Jim Ross, who earned the tag, “godfather of ETFs,” for pioneering the exchange traded fund business, will retire from State Street Global Advisors at the end of March 2020 after almost three decades, according to a recent announcement.

Ross, who joined State Street in 1992, chairs the global SPDR Standard & Poor's depositary receipt). He was instrumental in creating, developing and bringing to market many of the world’s first ETFs. The product grew from inception in 1993 when SPY was launched on the American Stock Exchange to an industry that today stands at almost $6 trillion worldwide and is still one of the fastest -growing investment products in the market.

The 54-year-old Ross said he is “deeply grateful” for the opportunities he has had during his career at State Street. “Every success I was part of came down to working alongside amazing teams and great leaders who embraced innovation and collaboration and were dedicated to serving clients,” he said in a statement.

No immediate successor was named. With the early bow to retirement, Ross said he is looking forward to his next chapter, which will undoubtedly include remaining engaged in the ETF industry, but also devoting more time to his non-profit work. “I leave behind the best teams and clients in the business and an organization that will continue to innovate with purpose and deliver with excellence on behalf of those great clients, stakeholders and investors around the world, he added.

Ron O’Hanley, CEO and president of State Street, said Ross has been one of the most influential figures in the investment management industry.

“I have known Jim for many years and I am constantly struck by his dedication to clients, his focus on building and developing teams and his passion for creating solutions for investors of all types. His role in creating many of the world’s first ETFs ensures he will go down in history as an instrumental player in perhaps the most important product innovation the industry has seen,” O’Hanley said in a statement.

Cyrus Taraporevala, CEO and president, State Street Global Advisors calls Ross a “titan who has played a key role enabling institutional and individual investors to invest in new and unique manners, with greater precision of exposures and liquidity.”

“Jim’s contribution to the history of financial services is irrefutable …  We are extremely proud of his accomplishments in helping to create many of the world’s first ETFs and his impact at State Street will be felt long after he has bid farewell. We wish him the very best in his retirement; he has earned it.”