Category 1: Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded annually to one living individual for outstanding long-term contributions to ETF investor outcomes, whether from a position of media, regulation, product provider or investor. Previous winners are ineligible.
Winner: Lee Kranefuss – You won’t find an executive with more ETF-specific “street cred” than Lee Kranefuss. His almost-evangelical belief that the future of investing belonged to ETFs has been crucial to the rise of the industry. Under his direction, iShares grew to be the biggest ETF issuer in the world, and the unrivaled breadth of the company’s product line serves as the perfect metaphor of the power of ETFs.
- John Bogle
- Reggie Browne
- Burton Malkiel
- Gus Sauter
Category 2: ETF of the Year
Awarded to the ETF that has done the most to improve investor opportunities and outcomes in 2014, by opening new areas of the market, lowering costs, delivering new exposures or otherwise creating better options for investors. There is no requirement on when this fund launched.
Winner: WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity (HEDJ)
HEDJ, the only nonvanilla ETF to make the top 10 flows list in 2014, has captured the attention (and dollars) of investors looking to make a currency-hedged bet on eurozone equities. With the euro on the rocks, the ETF’s ability to protect against a falling currency meant it outperformed nonhedged European equity ETFs by 10-12 percent for the year. HEDJ attracted $4.9 billion in inflows in 2014.
- Global X GF China Bond (CHNB)
- PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon U.S. Treasury (ZROZ)
- Vanguard Total International Bond (BNDX)
- Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI)
Category 3: Best New ETF
Awarded to the most important ETF launched in 2014. Note: Importance is measured by the overall contribution to positive investor outcomes. The award may recognize ETFs that open new areas of the market, lower costs, drive risk-adjusted performance or provide innovative exposures not previously available to most investors. Only ETFs with inception dates after Jan. 1, 2014, were eligible.
Winner: Market Vectors ChinaAMC China Bond ETF (CBON)
CBON offered U.S. investors access to Chinese debt issued in mainland China for the very first time. With the Chinese market rallying and bond opportunities looking thin elsewhere, this novel exposure is a welcome addition to the mix.
- EMQQ Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF (EMQQ)
- First Trust Dorsey Wright Focus 5 ETF (FV)
- iShares Core Total USD Bond Market ETF (IUSB)
- PowerShares DB Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy (PDBC)