Finalists Announced For 2016 ETF.com Europe Awards

February 20, 2017

ETF.com today announced the nominated finalists for the 2016 ETF.com Europe Awards, developed in partnership with Inside ETFs. The ETF.com Europe Awards are designed to recognise the people, products and firms that are driving the ETF industry forward and creating better outcomes for investors.

The finalists are selected by senior members of the ETF.com and Inside ETFs executive teams, which select up to five finalists in each award category (six finalists are allowed if the Nominating Committee cannot agree).

Winners will be selected by a majority vote of the ETF.com Europe Awards Selection Committee, a group of independent ETF experts from throughout the financial community. The members of the selection committee are:

  • Jim Wiandt, founder, ETF.com (Chair)
  • Christos Costandinides, Founder, BlueHarbor
  • Shaun Port, CIO, Nutmeg
  • Allan Lane, Managing Partner, Twenty20 Investments
  • Hortense Bioy, Director, passive fund research, Morningstar
  • Jan Altmann, Founder, 4asset-management

Voters must recuse themselves from any category in which they or their firm is nominated.

Winners will be announced at the ETF.com Europe Awards Dinner on 27 April, 2017, at the Gherkin, London. 

The finalists in each category are as follows:

 

Lifetime Achievement Award – 2016

Awarded annually to one living individual for outstanding long-term contributions to ETF investor outcomes, including those from the media, regulatory bodies, product providers, investment firms or other categories. Previous winners are not eligible.

  • Valerie Baudson, Chief Executive Officer, CPR Asset Management (Amundi)

A long-standing leader in the European ETF space, Baudson’s role continues to grow. She is widely credited with making Amundi a focused powerhouse in the ETF industry, delivering low cost, high quality products to investors.

  • Isabelle Bourcier, Head of ETF and Indexed Fund Activities, THEAM

Bourcier brings a wealth of experience to her role at THEAM, having previously led the ETF effort at Ossiam. She is a guru in terms of harnessing the power of smart beta strategies for the good of investors.

  • Mark Makepeace, Chief Executive Officer, FTSE Group

An ETF is (usually) nothing without its index, and Makepeace has been at the forefront of index development in the ETF space for years (indeed, he has been the only CEO FTSE has ever known). He’s tirelessly worked at expanding the firm’s remit, from its founding through its recent acquisition of Russell and beyond.

  • Baer Pettit, Chief Operating Officer, MSCI

MSCI sits at the center of the ETF industry, providing the indexes that power many of the largest equity ETFs around the world. As Chief Operating Officer, Baer Pettit sits at the center of MSCI, with responsibility for the development, operations and profitability of the firm's full product line, which includes index, analytics, ESG and real estate products. He is also an executive officer of the firm as well as a member of MSCI’s Executive Committee and chairman of the index industry association.

  • Graham Tuckwell, Founder, ETF Securities

Another legend in the ETF industry, Graham Tuckwell is the founder and chairman of ETF Securities, the largest ETF firm in Europe to be built from scratch. Prior to founding ETF Securities, Tuckwell played an instrumental role in the development and success of the original gold bullion ETFs, and an integral role in the growth of commodity investing around the world.
 

European ETF of the Year – 2016

Awarded to the ETF that has done the most to improve investor opportunities and outcomes in 2016, by providing access to interesting areas of the market, lowering costs, offering new exposures or otherwise creating better results for investors. There is no requirement for an ETF launch date for this award.

  • Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF

A plain vanilla ETF, the Amundi ETF MSCI Emerging Markets UCITS ETF offers diversified exposure to emerging markets at a rock bottom fee of just 0.20% a year. Investors applauded the offering in 2016, pushing total assets under management to over $2 billion euros.

  • db X-trackers MSCI USA Index UCITS ETF

US politics in 2016 were anything but boring, and savvy investors made a solid choice in betting on this ETF. XMUS saw inflows of $431 million, over 17% of its AUM for the year. Post election, the fund caught the “Trump rally” perfectly and became a default choice for US exposure on multiple European exchanges.

  • Lyxor FTSE Actuaries UK Gilts Inflation-Linked (DR) UCITS ETF

With inflation concerns hitting home in Great Britain—nominations for this ETF mentioned the “Marmitegate” price scandal—the Lyxor FTSE Actuaries UK Gilts Inflation-Linked UCITS ETF is the right ETF at the right time. With fees of just 0.07% per year, it’s the lowest cost way to gain exposure to inflation-linked bonds, and its performance in 2016 was stellar—rising more than 25% on the year.

