Vacation request

David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Global, is retiring this August after 40 years. No replacement has been named yet.

Blitzer oversees the Index Governance function for all of S&P Dow Jones indexes and chairs various S&P DJI Index committees, including those responsible for the bellwether S&P 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average.

On hearing the news, Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, tweeted, “The most powerful man on Wall Street that you’ve never heard of is retiring.“

Douglas L. Peterson, president and CEO of S&P Global, said, in a statement that after Blitzer was appointed chairman of the firm’s U.S. Equity Index Committee in 1995, “a new era in index governance was ushered in. The level of transparency, integrity and independence that David brought to our global family of indices is the reason why S&P Dow Jones Indices is viewed as the gold standard in the indexing industry.”

Alex Matturri, CEO at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said Blitzer’s “leadership, intellect, generosity and sense of humor, as well as his ubiquitous bowtie,” will be missed when he retires.

Despite his oversight of the world’s most popular equity indexes, Blitzer started his career as an economist, first at an economic consulting firm, then at McGraw-Hill Cos., as S&P Global was then known, as a senior economist, becoming its chief economist two years later. He joined the firm’s index committee in 1989.

Blitzer, who has a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University, has won several awards, including the Blue Chip Economic Forecasting Award in 1998 for predicting the leading economic indicators four years in a row, and the William F. Sharpe Indexing Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

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