Best ETF Issuer Capital Markets Desk
Awarded to the ETF issuer providing the most useful support to advisors for ETF trading.
· BlackRock’s iShares
Nominations note that BlackRock’s iShares Capital Markets group offers “unrivaled trade analytics, trade expertise, broad relationships and comprehensive/deep product knowledge.”
· Deutsche Asset Management
The nominations noted that Deutsche Asset Management's Capital Markets group was a great partner in 2015, with a rapidly expanding team helping to source liquidity for retail and institutional clients alike. The firm was lauded for listening to its partners, improving processes and working hard to improve investor outcomes.
The nominations for FlexShares commend the firm for being “available anywhere, anytime, for analysis, competitive positioning, context or working with a trading desk of another firm.” Multiple contributors highlighted the firm’s prowess in working with other trading desks to develop best practices in the industry.
· State Street Global Advisors
The team at SSgA is both knowledgeable and visible, providing guidance and helping clients execute trades in a wide variety of SSgA products.
WisdomTree’s capital markets capabilities are highlighted by the inimitable Dave Abner, who literally wrote the book on ETFs. Its dedication to customer service has received positive reviews from investors for years.
Best ETF Strategist
Awarded to the ETF strategist or model portfolio provider that has done the most to improve investor outcomes in the previous year. Automated investment services are eligible for this award, as they provide managed portfolios en masse to investors.
· Astor Investment Management
An established provider and advocate for ETFs, Astor landed two of the top five strategies for asset growth by sticking to its knitting. Many of its strategies now have a solid 10-year track record.
· Beaumont Capital Management
Beaumont impressed by picking up a significant slug of assets departing the F-Squared group, with two of the top five strategies for asset growth. Its Decathlon Growth Aspect (Profile 5) strategy picked up almost $1 billion in the first nine months of the year.
· Clark Capital Management Group
As one nomination put it, “Clark Capital's Client-First Approach to asset management focuses on helping financial advisors deliver successful outcomes to clients.” The firm aims to personalize risk management for investors, with unique insights that react to a changing market environment.
· CLS Investments
The nominations for CLS note its strong relative performance compared with its peers and its proprietary risk budgeting methodology. The firm was a leader in incorporating factor strategies into its portfolios, and received wide kudos for its forward-thinking nature in the smart-beta space.
· RiverFront Investment Group
Last year’s winner in the category, RiverFront again received a large number of nominations 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.
· Sage Advisory Services
The dominant ETF strategist in the fixed-income space, the firm made marks this year with the deployment of ETFs into cash balance plans. With $11.5 billion in AUM now deployed across everything from 100% fixed income to 100% equity exposure (and everything in between), Sage is seen as “first-among-equals” by many in the ETF strategist space.