  • iShares Edge MSCI World Value Factor UCITS ETF

The iShares Edge MSCI World Value Factor UCITS ETF gathered $916 million in net new assets in 2016, the highest among all factor ETFs in Europe, as investors sought out an ETF that targets stocks that are undervalued relative to their fundamentals.

  • Ossiam Shiller Barclays CAPE US Sector Value TR UCITS ETF 1C (USD)

It’s not every day that you get to combine ETF-level efficiency with the insights of a Nobel Prize winner, but that’s exactly what this Ossiam Shiller ETF does, relying on the work of Nobel laureate Bob Shiller’s insights into security valuation to create a differentiated portfolio. The value of that relationship showed in 2016, as the fund outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 6%.

  • Vanguard S&P 500

Yes it’s boring, but that’s the point: This simple, straightforward ETF brought ultra low cost exposure to one of the world’s most followed indexes, and investors piled in as a result.

 

Best New ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most important ETF launched in 2016. Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognise ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after 1 January, 2016, are eligible.

  • Amundi ETF Floating Rate USD Corporate UCITS ETF – Hedged EUR

Amundi’s new floating rate note meets concerns about rising interest rates and mounting currency volatility head on, offering investors a way to gain access to yield without taking on duration risk.

  • iShares Fallen Angels High Yield Corporate Bond UCITS

Fallen angel bonds—investment-grade bonds that have been recently downgraded to junk status—had an amazing year in 2016, and studies suggest they tend to outperform the market over the long-haul. This fund captures that exposure for investors at a low cost.

  • iShares MSCI EM SRI UCITS ETF

Launched in July 2016, the iShares MSCI EM SRI UCITS ETF provides exposure to emerging market companies that are best-in-class in terms of managing their environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities. With strong returns and a strong purpose, this fund is a good fit for many investors.

  • Lyxor US$ 10Y Inflation Expectations UCITS ETF

One of the most popular new ETFs launched in 2016, pulling in more than £325 million, this new Lyxor ETF solves a major problem with most inflation-linked bond exposures—during periods of inflation, banks often raise interest rates, driving down the price of bonds. This ETF hedges out that interest rate risk, while retaining the upside inherent in inflation-linked bonds.

  • PowerShares FTSE UK High Dividend Low Volatility UCITS ETF

The new PowerShares FTSE UK High Dividend Low Volatility UCITS ETF aims to provide investors with exposure to high yielding stocks without the volatility that can accompany that investment. Why have just one factor when you can have exposure to two?

 

Best New Equity ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most important equity ETF launched in 2016. Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognise ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after 1 January, 2016, are eligible. ETF must be classified by FactSet as an equity ETF to qualify.

  • BNP Paribas Easy Equity Low Vol Europe UCITS

Low vol investing was a huge theme in European ETFs in 2016, and the BNP Paribas entry garnered significant interest. The fund rebalances monthly into up to 400 low volatility European companies, with each position having a maximum weight of 2%. This leads to a quasi equal weight strategy that seeks to constrain single stock risk.

  • iShares MSCI EM SRI UCITS ETF

Launched in July 2016, the iShares MSCI EM SRI UCITS ETF provides exposure to emerging market companies that are best in class in terms of managing their environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities. With strong returns and a strong purpose, this fund is a good fit for many investors.

  • Lyxor FTSE All World Minimum Variance UCITS ETF

The Lyxor FTSE All World Minimum Variance UCITS ETF is a global ETF covering almost 2,000 stocks. It seeks to keep investors in the market while protecting against significant downside exposure. With the Brexit, Frexit, Trump and more on investors’ minds, that could be a very appealing offering. With a cost of just 0.30%, the fee is right too.

  • PowerShares FTSE UK High Dividend Low Volatility UCITS ETF

The new PowerShares FTSE UK High Dividend Low Volatility UCITS ETF aims to provide investors with exposure to high yielding stocks without the volatility that can accompany that investment. Plus, why have just one factor when you can have exposure to two?

  • XACT Swedish Small Cap UCITS

The XACT Svenska Småbolag (UCITS ETF) is the first exchange traded fund that follows the Swedish small cap market, and the cheapest fund offering exposure to that market … period. With the rising importance of the Nordic markets, innovation in that space cannot be overlooked.

