The third annual ETF.com Awards honored products, people and companies that made a difference in the ETF industry in 2015.
The 30 categories recognized not only new noteworthy launches, but also veteran ETFs and well-established players who stood out last year for their role in helping investors invest better.
In 2015, no ETF was more significant than the Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity (DBEF | B-72). The fund garnered Best ETF of the Year.
DBEF raked in $12.5 billion in assets last year, making it the third-most-popular fund in a year when all investor eyes were on the theme of currency hedging as well as on opportunities in developed-market equities.
That popularity came side by side with solid performance relative to unhedged exposure to the MSCI EAFE index in 2015. The chart below shows the outsized gains DBEF shelled out compared with the iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA | A-93):
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com
DBEF didn’t attract more investor attention than its direct competitor, the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity ETF (HEDJ | B-47), which was the most popular fund last year, with some $13.8 billion in inflows. DBEF is not even the bigger of the two—it has $12.7 billion in assets, while HEDJ has $14.9 billion.
But what’s noteworthy about DBEF—and one of the reasons it took this year’s award—is the impact it had on single-handedly putting Deutsche Bank’s currency-hedged ETF efforts on the map. The ETF led the firm’s ETF asset growth to exceed 400% in one single year. Deutsche ended 2015 as the 11th-largest ETF issuer, with more than $18 billion in ETF assets.
DBEF beat the following ETFs to the prize:
Here’s a rundown of this year’s other awards ...