ETF.com's ETF Awards Finalists

January 10, 2014

For 14 years, ETF.com has been the leading independent authority on indexes, index funds and ETFs. Over that time, we have enjoyed watching the amazing growth and innovation this industry has delivered. Investors today are fundamentally better off than they were when we started as a result of this innovation.

Earlier this year, in an effort to recognize the innovators driving this growth, ETF.com announced the creation of the ETF.com ETF Awards. These 23 awards are designed to recognize the people, companies and products that are moving the industry forward and helping to create better outcomes for investors. The finalists for the voted awards are listed below.

The winners in each category will be announced at the ETF.com ETF Awards Dinner, taking place March 19, 2014, at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, in New York. The winners will also be announced on the www.etf.com website on March 20, 2014, and in the ETF Report magazine’s April issue.

Methodology

Winners of the awards are selected in a three-part process designed to leverage the insights and opinions of leaders throughout the ETF industry.

Step 1
The awards process began with an open nominations process. ETF.com solicited nominations from more than 15,000 members of the ETF community, including issuers, index providers, advisors, institutional investors, ETF strategists and more.

Step 2
Following the public nominations process, the ETF.com ETF Awards Nominating Committee—made up of senior members of the ETF.com Editorial and Analytics teams—voted to select up to five finalists in each category. Votes were cast on a majority basis, and ties were broken where possible with head-to-head runoff votes.

The members of the Nominating Committee are:

  • Paul Baiocchi, Vice President, Analytics
  • Paul Britt, Senior ETF Specialist
  • Matt Hougan, President, Analytics & Publications
  • Elisabeth Kashner, Director of Research
  • Olivier Ludwig, Managing Editor
  • Dave Nadig, Chief Investment Officer

 

 

Step 3

Winners among these finalists will be selected by a majority vote of the ETF.com ETF Awards Selection Committee, a group of independent ETF experts from throughout the ETF community. Committee members will recuse themselves from voting in any category in which they or their firms appear as finalists. Ties will be decided where possible with head-to-head runoff votes.

The members of the Selection Committee are:

  • Jim Wiandt, Founder and CEO, ETF.com.com
  • Phil Mackintosh, Managing Director, Trading Strategy, Credit Suisse
  • Kim Arthur, Founding Partner, Main Management
  • Mike Vogelzang, President and Chief Investment Officer, Boston Advisors
  • Benjamin Blaisdell, Managing Director and Investment Solutions Executive, US Trust
  • Jason Nicastro, Senior Research Analyst, LPL Financial

 

The winners in each category will be announced at the ETF.com ETF Awards Dinner, taking place March 19, 2014, at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, in New York.

 

 

 

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.

David Abner: Dave Abner has educated a generation of ETF investors with his insightful books on exchange-traded funds, which many consider the best in the market. He continues that work with advisors and investors as he heads capital markets for WisdomTree.

John Bogle: John Bogle has been a tireless advocate for indexing and passive investing, and has advanced the cause of sensible, low-turnover, low-cost investing, saving investors countless billions.

Lee Kranefuss: Lee Kranefuss guided Barclays Global Investors into creating iShares, the first true “name brand” series of ETFs designed not just for institutions, but all investors. He spearheaded efforts to educate advisors on the value ETFs could bring to clients.

Kathleen Moriarty: Kathleen Moriarty helped build the very first ETFs, including SPY, solving many of the legal, regulatory and technical hurdles along the way. She continues to be a major source of innovation for her clients in the industry.

Gus Sauter: At Vanguard, Gus was responsible for bringing the Vanguard approach to investing into the ETF wrapper, patenting the share-class system still used by Vanguard ETFs today.

 

 

ETF of the Year
Awarded to the ETF that has done the most to improve investor opportunities and outcomes in 2013, 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.

db X-Trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares (ASHR): ASHR is the first U.S. ETF offering direct access to the China A-share market. The product, despite its challenging nature of its market, enjoyed a seamless launch.

PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (BKLN): BKLN offers a large, liquid product covering an asset class that was previously only available to institutional investors. In an environment where investors have gotten increasingly creative in their search for yield, BKLN has reigned supreme.

WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity (DXJ): DXJ is the ETF at the heart of the most compelling macroeconomic storyline of 2014: Abenomics. A late 2012 methodology tweak paired with its first-mover advantage powered a 2,000% increase in assets in one calendar year, and brought the concept of currency hedging to the masses.

iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets (IEMG): IEMG is most comprehensive emerging markets equity ETF, including emerging markets small-caps in its core exposure. The fund pulled in more than $2B in assets during a year when more than $8B flowed out of emerging market equity ETFs.

