And The 2017 Awards Winners Are …

March 22, 2018

Index of the Year: EMQQ The Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce Index

Awarded to the index that has done the most to provide new ways of considering investment strategies, opportunities or ideas in 2017.

This year’s winning index underlies one of 2017’s best-performing equity funds. The $518 million Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF (EMQQ), which tracks an index with almost the same name, was up more than 68% last year. Sure, it wasn’t the best performer, but it blew away the broad MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which was up about 37%. The index is designed to capture emerging and frontier market companies listed in the U.S. and that are engaged primarily in internet-based businesses like online shopping, e-commerce and gaming. According to the website for the fund, the index is designed to “offer investors exposure to the growth of online consumption in the developing world.”

Finalists included:

  • BlackRock High Yield Defensive Bond Index
  • FTSE OFI Dynamic Multifactor Index Series
  • MSCI China A Inclusion Index
  • Solactive Equileap Gender Equality Family of Indices
  • SummerHaven Private Equity Strategy Index


ETF Liquidity Provider of the Year: Citadel Securities

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

Liquidity providers are invisible to most retail customers, important to large advisors and absolutely essential to institutional clients. This year’s winner, Citadel Securities, is one of the behemoths of Wall Street, ranked No. 1 in market making for retail orders, and single-handedly responsible for 20% of U.S. equity volume. That footprint has translated into a full-service ETF offering in recent years.

Finalists included:

  • BAML
  • Jane Street
  • Susquehanna International Group
  • Tradeweb Markets


ETF Custodian of the Year: BNY Mellon

Awarded to the ETF custodial firm offering the best and most innovative service to clients.

“Custodian” here is really shorthand for a whole range of services provided by the firms in contention for this award, from the actual custody of underlying assets to calculating and disseminating net asset values to dealing with the nitty gritty of regulatory filings and shareholder servicing. This year’s winner has made a name for itself by essentially doing it all, and doing it well. BNY Mellon is the custodian for roughly a third of all of the ETFs listed in the U.S., covering almost every underlying market in the world.

Finalists included:

  • Brown Brothers Harriman
  • Citi
  • State Street
  • US Bank


Best Online Broker for ETF-Focused Investors: Charles Schwab

Awarded to the online brokerage offering the best package for ETF-focused investors. This award will consider commission-free trading options, education materials, supporting services and other factors.

No matter what kind of investor you are, Charles Schwab has something for you. Our panelists’ pick for best online brokerage offers 250+ commission-free funds on its Schwab ETF OneSource platform. For those ETFs that aren’t free to trade, Schwab charges $4.95/trade, one of the lowest commissions in the business.

Finalists included:

  • Fidelity
  • Interactive Brokers
  • TD Ameritrade


Best ETF Platform: Bloomberg

Awarded to the wirehouse, broker-dealer or other service provider that offers its reps and advisors the best total offering in the ETF space, including research, data, tools, trading capabilities and education.

When we think of what a “platform” is in the context of ETF investing, it can be a bit difficult to define. It hardly matters, however, because by practically any definition, Bloomberg would fit. Sophisticated ETF investors use Bloomberg for everything from research, news, portfolio management and trading to risk analysis and performance attribution.

Finalists included:

  • Merrill Lynch
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Raymond James
  • TD Ameritrade


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