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2006 file photo of Claymore Investments president Som Seif. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
2006 file photo of Claymore Investments president Som Seif. (Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

Som Seif formally announces BlackRock exit Add to ...

The man who built Claymore into an ETF powerhouse has formally announced his exit from BlackRock, the behemoth that bought his firm.

Though chatter of his departure had been spreading through the industry for the past few weeks – something Globe funds reporter Shirley Won pointed out last week – BlackRock issued a public statement on Monday announcing Mr. Seif’s departure.

The formal announcement comes a few days after it was revealed that BlackRock is rebranding Claymore ETFs under the iShares brand. Mr. Seif said he completely understands the move, but he couldn’t deny that it is tough to see the name cast aside.

“It is very sad to see the Claymore brand go away,” he said, noting that he was proud of “what it represented around entrepreneurship and innovation.”

“It’s tough seeing your baby go away.”

But that doesn’t mean he thinks any less of the buyer. “BlackRock is a good partner for the business,” he said. “For me, it was just the right thing to move on. Blackrock is a great platform. They’ve got a phenomenal global presence.”

So what’s Mr. Seif going to do next? First and foremost, rest and let his emotions subside.

“It absolutely is a very difficulty and emotional period,” he said, noting it is hard to let go of the business he built from nothing. “Just to go from zero to 8 billion [in assets under management]in such a short period of time is an amazing thing.”

Yet after he’s done spending some time with his family, don’t be surprised to see him back in the game.

“I’m young. I’m 35 years old. I still have great ideas. I think this industry is still very inefficient,” he said.

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