Vanguard Total World Stock Market (VT): While more nuanced or flashy ETFs get all the headlines, VT is a large, liquid ETF that provides globally diversified exposure for just 19 bps a year. With more than 5,000 stocks in developed and emerging markets alike, it is the ultimate core holding.

 

Best New ETF of 2013
Awarded to the most important ETF launched in 2013.

 

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

db X-Trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares (ASHR): ASHR is the first U.S. ETF offering direct access to the China A-share market without the use of derivatives.

Vanguard Total International Bond (BNDX): BNDX brings a truly global bond option to ETF investors for the first time, at very low costs.

SPDR Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan (SRLN): As investors hunt for yield in a low—but rising—interest-rate environment, SRLN offers access to the top credit tier of global bank loans, with active credit management providing some assurance against default in its floating-rate securities.

WisdomTree Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund (USDU): USDU provides sensible exposure to a basket of foreign currencies based on dynamic rules, leading to a more representative, less concentrated basket than traditional products linked to the U.S. Dollar Index.

Vident International Equity ETF (VIDI): VIDI brings a principles-based global product rooted in a sound methodology, targeting international markets that have the underlying conditions to support growth. What makes VIDI unique is that the product was built on a bespoke basis for Ronald Blue & Co., a financial and investment planning firm based in Atlanta.

 

Most Groundbreaking New ETF of 2013

Awarded annually to the most groundbreaking ETF launched in 2013.

 

db X-Trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares (ASHR): ASHR is the first U.S. ETF offering direct access to the China A-share market without the use of derivatives.

Horizons S&P 500 Covered Call (HSPX): HSPX holds a long position in the S&P 500 while selling out-of-the-money calls against that position. What makes HSPX unique is that, unlike competing products, its calls are written out-of-the-money, allowing it to participate in more of the index’s upside movement while still providing income to investors.

 

ProShares Investment Grade – Interest Rate Hedged (IGHG): IGHG combines a long position in investment-grade bonds with a short hedge in U.S. Treasurys designed to mitigate interest-rate risk, offering exposure to credit and yield while mitigating duration risk.

 

WisdomTree Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Negative Duration (AGND): AGND is the first ETF to provide a negative-duration strategy with income exposure. The fund combines exposure to the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index with a short Treasury position to create a 5-year target duration.

Vanguard Total International Bond (BNDX): BNDX brings a truly global bond option to ETF investors for the first time, at very low costs.

 

 

Best New U.S. Equity ETF of 2013

Awarded to the most important U.S. equity ETF launched in 2013.

 

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

 

iShares Enhanced U.S. Large Cap ETF (IELG): This unique ETF provides low-cost (0.18%) active exposure to an enhanced strategy, seeking competitive long-term risk-adjusted returns compared with the broader market.

 

iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor (QUAL): Developed in partnership with the Arizona State Retirement System, QUAL provides exposure to large- and midcap U.S. equities with high returns on equity, stable year-over-year earnings growth and low financial leverage.

 

Global X MLP and Energy Infrastructure ETF (MLPX): MLPX combines direct exposure to MLPs with exposure to MLP affiliates and companies involved in energy logistics and infrastructure. By keeping direct MLP exposure below 25%, it avoids the tax problems that plague most MLP ETFs, doesn’t generate a K-1 and is IRA and 401(k) eligible.

 

Horizons S&P 500 Covered Call (HSPX): HSPX holds a long position in the S&P 500 while selling out-of-the money calls against that position. What makes HSPX unique is that, unlike competing products, its calls are written out-of-the-money, allowing it to participate in more of the index’s upside movement while still providing income to investors.

Renaissance Capital IPO ETF (IPO): IPO buys the largest, most liquid newly listed ETFs on the fifth day after they enter the market. It is designed to give the company exposure to newly public companies prior to their inclusion in core U.S. equity portfolios.

 

 

 

Best New International/Global Equity ETF of 2013

Awarded to the most important international or global equity ETF launched in 2013.

 

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

 

db X-Trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares (ASHR): ASHR is the first U.S. ETF offering direct access to the China A-share market without the use of derivatives.

KraneShares CSI China Internet (KWEB): KWEB aims to offer a pure play on Chinese Internet companies, a relevant offering as the massive middle class emerges in that country.

 

Market Vectors Israel (ISRA): ISRA offers a broader definition of what an Israeli firm is than existing competitors, providing a unique view on a unique market.