 

Best New Fixed Income ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most important fixed income ETF launched in 2016. Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognise ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after 1 January, 2016, are eligible. ETF must be classified by FactSet as a fixed income ETF to qualify.

  • Amundi ETF Floating Rate USD Corporate UCITS ETF – Hedged EUR

Amundi’s new floating rate note meets concerns about rising interest rate and mounting currency volatility head on, offering investors a way to gain access to yield without taking on duration risk.

  • The db X-trackers iBoxx USD Emerging Sovereigns Quality Weighted UCITS ETF

Emerging market debt is exciting, but how do you avoid EM bonds that are in trouble? This new DB product applies fundamental analysis to the emerging markets space in an effort to sidestep bonds prior to a downgrade.

  • The Fullgoal FTSE China Onshore Sovereign and Policy Bank Bond 1-10 Year Index ETF

The Fullgoal FTSE China Onshore Sovereign and Policy Bank Bond 1-10 Year Index ETF provides unique access to the Chinese fixed income market, focusing on RMB denominated bonds from the Chinese government and China’s so-called policy banks, according to ETF Strategy.

  • Lyxor US$ 10Y Inflation Expectations UCITS ETF

One of the most popular new ETFs launched in 2016, pulling in more than £325 million, this new Lyxor ETF solves a major problem with most inflation linked bond exposures—during periods of inflation, banks often raise interest rates, driving down the price of bonds. This ETF hedges out that interest rate risk, while retaining the upside inherent in inflation-linked bonds.

  • iShares € Corp Bond Sustainability Screened 0-3yr UCITS ETF

This ETF sits at the center of the rising ESG trend, applying standard ESG screens from MSCI onto the fixed income market. It also excludes the debt of firms involved in the business of controversial weapons. Investors have rewarded the fund with more than 330 million euros in investment.

  • iShares Fallen Angels High Yield Corporate Bond UCITS

Fallen angel bonds—investment grade bonds that have been recently downgraded to junk status—had an amazing year in 2016, and studies suggest they tend to outperform the market. This fund captures that exposure for investors at a low cost.

  • Vanguard USD Emerging Markets Government Bond UCITS ETF

With investors looking further afield for yield, the Vanguard USD Emerging Markets Government Bond UCITS ETF broke new ground by charging just 0.25% in annual fees, making it the most competitively priced ETF in the space at the time.

 

Best New Alternatives ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most important alternative ETF launched in 2016. Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognise ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after 1 January, 2016, are eligible. ETF must be classified by FactSet as an alternatives ETF to qualify.

  • Boost S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures 2.25x Leverage Daily ETP

For investors worried about near term market crises, the new Boost S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures 2.25x Leverage Daily ETP provides a unique tool for hedging out that risk. The fund provides 2.25x exposure to short-term VIX futures.

 

Best New Commodity ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most important commodity ETF launched in 2016. Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognize ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after 1 January, 2016, are eligible. ETFs must be classified by FactSet as a commodity ETF to qualify.

  • BNP Paribas Easy S&P GSCI Energy & Metals Capped Component 35/20 UCITS

This ETF offers broad based exposure to the widely popular GSCI index, but caps exposure to the energy and metals sectors, which can dominate that index compared with the traditional soft commodities.

  • Lyxor Commodities Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB EX-Agriculture TR UCITS ETF

Lyxor’s new ex agriculture ETF is designed for investors who want commodity exposure but don’t feel comfortable holding ags, either because of concerns around their volatility or for ethical reasons. With a fee of just 0.35%, it’s cheap too.

  • UBS ETFs plc - CMCI Ex-Agriculture SF UCITS ETF (hedged to EUR) A-acc

Similar to the Lyxor fund, this new UBS product provides broad based exposure to the commodity patch but avoids agricultural commodities. The key difference? It hedges its exposure to the euro.

  • WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity UCITS USD

The WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity UCITS ETF aims to outperform the Bloomberg Commodity Total Return Index by selecting contracts in such a way as to maximize the benefits of roll yield and minimize the impact of contango.

  • XACT Ravaror UCITS

Sometimes it pays to go local: This ETF tracks an index of 15 commodities with significant importance to the Nordic economy, making broad based commodity exposure easy to access and own for local investors.

 

Best New Smart Beta ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most important new ETF launched in 2016, regardless of asset class, that uses a quantitative, research-driven approach to attempt to deliver superior long term risk adjusted returns. Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognise ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after 1 January, 2016, are eligible. ETF must be classified as a smart beta strategy by FactSet to qualify. (Note: Despite the FactSet categorization, currency-hedged exposures do not qualify.)

