12Employee ProfileThomas Kettner, Project Manager for Index DevelopmentThomas Kettner sometimes feels as though he is starting up a new business in his role as Project Manager for Index Development for Dow Jones Indexes. His job is helping to create a robust lineup of indexes for the very important European market."We are in the process of making a whole index family for this region," he says, from his office in Frankfurt. It is early evening, but he is at his desk, having just sent a flurry of emails to colleagues in London and Princeton, New Jersey. He explains that due to time zone differences, this is often the most productive time of the day for him. "We want an index series that European money managers will look at and say, 'Yes, this is what we've been looking for. This is what we need.'"Thomas joined Dow Jones Indexes right after graduating from the University of Konstanz in 2006. He started as an Index Development Specialist before being promoted to Senior Development Specialist in 2008. He started his new position in July 2011. Previously, he explains, Dow Jones Indexes offered European indexes through the STOXX joint venture. Now that Dow Jones Indexes exited that joint venture, Thomas is playing a key role in building a whole new group of indexes for what he calls "this vital market.""I'm very busy, but that's a very good thing," he says, laughing. "Our clients need indexes and that's what we're doing: making them indexes that they can use."Part of a processWhen asked to describe what he does, Thomas asks to take a step back. To understand what he does, he wants to explain the genesis of an index.Thomas KettnerProject Manager for Index Development, Dow Jones IndexesJamie suggests that indexing offers a "less harrowing" way of following commodities. He notes that the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity IndexSM represents 19 different commodities across multiple commodity sectors, and the family includes indexes for each of the individual commodities and sectors."We offer an enormous assortment of accurate, transparent and useful commodity indexes and see the Dow Jones-UBS Roll Select Commodity IndexSM as a valuable addition to that toolkit."Learn more about the Dow Jones-UBS Roll Select Commodity IndexSM:Methodologywww.djindexes.com/mdsidx/downloads/meth_info/Dow_Jones-UBS_Roll_Select_Commodity_Index_Methodology.pdfFact Sheetwww.djindexes.com/mdsidx/downloads/fact_info/Dow_Jones-UBS_Roll_Select_Commodity_Index_Fact_Sheet.pdf
13"There are several ways that an index can be generated," he explains. "Typically, the Index Oversight Committee (Dow Jones Indexes' internal steering committee) sends us an idea for a new European index or a family of indexes. This idea might have been internally generated, or it may have originated with a client. They tell me what they want and how they expect it to work for our clients. "Some indexes are created in cooperation with a partner, such as with our Dow Jones-UBS Commodity IndexesSM. In these cases, our partners are typically the asset-class experts. We work very closely with them each step of the way in creating an index."Finally, there are custom indexes. That's when a salesperson will come to us and say, 'My client wants this specific index.' These typically do not carry the Dow Jones Indexes brand, and clients have heavy input into how the index should be crafted. Then I have to make it happen, so to speak."Working with fellow developers, Thomas creates an index's architecture. That role, he says, "involves a lot of trial and error.""We test a lot. And I do mean a lot," says Thomas, as he describes going through enormous amounts of data to find the right fit for a particular index. "The committee or the client might have suggestions, but it's really up to us to find the right criteria, weighting and methodology. "We get as much input as possible from the committee, the salespeople and the clients as to the index's objective. We present the best possible scenarios, based on our research and how the technology works."Trends for EuropeIn the course of the conversation, Thomas describes several key trends he sees based on incoming requests. In particular, he mentions that clients are looking at thematic and strategy indexes and they are leaning heavily toward the safer, better-known markets of Western Europe. Hedging or avoiding risk is important to this group."There appears to be some comfort with the big-name companies and the Western European markets," says Thomas. He goes on to explain that even those clients looking to the growing emerging markets of Europe may prefer to utilize the big blue-chip companies of Western Europe that have a stake in these markets."Mainstays"Thomas makes a point that as his job and team have evolved, there are two "mainstays": First, he thinks that the team he works with, from fellow product developers in Princeton to index operations colleagues in Frankfurt, London and Beijing, are exceptional at what they do. There is camaraderie and cooperation, Thomas says, that allows him to concentrate on what he needs to do, knowing that all other aspects of the index-creation process will be done correctly and efficiently. He also thinks that the company's technology is "quite remarkable, really, because it has the capacity to handle all of the incredibly complex formulas behind our indexes. We know that whatever we design, the technology people will be able to build a program to make it work."Since Thomas is in fact the only development person in his office, he often feels like he is in London or Princeton "in spirit.""One of the group once said that I am 'an honorary Princeton person,'" he says, laughing. "I love working here in Frankfurt, but thought it was a great compliment. It's nice to work with people like this.""We test a lot. And I do mean a lot. The [Index Oversight] committee or the client might have suggestions, but it's really up to us to find the right criteria, weighting and methodology."