 

Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation (ROBO): ROBO offers the only robotics-themed fund—a timely offering as machines replace human labor more and more.

WisdomTree Emerging Markets Consumer Growth (EMCG): EMCG offers an alternate take on the emerging markets consumer space compared with existing funds, looking beyond the two main consumer sectors to include companies focused on local emerging market domestic consumption. It applies fundamental screens to enhance its investability.

Vident International Equity ETF (VIDI): VIDI brings a principles-based global product rooted in a sound methodology, targeting international markets that have the underlying conditions to support growth. What makes VIDI unique is that the product was built on a bespoke basis for Ronald Blue & Co, a financial and investment planning firm based in Atlanta.

 

 

 

Best New Fixed-Income ETF of 2013
Awarded to the most important fixed-income ETF launched in 2013.

 

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

iShares Liquidity Income (ICSH): ICSH is the lowest-duration (aside from floating-rate securities), broadest-based fixed-income U.S.-listed ETF, bringing true money-marketlike exposure to the ETF universe for the first time.

Market Vectors Emerging Markets Aggregate Bond (EMAG): EMAG is the first passively managed broad cap-weighted emerging markets bond ETF.

ProShares High Yield – Interest Rate Hedged (HYHG): HGHG offers broad exposure to USD high-yield bonds, while minimizing interest-rate risk by short-selling Treasurys across the 2 to 10-year swath of the yield curve.

SPDR Blackstone / GSO Senior Loan (SRLN): As investors hunt for yield in a low—but rising—interest-rate environment, SRLN offers access to the top credit tier of global bank loans, with active credit management providing some assurance against default in its floating-rate securities.

Vanguard Total International Bond (BNDX): BNDX brings a truly global bond option to ETF investors for the first time, at very low costs. Currency hedging has the potential to reduce returns volatility.

 

 

 

 

 

Best New Commodity ETF of 2013

Awarded to the most important commodity ETF launched in 2013.

 

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

 

Credit Suisse Commodity Rotation ETN (CSCR): CSCR selects the 8-most-backwardated (or least-contango-impacted) commodities in an attempt to deliver strong performance.

Credit Suisse Gold Shares Covered Call ETN (GLDI): GLDI takes one of the main knocks on gold—that it doesn’t carry a yield—and flips it on its head by selling covered calls. It’s a familiar strategy applied to a robust market.

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy (FTGC): FTGC combines two firsts in one product: It’s the first actively managed commodity ETF and the first commodity product structured under the 1940 Act. That structured allows it to solve two of the main pain points for advisors seeking commodity exposure in an ETP: avoiding the K-1 and the ETN wrapper. 

iShares Dow Jones-UBS Roll Select Commodity Index Trust (CMDT): CMDT is the first product to track a roll-optimized version of the highly diversified Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index, providing a real alternative to ETFs linked to the S&P GSCI. Its contract selection places an importance on the shape of the curve, a key determinant of performance.

 

Best New Currency ETF of 2013
Awarded to the most important currency ETF launched in 2013.

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

 

CurrencyShares Singapore Dollar Trust (FXSG): Like all CurrencyShares products, FXSG provides exact exposure to the Singapore dollar, a safe-haven currency popular among certain investors.

 

PIMCO Foreign Currency Strategy ETF (FORX): FORX offers an actively managed currency strategy designed to benefit as the dollar weakens.

 

WisdomTree Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund (USDU): USDU provides sensible exposure to a basket of foreign currencies based on dynamic rules, leading to a more representative, less concentrated basket than traditional products linked to the U.S. Dollar Index.

 

 

 

 

 

Best New Alternatives ETF of 2013

Awarded to the most important alternatives ETF launched in 2013.

 

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

 

ALPS U.S. Equity High Volatility Put Write (HVPW): HVPW is the first fund to promise income by writing equity puts (essentially selling volatility) in an ETF wrapper, offering an alternative to buy-write funds like PBP.

 

First Trust Morningstar Managed Futures Strategy (FMF): FMF offers a tweak on other managed-futures ETFs, but for low realized volatility in a strategy that’s tied to an underlying index.

 

 

 

 

Best New Multi-Asset ETF of 2013
Awarded to the most important multi-asset ETF launched in 2013.

 

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 January 1, 2013, are eligible.

 

First Trust International Multi-Asset Diversified Income (YDIV): YDIV offers exposure to income-focused securities across asset classes: equities, REITs, preferred securities, royalty trusts, utilities stocks and a fixed-income ETF.

ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Closed-End ETN (CEFL): CEFL provides 2x the monthly return of an index of U.S.-listed closed-end funds, weighted by the combination of yield, discount to NAV and trading volume. Included CEFs can cover any asset class or strategy.