  • The db X-trackers iBoxx USD Emerging Sovereigns Quality Weighted UCITS ETF

Emerging market debt is exciting, but how do you avoid EM bonds that are in trouble? This new DB product applies fundamental analysis to the emerging markets space in an effort to sidestep bonds prior to a downgrade.

  • iShares Edge MSCI USA Value Factor UCITS ETF

This ETF stormed out of the gate, ending the year with more than £150 million in assets under management despite launching in October. The fund holds broad based exposure to stocks that are undervalued relative to their fundamentals. Its index handily outperformed the S&P 500 in 2016.

  •  J.P. Lyxor J.P. Morgan Multi-Factor Europe Index UCITS ETF

This unique ETF leverages a basket of five different factors (value, low size, momentum, low beta and quality) in an effort to deliver consistent outperformance to investors. It’s a key example of the rising use of multi instead of single factor exposure.

  • Lyxor FTSE All World Minimum Variance UCITS ETF

The Lyxor FTSE All World Minimum Variance UCITS ETF is a global ETF covering almost 2,000 stocks that seeks to keep investors in the market while protecting against significant downside exposure. With the Brexit, Frexit, Trump and more on investors’ minds, that could be a very appealing offering. And with a cost of just 0.30%, the fee is right too.

  • PowerShares FTSE UK High Dividend Low Volatility UCITS ETF

The PowerShares FTSE UK High Dividend Low Volatility UCITS ETF aims to provide investors with exposure to high yielding stocks without the volatility that can accompany that investment. Why have just one factor when you can have exposure to two?

  • Source FTSE RAFI Europe Equity Income Physical ETF

This new ETF won plaudits for its well researched, disciplined approach to generating returns in risk-off environments.
 

Best New Active ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most important new actively managed ETF launched in 2016, regardless of asset class. Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognise ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after 1 January, 2016, are eligible.

  • ComStage Alpha Dividende Plus UCITS

This unique ETF is the first actively managed ETF in the ComStage stable, and takes a unique approach to the market. Using quantitative screens, it picks stocks based on momentum, price to earnings growth and profitability, then screening for low volatility and high dividend payouts.

 

Thematic ETF of the Year for Europe – 2016
Awarded to the most important “thematic” ETF of 2016, as measured by its ability to capture important macro plays that can lead to specific portfolio outcomes. There is no requirement for this award regarding when this fund was launched.

  • Lyxor US$ 10Y Inflation Breakeven UCITS Cap USD

Not traditionally thought of as a thematic ETF, this fund hit the nominators as apropos for 2016. The fund holds the last six issuances of 10 year US TIPS and shorts Treasurys with the same duration. The difference between the two is considered the “breakeven rate of inflation,” and this fund captures it.

  • iShares Ageing Population UCITS

In almost all of the developed world and many emerging markets, the world is getting older. And while that’s horrible for long term investment returns, it creates unique business opportunities that this ETF aims to capture. Consider it an alpha seeking fund … or a hedge against the demographic drain.

  • iShares Automation & Robotics UCITS

The robots are coming! The robots are coming! And this ETF lets you get ahead of that trend.

  • iShares Digitalisation UCITS

We’re glued to our phones. The world is increasingly measured in bits (and paid for in bitcoin). This ETF captures the rising trend of digitalisation, allowing you to profit from the development we all feel in our day to day lives.

 

Most Innovative New ETF in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most groundbreaking and disruptive ETF launched in 2016. This is an ETF that is pushing the envelope in terms of what kinds of exposures can be packaged into an ETF.

  • ComStage Alpha Dividende Plus UCITS

This unique ETF is the first actively managed ETF in the ComStage stable, and takes a unique approach to the market. Using quantitative screens, it picks stocks based on momentum, price to earnings growth and profitability, and then screens for low volatility and high dividend payouts.

  • Lyxor J.P. Morgan Multi-Factor Europe Index UCITS ETF

This unique ETF leverages a basket of five different factors (value, low size, momentum, low beta and quality) in an effort to deliver consistent outperformance to investors. It’s a key example of the rising use of multi instead of single factor exposure.

