An ETF Ally's Co-Founder Dies
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Friday, June 12, 2020

An ETF Ally's Co-Founder Dies

A veteran ETF PM and ally to ETF startups died this week.

the late Denise Marie Krisko (Lee)
The team at Alpharetta, Georgia-based Vident Investment Advisory (VIA) confirms that VIA's president and co-founder, Denise Krisko, passed away this past Wednesday, June 10.

Vince Birley, CEO and co-founder of VIA parent Vident Financial, is succeeding Krisko on an interim basis as president of VIA. Vident Financial officers its own ETFs, while VIA subadvises ETFs for other shops.

Denise Marie Krisko (Lee) earned her bachelor's degree in economics at Penn State University and her finance MBA from Villanova. She started her career at Vanguard, and she later worked at Deutsche AM, and Northern Trust, before overseeing an ETF subadvisory business at BNY Mellon.

She spent nearly five years with Index Management Solutions as chief investment officer, doing more subadvisory work on ETFs. Then, about five years ago, she teamed up with Birley and Vident on their ETFs and to launch VIA.

"She really wanted to build her own company and spend time with her son She just wanted the freedom to that," Birley tells MFWire. "She told us, 'I'm going to make this successful, and I'm going to be a great mother.'"

"Her willingness to come start a company with us to manage ours and manage others, kind of gave us instant street cred," Birley adds.

Since then, Krisko and team at VIA have powered ETFs for a host of other firms, including Change Finance, Distillate Capital, Exchange Traded Concepts, Nationwide, Point Bridge, REX Capital Management, and SportsETFs.

"Her just voracious appetite for growth grew this company to 16 fund providers, 38 funds, $5 billion in assets," Birley says. "She just had such a confidence about her, and deservedly so, that people just wanted to have their managed by her ... She always said VIA is her second child."

"It's been overwhelming just how many people she really impacted and knew," Birley adds, noting Krisko's work with Women In ETFs.

The Vident team writes that Krisko, "an ETF industry leader and legend ... made an indelible impact on the index management and ETF industry" and that she "made a point of mentoring the next generation of women leaders in the asset and index management industries."

Krisko, who lived in Harding, New Jersey, is survived by her husband and son. No memorial details have yet been released.

Editor's Note: A prior version of this story gave incorrect family information for Krisko. She is survived her husband and her son.

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