First annual ETF.com Awards honors products, people and companies.
DXJ, the $11 billion currency-hedged equity ETF that insulated investors from the yen’s big slide against the dollar last year, was named the ETF of the Year at the first annual ETF.com Awards held tonight in New York.
ETF.com, the 15-year-old news, views and financial data company focused exclusively on exchange-traded funds, also honored important individuals like the pioneering securities attorney Kathleen Moriarty, and the fund sponsor Vanguard, which have been instrumental in moving the 21-year-old ETF industry forward and helping to create better options and outcomes for investors.
“WisdomTree is focused on providing thoughtful and innovative investment solutions for our clients,” said Jonathan Steinberg, WisdomTree’s chief executive officer and president. “It is an honor to receive the ‘ETF of the Year’ award for the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ | B-54).”
The awards reflect the unique perspective ETF.com has on the industry’s stellar growth and product innovation. ETF.com, which is at the very center of the ETF industry, held the ETF.com Awards at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, in New York. The company also hosts “Inside ETFs,” the world’s biggest ETF conference.
“The ETF.com awards recognize the funds, firms and individuals that are improving investor outcomes by delivering innovative products to the market. We congratulate every winner as well as all the nominees in each category,” said Jim Wiandt, founder, chief executive officer and publisher of ETF.com.
‘SPDR Woman’ Honored
Kathleen Moriarty, a securities attorney with New York-based Katten Muchin Rosenman whose work on the world’s first ETF, SPY, earned her the nickname “SPDR Woman,” won the “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
The prize reflects Moriarty’s 25 years of experience in the ETF industry, which includes writing the prospectus to the now-$160 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY | A-98).
“I’m very excited and honored,” said Moriarty. “But if ETF.com awarded me this so they can get me out of the business, then they’re wrong, because I’m not going to be retiring anytime soon.”
Vanguard, a mutually structured mutual fund firm long known for its relentless drive to lower costs to investors, was named Best ETF Issuer of the Year.
“Vanguard is honored to receive ETF.com’s ETF ‘Issuer of the Year’ award,” said Martha King, Vanguard managing director and head of U.S. financial intermediaries. “This is an acknowledgment that Vanguard’s low-cost, high-value approach to investing is resonating with investors.”
China Looms Large
The award honoring last year’s best new issuer went to KraneShares, a firm exclusively focused on bringing China-focused investment funds to the market in ETF wrappers. It’s a fitting focus considering how important the world’s second-biggest economy has become.
“We’re very appreciative of ETF.com for the award,” Brendan Ahern, managing director of KraneShares, said about winning the Best New ETF Issuer of the Year. “This encourages us to keep working hard to bring new ETFs based on China 2.0 to the market, because U.S. investors are currently underinvested in the world’s second-largest economy.”
ETF.com also double-crowned the db X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (ASHR) as last year’s Most Groundbreaking New ETF and Best New International/Global Equity ETF.
The Deutsche Bank fund was the first to give U.S. investors access to China’s coveted mainland A-shares market using real stocks, and has spawned a growing number of imitators.
Previous China-focused securities focused on companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen only afforded access through derivatives.