  • iShares Automation & Robotics UCITS ETF

Automation is a big topic in today’s macro discussions. This unique ETF captures the robotics trend in a positive way, scouring the globe (across developed as well as emerging markets) for companies poised to benefit from rising robotic usage.

  • iShares MSCI EM SRI UCITS ETF

Launched in July 2016, the iShares MSCI EM SRI UCITS ETF provides exposure to emerging market companies that are best in class in terms of managing their environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities. With strong returns and a strong purpose, this fund is a good fit for many investors.

  • Lyxor US$ 10Y Inflation Expectations UCITS ETF

One of the most popular new ETFs launched in 2016, pulling in more than £325 million, this new Lyxor ETF solves a major problem with most inflation linked bond exposures—during periods of inflation, banks often raise interest rates, driving down the price of bonds. This ETF hedges out that interest rate risk, while retaining the upside inherent in inflation linked bonds.

 

ETF Provider of the Year for Europe – 2016

Awarded to the ETF issuer that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through product introductions, product performance, fund management, asset gathering, investor support and innovation in 2016.

  • Amundi ETF

Amundi ETF has secured a unique space in the ETF market by launching a wide swath of innovative, low cost ETFs. “More than one-third of its product line” has no competitive product, cited one nomination, arguing that Amundi ETF is one of the most innovative providers in the market.

  • Deutsche Asset Management

Despite a challenging year for its corporate parent, Deutsche Asset Management thrived in the ETF industry, having just celebrated 10 years in the space. In 2016, it continued its push into smart beta, where it now has 28 funds and over 5 billion euros in assets, and converted the majority of its fixed income products from synthetic to physical replication.

  • iShares by BlackRock

“iShares is a dominant force in ETFs, with approximately $1 trillion in assets from over 700 ETPs,” wrote one nomination. In 2016, it extended that leadership by launching multiple innovative products tied to single factors, multiple factors, SRI strategies and thematic approaches.

  • Lyxor ETF

“Lyxor is a proactive ETF issuer, working to find strategies and indices to fit investors’ needs,” said one nomination. Boasting some of the most popular new funds that launched in 2016, Lyxor is widely seen as innovative and sensitive to emerging trends, including socially responsible investing.

  • Vanguard

A massive provider in the US ETF industry, Vanguard made significant strides in Europe in 2016, hoovering up assets as investors sought out low cost ETFs in today’s challenging market environment.

 

Best New ETF Issuer in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the new ETF issuer that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through product introductions, product performance, fund management, investor support and innovation. Issuers must have launched their first ETF in 2016. ETF.com and Inside ETFs consider "issuer" to mean the "brand" of the ETF, as classified by FactSet.

  • Fullgoal Asset Management

Fullgoal Asset Management is the first Chinese issuer to launch in Europe without the support of a local partner. The firm brought a novel Chinese fixed income ETF to market, and is looking to become a significant player in the European ETF market.

 

Best ETF Issuer Website in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most informative and user friendly website by an ETF issuer.

  • Deutsche Asset Management

One nomination lauded Deutsche Asset Management’s ETF website for its “ease of navigation” and its “detailed product information” on a wide lineup of ETFs across multiple different geographies.

  • iShares by BlackRock

The iShares website has “consistently been at the forefront of ETF information and education,” wrote one nominating paper. Investors gave the firm credit for providing product, implementation and education based information on its website, which was said to be “easy” and “pleasing to use.”

  • Lyxor ETFs

Lyxor’s website relaunch (September 2016) was a bit overdue, but the designers came through with an easy to use website that provides very detailed information including full holdings data, tracking error, counterparty information and well produced videos.

  • WisdomTree

WisdomTree’s website is beloved for its pleasing user interface and crystal clear presentation of information (particularly about the indexes that underlie its products), along with best in class research that is both insightful and well written.

  • Zyfin Funds

Zyfin’s website provides in depth research on the Indian equity and fixed income markets, among other markets, helping investors to make sense of the outlook for its unique product lineup.

 

Best ETF Issuer Website in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most informative and user friendly website by an ETF issuer.

  • Deutsche Asset Management

One nomination lauded Deutsche Asset Management’s ETF website for its “ease of navigation” and its “detailed product information” on a wide lineup of ETFs across multiple different geographies.

  • iShares by BlackRock

The iShares website has “consistently been at the forefront of ETF information and education,” wrote one nominating paper. Investors gave the firm credit for providing product, implementation and education based information on its website, which was said to be “easy” and “pleasing to use.”

