And The Award Winners Are …

March 16, 2016

Most Innovative ETF Issuer: Goldman Sachs

Awarded to the ETF provider that launched the most innovative and groundbreaking group of ETFs in 2015.

Goldman Sachs entered the ETF market with a bang in 2015, launching a full suite of smart-beta ETFs using a multifactor approach to tackle the market. While the funds are fairly innovative in and of themselves, the firm was nominated in large part for its pricing structure, headlined by the 9 bps fee for its Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (GSLC). They brought the price war to the smart beta segment. That’s innovation.

Finalists included:

· BlackRock’s iShares

· ETF Managers Group

· State Street Global Advisors

Best New ETF Issuer: John Hancock

Awarded to the new ETF issuer that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through product introductions, product performance, fund management, investor support and innovation. Issuers must have launched their first ETF in 2015.

John Hancock’s high-profile entry into the ETF market is notable for its partnership with Dimensional Fund Advisors, which powers the methodology behind the John Hancock ETFs. The multifactor methodology, emphasizing value as well as profit factors, makes DFA-style exposures available to all investors for the first time; traditionally, DFA funds were only available to advisors operating inside the DFA program.

Finalists included:

· BioShares

· Lattice Strategies

· Legg Mason

· Pacer Financial

Best Index Provider: MSCI

Awarded to the index provider that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through index introductions, research, advisor support and more. MSCI is this year’s winner.

MSCI is a globally dominant index provider, and has been one of the biggest players in the ETF market since its inception. In 2015, the firm took a major step forward in its interaction with the financial advisor market, revamping its website and significantly enhancing its research output in the factor-investing world.

Finalists included:

· FTSE Russell

· Reality Shares

· Self-Indexing

· Solactive

Best Index: S&P 500

Awarded to the index that has done the most to provide new ways of considering investment strategies, opportunities or ideas. The award this year goes to a veteran: the S&P 500 Index.

Everyone knows the S&P 500, and it remains the most important index in the world, with people worldwide using it to express their opinion on the market. In 2015, the S&P 500 was the underlying for the ETF with the largest inflows on the market, the Vanguard S&P 500 (VOO | A-98) as well as the ETF with the largest outflows, the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-97), while SPY options dominated the entire equity options market.

Finalists included:

· Reality Shares DIVCON Index

· MSCI USA Quality Index

· Morningstar Exponential Technologies Index

· CSI 300 Index

Best ETF Liquidity Provider: Cantor Fitzgerald

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.

With Reggie Browne at the helm, Cantor Fitzgerald has aggressively grown its presence in the ETF market. The firm is noted for its expertise across a wide range of ETFs, from traditional equity to fixed income and more.

Finalists included:

· Bloomberg Tradebook

· Deutsche Asset Management


· Jane Street

Best Online Broker for ETF-Focused Investors: Charles Schwab

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

The winner in this category is Charles Schwab. From its OneSource program to its robo advisor, Schwab offers unique capabilities and unique value propositions to its clients. The firm is also noted for the high-quality ETF research and tools it offers to clients.

Finalists included:

· Fidelity

· Interactive Brokers

· Robinhood

· TD Ameritrade

Best ETF Offering: Wire House: UBS

Awarded to the wire house that offer its reps and advisors the best total offering in the ETF space, including research, data, tools, trading capabilities and education. The winner is UBS.

UBS not only has a solid overall offering, but its commitment to ETF research grew tremendously in 2015. That push has been largely tied to David Perlman, whose insightful research has gained notoriety for linking UBS’ overall recommendations with specific ETF implementation tools.

Finalists included:

· Merrill Lynch

· Morgan Stanley

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