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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

XShares Makes its Big Announcement

Reported by Erin Kello

XShares has dropped the big announcement it promised back in May. The New York ETF shop has chosen Joseph Schocken, currently a member of the XShares board of managers, as chairman and interim CEO of XShares Group. At the same time XShares has officially announced that Bill Henson, who previously held the CEO spot, has returned to his post at Grail Partners permanently.

Asked about the interim nature of Schocken's appointment as CEO, XShares spokesman John McInerney declined further comment beyond what's stated in the release.

Last month, The MFWire reported on Henson's departure and the firm's move to raise additional funds.

On Wednesday, XShares also announced that it has completed the first closing of $15 million in a new round of financing. As the MFWire had reported, the company went to Europe to secure the funding from a group of institutional investors. XShares plans to use the funds to develop and launch new exchange traded products, as well as for working capital.

XShares also had one more item to announce, Jeff Feldman has also been granted the title of founder and chief strategist of the company.

Company Press Release

XShares Group LLC Announces the First Closing of a New Round of Financing

Management Changes Announced

NEW YORK (June 25, 2008) – XShares Group LLC, an industry leader in developing precisely focused, innovative exchange traded funds (ETFs), today announced that it has received additional financing in excess of $15 million from a group of European institutional investors. The new funds will be used for developing and introducing new exchange traded products, as well as for working capital.

With the receipt of the financing, the Company also announced that Joseph L. Schocken, currently a member of XShares Board of Managers, has been named Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer of XShares Group and William P. Henson, the current CEO of XShares Group, will return full-time to Grail Partners, a founding investor of the Company, where he is a partner. Jeffrey L. Feldman, a member of the Board of Managers, will continue in his management role and has also been granted the title of Founder and Chief Strategist.

“Today is another milestone for our company,” said Mr. Schocken. “It indicates continuing strong support for XShares Group and its innovative investment products, as well as the prospects for the ETF industry.”

Mr. Schocken is Founder and President of Seattle-based Broadmark Capital, LLC (www.broadmark.com). In his 30-year career as an investment banker, he has extensive knowledge of and experience in the financial services industry, including deep and strong relationships with strategic and institutional investors in the U.S. and internationally.

“I see a very bright future for XShares Group and am pleased to become Chairman and Interim CEO at this point in the company’s development,” said Mr. Schocken. “I’m particularly pleased that Jeff Feldman will continue to shape and lead the future of XShares Group as its Chief Strategist, a role he has performed since inception. Our initial priority is to make sure we have the appropriate product portfolio for investors and the necessary distribution capability.”

“We created a number of compelling ETF products in 2007 and see many superb opportunities for ETFs going forward,” said Mr. Feldman. “We’ll continue to develop innovative ETFs for XShares Group subsidiaries or, when appropriate, partner with other providers as we focus on the long-term goal of building a successful, profitable, and thriving asset management business.”

John C. Siciliano, a Managing Partner of Grail, commented: “We are pleased with the continuing growth and development of XShares as regards its research, products and distribution. We continue to commit our capital, focus and energy to the company’s growth and look forward to working with Joe as we move forward.”

About XShares Group LLC

Founded in 2006, XShares Group LLC is a holding company of XShares Advisors LLC, a registered investment advisor, designer and sponsor of U.S.-listed ETFs, and XShares Securities LLC, a registered broker-dealer. The company also partners with leading financial services firms and index providers to develop and launch innovative ETFs. This flexible approach to product development allows XShares Advisors to introduce novel ETFs based on in-house intellectual property, while also creating private- label opportunities for firms seeking to enter the fast-growing ETF marketplace. All XShares ETFs trade on NYSE Arca.

Jeffrey L. Feldman, Founder and Chief Strategist, XShares Group LLC Jeffrey L. Feldman, Founder and Chief Strategist of XShares Group LLC, a financial services company based in New York, created the intellectual property underpinning XShares’ unique approach to indexed investing, which is patent pending and called “vertical investing.” Mr. Feldman has been involved in financial advising, retail brokerage, private equity and teaching for the past 39 years.

Joseph L. Schocken, Chairman and Interim CEO, XShares Group LLC Joseph L. Schocken is the founder and president of Broadmark Capital, LLC and its predecessor, Broadmark Capital Corporation. With over 30 years as an investment banker, Mr. Schocken has extensive knowledge of the financial services industry.  

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