And The 2016 Awards Winners Are …

March 30, 2017

Best ETF Lawyer: Dechert and Thompson Hine

Awarded annually to the law firm that has done the most to push the ETF industry forward, including driving new and innovative products through the Securities and Exchange Commission, advocating for the industry and the rights of investors, and improving outcomes for investors.

It could be said that lawyers make the ETF industry tick. They’re instrumental to the design of new products and navigating the maze of ETF regulations and requirements. This year, the award goes to two different firms: Dechert and Thompson Hine. While the former is known for its expertise and comprehensive services in the ETF space, the latter’s up-to-date knowledge of the regulatory environment is invaluable to issuers.

Finalists included:

  • Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
  • Chapman & Cutler
  • Ropes & Gray

Best ETF Advisor: Ritholtz Wealth Management

Awarded to an individual financial advisor or advisor team that is using ETFs to deliver high-quality portfolios to clients in an innovative way.

Ritholtz is a classic wealth manager, in the sense that it focuses not on making market calls, but crafting long-term plans to meet individual financial goals, with a healthy dose of risk management. The firm’s focus on evidence-based investing—not performance chasing—and its adoption of environmental, social and governance strategies for those clients who want it, put Ritholtz Wealth Management out on the front edge of ETF-centric financial advisors.

Finalists included:

  • Chudom Hayes Wealth Management
  • Edelman Financial Services
  • Stocker Woods Financial
  • Veteran Financial Freedom Initiative

Best Institutional ETF User: USAA

Awarded to an institutional investor that is using ETFs to deliver high-quality portfolios in an innovative way.

USAA is a huge membership-based company that provides members of the U.S. military and their families with everything from financial planning services to car insurance. Between its USAA Investment Management Co. and USAA Insurance Group arms, USAA owns more than $7 billion in ETFs, including core and smart-beta strategies.

Finalists included:

  • Houston Firefighters’ Relief And Retirement Fund
  • Lazard Asset Management
  • Rockefeller University
  • Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System

Best New ETF Ticker: WSKY

Awarded to the ETF with the best new ETF ticker. The ETF must have launched in 2016 to qualify.

The winner is WSKY—the Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey & Spirits ETF (WSKY). The ticker explains quite clearly what the fund is all about: It tracks an index composed of global equities that either own and operate a whiskey distillery, or derive a significant amount of revenue from the sale of whiskey.

Finalists included:

  • BUZ: BUZZ US Sentiment Leaders ETF
  • MENU: USCF Restaurant Leaders Fund
  • OLD: The Long-Term Care ETF
  • VNLA: Janus Short Duration Income ETF



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