Edward Baer


  • JD, Rutgers School of Law at Newark, 1994
  • BA, New York University, 1990


  • California, 2017
  • District of Columbia, 1996
  • New York, 1995

Edward Baer


Edward Baer is counsel in Ropes & Gray’s investment management practice in San Francisco. His practice focuses on advising exchange-traded funds (ETFs), open- and closed-end investment companies, and their independent directors/trustees. He has deep experience in operational, governance, compliance, regulatory and business issues related to ETFs and other investment companies and asset managers. He also has experience advising clients on investments in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether and other coins and tokens, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and simple agreements for future tokens (SAFTs), cryptocurrency fund formation and related custody issues.

Prior to joining Ropes & Gray in 2016, Ed was managing director and senior counsel for the world’s largest asset manager, and also served as chief legal officer for the world’s largest ETF complex. In that role, he oversaw the full range of legal and compliance matters for over 300 ETFs, including index and active 1940 Act ETFs and non-1940 Act physical metals and futures-based commodities ETFs, with assets under management of approximately $800 billion. Ed and his team were responsible for all legal aspects of the operation of the ETF complex, including:

  • registration of ETFs under the 1933 Act and 1940 Act;
  • fund governance and board matters;
  • new ETF product development, including novel products such as a 1940 Act-registered commodity index ETF, a frontier markets ETF, currency and interest rate hedged ETFs and “smart beta” ETFs; 
  • ETF exemptive relief and exchange listing and trading relief; 
  • ETF capital markets, trading and creation and redemption activities; and 
  • ETF distribution, marketing and index licensing.

Ed also advised on acquisitions and other strategic business matters, global valuation issues, and regulatory affairs, as well as on numerous other legal and compliance matters.

Prior to his in-house role, he held positions at two large law firms where he focused his practice on counseling clients on issues arising under the 1940 Act and advising mutual funds on organization, registration, operations, governance and regulatory matters.



  • Panelist, “How to Launch (& Grow) an ETF in 2018: 3 Approaches to a Common Problem – Unanswered Questions," Inside ETF Webinar (February 7, 2018) 
  • Panelist, "How to Launch (& Grow) an ETF in 2018: 3 Approaches to a Common Problem," Inside ETFs Conference, Hollywood Florida (January 21, 2017)
  • Moderator, “ETF Trading in US and EU Markets: Apples and Pears?” 2017 ICI Global Capital Markets Conference in London, UK (December 5, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Update,” PECFOA Member Meeting on Blockchain/Cryptocurrencies (November 2017)
  • Panelist, “New ETF Product Approvals and Bringing New ETFs to Market,” 2017 ETF Trading and Market Structure Conference (June 7, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Basics of Mutual Funds and Other Registered Investment Companies 2017,” Practising Law Institute (April 20, 2017)
  • Panelist: “A Crash Course in Active ETFs: Why They Might Save Your Clients in 2017,” Inside ETFs, Hollywood, Florida (January 25, 2017)
  • Panelist: “Lay of the Land: Building a Best Practices Roadmap for 2016 and Beyond,” Houlihan Lokey’s Valuation Best Practices for Fund Financial Executives, San Francisco (June 15, 2016)
  • Moderator: “What is in Your Bond Fund’s Portfolio? How Changes in the Fixed Income Markets Have Impacted Bond Fund Investments,” University of Maryland Center for Financial Policy/Mutual Fund Directors Forum Conference on Changing Markets: Challenges For Fixed Income Funds Conference (April 20, 2016)
  • Panelist: “Basics of Mutual Funds and Other Registered Investment Companies,” Practicing Law Institute (2012-2016)