And The ETF.com Award Winners Are …

March 16, 2016

Best ETF Offering: Independent Regional Broker-Dealer: Raymond James

Awarded to the independent broker-dealer offering its reps and advisors the best total offering in the ETF space, including research, data, tools, trading capabilities and education. The winner in this category is Raymond James.

The firm’s new ETF-only portfolios offer investors low-cost, broad-based exposure to the ETF market.

Finalists included:

· Ameriprise

· LPL

· Securities America

Best ETF Research Paper: ETFs 2020: Preparing for a New Horizon – PricewaterhouseCoopers

Awarded to the published paper from 2015 that most increased our understanding of how ETFs and/or index-based investments affect investor outcomes, whether in portfolios, markets or broader economic context.

This year’s winner is “ETFs 2020: Preparing for a New Horizon” – PricewaterhouseCoopers

PWC’s outlook for the ETF industry identified key trends and concerns, including the industry’s growing global footprint, challenging regulatory issues and technological disruption. It is a must-read for any ETF expert.

Finalists included:

· “Robustness of Smart Beta Strategies” – Amenc, Goltz, Sivasubramanian, and Lodh

· “Standard & Poor’s Index vs. Active Scorecard” – Standard & Poor’s

Best ETF Issuer Website: BlackRock’s iShares

Awarded to the most informative and user-friendly website by an ETF issuer. And the winner is BlackRock’s iShares.

A behemoth in the space, BlackRock’s iShares makes the most of its scale with a rich website full of research, tools, portfolios and detailed fund information. The firm invested heavily in a new ETF screener, making it ever-easier to find the right ETF to express any point of view.

Finalists included:

· BioShares

· PowerShares

· ProShares

· State Street Global Advisors

Best Index Provider Website: MSCI

Awarded to the most informative and user-friendly website by an index provider. This year’s winner is MSCI.

MSCI’s newly relaunched website brings high-quality design together with exceptional, institutional-quality research and insights around world-renowned core indexing capabilities.

Finalists included:

· ERI Scientific Beta

· Reality Shares

· S&P Dow Jones Indices

· STOXX

Best ETF Issuer Capital Markets Desk: BlackRock’s iShares

Awarded to the ETF issuer providing the most useful support to advisors for ETF trading, this year’s award goes to BlackRock’s iShares.

Capital market desks are a key resource for investors to tap into before they make a trade, and iShares pioneered the concept of having one in-house. BlackRock’s iShares Capital Markets group offers top-of-the-class trade analytics and expertise as well as a wealth of relationships and product knowledge like no other.

Finalists included:

· Deutsche Asset Management

· FlexShares

· State Street Global Advisors

· WisdomTree

Best ETF Strategist: RiverFront Investment Group and Sage Advisory Services

Awarded to the ETF strategist or model portfolio provider that has done the most to improve investor outcomes in the previous year. This year, the category’s winner was a tie between two outstanding firms: RiverFront Investment Group and Sage Advisory Services.

Riverfront won in the category last year, but remains a favorite as an institutional-quality firm offering strong portfolios. The firm’s ability to put out high-quality research to support its portfolio management decisions is seen as second-to-none. Its ETF assets total $5.3 billion.

Sage Advisory Services is the dominant ETF strategist in the fixed-income space. The firm made marks last year with the deployment of ETFs into cash balance plans. Its ETF assets now total $2.5 billion.

Finalists included:

· Astor Investment Management

· Beaumont Capital Management

· CLS Investments

· Clark Capital Management Group

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