in 2010, Warburg said in a press release.

“ETFs and passive investing are powerful investment tools globally, and continue to see long-term inflows.  However this is a time of flux and opportunity in the ETF industry.  The time is ripe to create a large-scale, global, and independent ETF provider that will provide the truly attractive and innovative product – and the support behind it – that ETF investors demand,” Kranefuss said in a statement.

In 2011, Kranefuss and another former iShares executive Rory Tobin created ETF Opportunity Partners, a firm designed to focus on the consolidation of smaller ETF providers. [Former iShares Execs Start ETF Firm]

“However, no deals followed and Tobin moved to Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in November with the aim of expanding the bank’s asset management business,” the Financial Times reports.

“Kranefuss refused to be drawn on whether Warburg Pincus might be interested in buying Credit Suisse’s ETF business, which is reportedly up for sale, saying only that there were numerous opportunities within the ETF industry,” according to the FT report. “Warburg Pincus has a track record of appointing an executive-in-residence who then become chief executives in businesses that it has invested.”

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