2020 ETF.com Awards

May 01, 2021

INDEX PROVIDER OF THE YEAR

WINNER: MSCI

Index providers are at the heart of the ETF ecosystem. Most of the 2,400-plus U.S.-listed ETFs in the market are
passively managed—tied to an index—and the bulk of global ETF assets today sits in index-based strategies.

The job of developing, constructing and managing indexes is crucial to the growth and success of ETFs. MSCI has been excelling at this for 50 years. One in 10 ETFs listed in the U.S. tracks MSCI indexes.

Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, at a global level, there’s roughly $12.1 trillion in assets benchmarked to MSCI’s indexes, and 1,300 ETFs, with $1 trillion in assets, track MSCI indexes. The firm also calculates 225,000 indexes daily, 12,000 of them in real time. It also provides extensive analytics services, especially in the area of ESG.

MSCI is a powerhouse among index providers, and one that’s maintained leadership in the space through its keen focus on the needs of investors, the evolving investment landscape, the importance of top-notch data and continued, ongoing research made readily available to investors and market participants.

The firm is 2020’s Index Provider of the Year, but its distinction isn’t a one-off event. MSCI has taken the prize for Index Provider of the Year in every year but two since the ETF.com Awards began.

INDEX OF THE YEAR

WINNER: NASDAQ Next Generation 100 Index

The NASDAQ Next Generation 100 Index is the perfect index for the times. With information technology and biotechnology hotter than ever, investors are clamoring for exposure to those industries.

At the same time, everyone already knows about the FAANGs. The megacaps that dominate the Nasdaq-100 may be great companies, but they don’t offer the same supersized returns they did five or 10 years ago. They’re just too big.

That’s where the NASDAQ Next Generation 100 Index comes in. It tracks companies in the same industries—61% of the index is in information technology and health care—but with much smaller market capitalizations.

Specifically, it targets the 101st- to 200th-largest nonfinancial companies in the Nasdaq Composite—the stocks that are just outside of the Nasdaq-100. Ideally, the index could track the companies that are just hitting their stride, growing rapidly with plenty of upside.

It all sounds great in theory, but investors will have to wait to find out whether the ETF that tracks the index, the Invesco Nasdaq Next Gen 100 ETF (QQQJ), lives up to the hype.

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