Michael Mell

Senior Director, Custom Indices
S&P Dow Jones Indices

Michael Mell is Senior Director of Custom Indices at S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) and is responsible for product management of S&P DJI’s custom index business throughout the Americas. Michael’s focus is on understanding clients’ custom indexing needs, from a strategic to methodological level. Michael works with clients across the financial services ecosystem, but has particular expertise guiding financial advisors in the launch of their own proprietary indices, bridging the gap between passive and active approaches to the markets.

Prior to joining S&P DJI, Michael was a Senior Associate at Infosys Technologies in their financial services practice, where he provided management consulting solutions to firms such as Goldman Sachs and Capital One Financial.

Michael attended the UC Berkeley executive education Product Management Program and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University in international affairs, with a concentration in organization and management. He received his bachelor’s from Connecticut College. Michael has been a guest lecturer and speaker on custom indexing and ETFs at the University of West Virginia’s Business School, Rutgers Business School’s MBA and Master of Quantitative Finance Programs, New Jersey City University’s Business School, and the University of Miami’s Business School. Michael is also a volunteer career mentor to U.S. military veterans through American Corporate Partners (ACP) and is always looking to introduce potential mentors to ACP.

Author Archives: Michael Mell

If the Performance Doesn’t Get You, the Taxes Might

Assets are shifting from active to passive: “investors pulled $23 billion out of actively managed U.S. equity funds, extending the group’s streak of outflows to 33 consecutive months.  During 2016, passive fund strategies in the United States took in a record $504.8 billion.”[1]  In response to this, an elegant point has been made “that the Read more […]

Exchange-Traded Protection

New exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are being created, and while that means we can expect innovation throughout the fund and indexing industries, “a proliferation of new funds could mean heightened risks for investors, particularly regarding ETFs, because many of those funds don’t trade frequently, making them more volatile.”[1]  ETFs are arguably responsible for a rapidly democratizing Read more […]

Passive Investing can be good for your retirement and health

In the print edition of the Wall Street Journal this weekend, there were two unrelated stories side by side, one about a firm’s self-dealing with 401(k) and another about Medicare.  After reading them together it became clear that these seeming unrelated stories unintentionally show that while active funds can be bad for your retirement and Read more […]

The Walking Dead Return (as Active ETFs)

In AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” we meet Rick Grimes after he awakens from a coma to find himself in post-apocalyptic world filled with legions of zombies.  Rick calls these zombies “walkers,” but as each season goes by (season seven starts this October) different groups name them other things, like biters, roamers, lurkers, etc.  The names Read more […]

A Game of Thrones Using ETFs

As hedge funds arguably best embody the spirit of active management you know it’s a watershed moment when “exchange-traded funds, which are the primary vehicle for passive management, now have assets under management greater than hedge funds, according to a count from research firm ETFGI.”  Industry-wide, it has been observed that “growth in ETF assets Read more […]

How do you know if an ETF is truly passive? A formulaic approach to ETF identification

The acronym “ETF” was once a reliable term to identify exchange traded funds using passive investment strategies, specifically those tracking transparent, rules based independently calculated indices.  “Today, the ETF acronym is being used broadly by the fund industry and media outlets to include non-fund product structures and active management strategies”[1].   Furthermore “active ETFs stand out Read more […]

ETFs and William Shakespeare in 2014

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Juliet says to Romeo when trying to illustrate it is the essence of a something which is important, not what it’s called.  If Shakespeare were alive today, and Juliet were an investor, would he have her say the same things about an ETF?  Would she Read more […]

Who’s Calculating Your Index?

Most investors assume that ETFs are passive investment tools tracking independently calculated indices, that premise has arguably been one of the key factors driving the popularity of ETFs.  In the past investors and advisors could be confident about their understanding of an ETF by reviewing the rules governing the underlying index.  To a large extent Read more […]