  • Lyxor ETFs

Lyxor’s website relaunch (September 2016) was a bit overdue, but the designers came through with an easy to use website that provides very detailed information including full holdings data, tracking error, counterparty information and well produced videos.

  • WisdomTree

WisdomTree’s website is beloved for its pleasing user interface and crystal clear presentation of information (particularly about the indexes that underlie its products), along with best in class research that is both insightful and well written.

  • Zyfin Funds

Zyfin’s website provides in depth research on the Indian equity and fixed income markets, among other markets, helping investors to make sense of the outlook for its unique product lineup.

 

Index of the Year – 2016

Awarded to the index that has done the most to provide new ways of considering investment strategies, opportunities or ideas.

  • MSCI Emerging Markets SRI Index

With socially responsible investing on the tips of the tongues of investors around the world, this index applies SRI strategies to emerging market companies, ensuring the exposure you get aligns with the values you hold dear … no matter where you are around the world.

  • iSTOXX MUTB Global Quality Indices

Investors are well aware that there is no free lunch when it comes to investing, but you can choose to avoid risk and invest in better quality companies. The new iSTOXX MUTB Global Quality Indices offer investors the opportunity to invest in high quality companies while avoiding the riskier ones.

  • S&P Long-Term Value Creation Global Index

This index takes the idea of buy and hold to a new level. With a focus on the long term objectives of global companies, investors are now able to gain access to high quality companies that have a sustainable business and are focused on long term results. That is something all investors could get behind.

  • Scientific Beta Developed Multi-Beta Multi-Strategy ERC Index

This index blends four main risk factors (value, size, low volatility and momentum) with five popular smart beta diversification strategies, and has demonstrated better performance in different market phases compared with its parent index (the MSCI World index) in the long term.

  • SPI Multi Premia Index

This new index thinks that four factors isn’t enough; it takes into account seven “statistically significant source of return” (value, momentum, residual momentum, reversal, low risk and quality) as it seeks to build a differentiated exposure to the market.

 

Index Provider of the Year – 2016

Awarded to the index provider that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through index introductions, research, adviser support and more.

  • ERI Scientific Beta 

ERI continues to push the envelope of bringing cutting-edge academic research into the real world. The firm won plaudits for a unique approach to index pricing: It said investors who license its indexes can request the right to pay only when those indexes outperform the benchmark

  • FTSE

Always a giant in the field, FTSE was a leading innovator in 2016, supporting a wide array of smart beta and factor innovation in the ETF space.

  • Markit iBoxx

With so much growth in fixed income strategies, Markit iBoxx’s role as a leading provider is proving critical to the growth and innovation in that space.

  • MSCI

A dominant provider in the ETF equity space, MSCI continues to innovate, pushing the boundaries on single factor, multifactor and SRI themes.

  • Solactive

Solactive continues to challenge the status quo in index-land, driving down costs for ETF issuers and other custom index users. It has recently made strides in launching its own branded smart beta indexes as well, and has been innovating across multiple ESG fronts.

 

Best Index Provider Website in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the most informative and user friendly website by an index provider.

  • ERI Scientific Beta

ERI goes beyond providing information on its own indexes: Registered users can actually use EDHEC’s systems to create new smart beta indexes of their own, right on the website.

  • FTSE

Now including the complete Russell index series, the FTSE indexing website includes a broad array of free data and analytics, including public access to historical constituents for most indexes—a rarity in the index business.

  • Markit iBoxx

The Markit & iBoxx brands are now behind dozens of widely used indexes, from the CDX to the iBoxx bond series. Each index gets its own microsite with relevant data, from the obvious (index construction) to the more obscure (collateral lists).

  • MSCI

MSCI’s newly revamped “innovative website provides a one stop index resource and tools center,” wrote one nomination. From country heatmaps to detailed research papers, it’s a powerhouse in the industry.

  • SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd

As one nomination wrote: “In an ever changing digitalised world, with more to do, less time, and most tasks done online, fast access to relevant and complete data is necessary.” We agree, which is why the complete information about indexes, index baskets and index adjustment preview information available on this site is particularly appealing.

 

Best ETF Liquidity Provider in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the ETF liquidity provider (including market maker, authorised participant, agency broker, etc.) that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through education, support, services, innovation and outreach.

  • Bluefin

Founded in the US in 2001, Bluefin expanded into the European market in 2007 and has grown to a full service market maker and liquidity provider, with a focus on real time RFQ in fixed income, emerging markets and commodities.

  • BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas received multiple nominations that noted it “shows some of the tightest bid/offer spreads for a large/wide scope of equity ETFs on several European stock exchanges.”

  • FlowTraders

One nomination wrote: “Flow Traders is constantly providing sharp and competitive pricing on ETFs globally, both on and off exchange, ensuring excellent pricing in ETFs for institutional and retail investors.” The firm quotes more than 4,000 ETPS continually, and executed trades in 97 different venues in 35 different countries.

  • Jane Street

With 97 professionals working across 200 exchanges and venues in 40 countries, Jane Street is a monster in ETF trading, handling more than $1.4 trillion in ETF trades in 2016. It doubled its European trading volume in 2016 (to more than $270 billion), seeded nine new ETFs, and was named No. 1 for ETF Markets by the London Stock Exchange. It was called out in nominations for automating its RFQ process and helping institutions convert bond portfolios into ETF shares.

  • Susquehanna International Group (SIG)

Known for its broad coverage and algorithmic approach to trading, nominations called out SIG for “excellent service” and “always looking to tighten spreads” when trades were needed. Coving over 1,200 UCITS ETFs and in business since the birth of the ETF market, SIG has a loyal following among institutional traders.

 

Best ETF Lawyer in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the best lawyer/law firm to contribute to ETFs through diligent service, and by shepherding new and effective products into the marketplace.

  • Maples and Calder

Ireland’s market leader in terms of the total number of funds advised and the total number of new funds set up in 2016 (and each of the past seven years), Maples and Calder is a huge player in the Ireland funds and ETF space. It has steadily increased its market share over each of the past five years, developing a reputation for providing “practical, commercially workable solutions” for clients, according to a nomination paper. Its services cover all aspects of fund development, from developing and structuring financial indices for the UCITS market to cross border master/feeder structuring and much more.

  • Matheson

Matheson has a long list of accomplishments in the ETF space, highlighted recently by its guidance regarding BMO’s entry into Europe, Zyfin’s new efforts and Morgan Stanley’s swap based smart beta ETFs. It is currently working with four global asset management houses on the launch of their new European ETF ranges, scheduled for the first half of 2017, and advised on key issues like active ETFs, the Euroclear International Central Securities Depository (“ICSD”) settlement system, and the first ETF authorized in Ireland under the new ICAV system.

  • William Fry

William Fry continues to be the firm of choice for significant and complex fund transactions in Ireland, with a large team of eight partners dedicated to advising ETF clients. Remarkably in 2016, firm provided the legal background and support for the first Europewide clearing system for ETFs, new passively hedged share class structures in a number of ETFs and the first active equity ETFs.

 

Best ETF Custodian in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the best custodian firm to contribute to ETFs through diligent service, efficient back office operations and the ultimate safeguarding of investor capital.

  • Bank of New York Mellon

A leading global custodian providing a broad range of services to the ETF industry, Bank of New York Mellon was nominated for providing high quality consultative advice and guidance in the ETF space.

  • Brown Brothers Harriman

A global giant in the ETF space, Brown Brothers Harriman won kudos for its close partnering with customers and its extensive thought leadership activities.

  • Northern Trust

At the forefront of ETF servicing since it launched the first ETF in Europe in 2000, Northern Trust was nominated for its excellent work facilitating enhanced liquidity across its products.

  • State Street

A global leader in ETF custody, State Street is well known and liked for offering a comprehensive array of services.

 

Best UK Adviser Platform For ETFs – 2016

Awarded to the platform that offers its advisers low cost, whole of market access with nimble trading facilities and well developed back office systems.

  • AJ Bell

The firm continues its growing embrace of ETFs in 2016 with the launch of passives-only managed portfolios, which include significant allocations into the ETF space.

  • Ascentric

With more than 650 ETFs on the platform, Ascentric was called out for treating ETFs as the equal of competing investment products, creating a fair playing field where investors can choose what matters most to them.

  • Cofunds

As part of its acquisition by Aegon, Cofunds added ETFs to its platform for the first time, a big step for the European ETF market, and one that many said could spur increased use of ETFs by retail investors while inspiring other platforms to follow suit.

  • Novia

A consistent leader in the use of ETFs, Novia continued to push the envelope in 2016 by adding multi currency ETFs to its platform across sterling, the US dollar and the euro.

  • Winterflood

A multiple year nominee, Winterflood won kudos in 2016 for offering fractional share trading and custody, opening up the use of ETFs by more DFMs and IFAs in the UK.

 

 

Best ETF Investor – 2016

Awarded to an ETF investor, adviser or DFM that is using ETFs to deliver high quality portfolios to clients in an innovative way.

  • Copia Capital Management

One of the biggest challenges investors face in today’s market is figuring out how to use smart beta ETFs in portfolios. Copia solves that problem by creating smart beta only portfolios that help drive above market returns for investors and advisor clients.

  • Feri Trust

The German asset manager has been a leading thinker in all aspects of ETF usage, including adopting smart beta funds into its portfolios. It is one of the most active and forward thinking investors in the German ETF market.

  • Price Bailey

An early adopter of ETFs, the accountancy focused firm now manages more than £500 million across of a number of ETF focused model portfolios.

  • Secure Wealth Management

A strong advocate for the use of ETFs in portfolios, Secure Wealth Management has more than £150 million in assets under management spread across a number of ETF only portfolios.

  • Twenty20 Investments

Twenty20 was one of the first in the space, and founder Allan Lane's product knowledge is second to none. His passion for ETFs and evidence-based investing strategy, wrote one nomination, shines through in “well diversified portfolios.”
 

 

Robo Advisor of the Year for Europe – 2016

Awarded to the firm providing the best online, lower cost and technologically efficient investments for clients.

  • ETFMatic

In just a few months, the firm has launched “3 options for retail customers across 17 European countries to acquire ETFs based on hundreds of portfolio models (starter portfolios, investment plans and custom goals) in 3 currencies (pounds, euros and dollars),” according to one nomination. “ETFmatic offers portfolios of all levels of sophistication, from starter portfolios that allow clients to pick an equity/bond allocation, via dynamic investment plans constructed using modern portfolio theory, through to custom portfolios where clients can set their own asset allocation.”

  • Moneyfarm

One of the largest digital wealth management companies in Europe, Moneyfarm uniquely waives its fees for accounts with less than £10,000 or more than £1 million in assets under management, according to ETF Strategy.

  • Nutmeg

The UK digital giant continued to shine in 2016, with steadily growing assets and extensive public advertising that pushed the concept of low cost investing deeper into the minds of investors.

  • Scalable Capital

Just 10 months after launch, Scalable Capital manages €100 million in assets for more than 2,500 clients. The firm has made its name around having a better understanding of risk than competing products, quantifying potential downside exposure for clients in a clear, easy to understand way. The firm’s focus on risk leads to portfolios that protect against downside risk, helping keep investors invested.

 

Best ETF Research Paper in Europe – 2016

Awarded to the published paper from 2016 that has most increased our understanding of how ETFs and/or index based investments affect investor outcomes, whether in portfolios, markets or broader economic context.

  • Active Funds vs. Benchmark: Performance Comparison – Marlene Hassine, Lyxor

As one nomination paper said: “In the myriad of choices for investors, one question gets more airtime than any other: Should I buy active or passive? This new report, launched in mid 2016, frames the question in a new light: Active, passive or smart beta?” http://www.lyxoretf.co.uk/pdfDocuments/715779_Lyxor ETF_active vs passive - Print_repro.pdf

  • Constructing Low Volatility Strategies – MSCI

This paper considers the anomaly that low volatility strategies have outperformed the market as a whole over the long haul, and considers both rules based and optimization based approaches to constructing low volatility portfolios. https://www.msci.com/www/blog-posts/constructing-low-volatility/0287321433

  • Fallen Angels: The Investment Opportunity – Andrew Clare, Stephen Thomas and Nick Motson

This article took an in depth academic look at the return profile of so-called fallen angel bonds, which have become a hot topic in ETFs as investors look for strong positive returns in a challenging fixed income environment.
http://www.cassknowledge.com/sites/default/files/article-attachments/fallen-angels-investment-opportunity-cass-business-school-invesco-powershares-sep-2016.pdf

 

ETF Ticker of the Year for Europe – 2016

  • Amundi Index S&P 500 DR UCITS ETF Cap (S500)
  • iShares Ageing Population UCITS (AGED)
  • iShares Fallen Angels High Yield Corporate Bond UCITS (WING)
  • iShares Healthcare Innovation UCITS (HEAL)
  • UBS Factor MSCI USA Low Volatility UCITS hedged to GBP A Dis (ULOV)

 

 

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