ETRACS Diversified High Income ETN (DVHI): DVHI seeks income by holding a combination of BDCs, MLPs, REITs and U.S. equities, as well as U.S.-listed equity and fixed-income ETFs.

ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Diversified High Income ETN (DVHL): DVHI seeks income by holding a leveraged combination of BDCs, MLPs, REITs and U.S. equities, as well as U.S.-listed equity and fixed-income ETFs.

 

ETF Issuer of the Year
Awarded to the ETF issuer that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through product introductions, product performance, fund management, investor support and innovation.

 

BlackRock’s iShares: iShares expanded its offerings to include factor-based funds, cash equivalent products and more, while maintaining its industry-leading capital markets desk and investor education services. Its efforts to support its broadly diversified, low-cost “Core” series merit attention as well.

 

Deutsche Bank: In 2013, Deutsche Bank expanded its suite of currency-hedged equity ETFs (timely, given the resurrection of the U.S. dollar) and launched the first-in-kind direct China A-shares product.

EG Shares: EG Shares pushed the emerging markets consumer and “beyond BRICs” stories hard in 2013, helping investors understand the factors and foci of growth within the emerging markets universe.

FlexShares: FlexShares was one of the fastest-growing major ETF providers on a percentage basis in 2013, expanding a suite of targeted products that serve the needs of institutional and advisor clients alike.

Vanguard: The fastest-growing ETF provider on an assets basis, Vanguard continues to put investors first, launching at-cost products that provide broad access to major asset classes. Its strong embrace of international bond exposure is notable.

 

 

 

Most Innovative ETF Issuer of the Year

Awarded annually to the ETF provider that has launched the most innovative and groundbreaking ETFs in 2013.

Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank earns the nomination with a truly groundbreaking physical China A-share ETF and a timely suite of currency-hedged equity products.

FlexShares: FlexShares launched a suite of international dividend funds, global real estate funds, and innovative fixed income products, while expanding its presence in the infrastructure theme as well.

Global X: Global X pushed the emerging and frontier markets envelope with deeper reach in its Global X Next Emerging & Frontier ETF (EMFM), as well as single-country frontier market funds covering places like Nigeria.

ProShares: ProShares launched a suite of timely interest-rate-hedged products in the investment-grade and high-yield spaces, as well as a short-duration emerging markets debt ETF.

WisdomTree: WisdomTree earned the nod with zero- and negative-duration products, relevant single-country FX-hedged products (Germany, Korea, UK), and a much-needed dollar bull vehicle tracking a new, innovative currency index (WisdomTree Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund: USDU).

 

 

 

 

New ETF Issuer of the Year

Awarded to the most innovative new ETF issuer to enter the market in a given year. Issuers must have launched their first ETF in 2013.

 

Cambria Funds: Cambria Funds has been a subadvisor for ETFs for years, stepped into the limelight as an issuer with two successful “shareholder yield” funds that focus on stock selection with a cash-flow focus.

Horizons ETFs: Horizons ETFs is new to U.S.-listed ETFs, but well established as a global ETF issuer. It launched two new and arguably smarter covered-call strategies on the broad S&P 500 and on the financials sector.

KraneShares: KraneShares delivered the first pure-play China Internet fund and a timely fund targeting the China 5-Year Plan.

 

 

 

Index Provider of the Year
Awarded to the index provider that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through index introductions, research, advisor support and more.

Bloomberg: As a new entrant into indexing, Bloomberg is leveraging its unique access to data to create better indexes for all investors—particularly in the difficult arenas of fixed income and currencies.

CRSP: CRSP made the transition from theoretical to practical by designing a practical, rules-based and academically sound set of indexes for Vanguard.

EDHEC: EDHEC, through the ERI Scientific Beta effort, is pioneering not just academic understanding of “smart beta,” but a model for open-sourcing the index process itself.

FTSE: FTSE continues to innovate across the equity markets, with new exposures and approaches, including to emerging markets.

MSCI: MSCI has been unwilling to rest on well-deserved laurels, developing, among other things, the first indexes designed to weight firms by their economic exposure to different countries.

 

 

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

Bloomberg Dollar Spot: Bloomberg identified a need for trade-weighted currency indexes, and launched the first commercial cap-weighted currency index.

FTSE Beyond BRIC: FTSE imagined new ways to draw distinctions within the emerging markets arena, maintaining its commitment to cap-weighting, and including the frontier markets.

MSCI Emerging Market IMI: This index vaulted to prominence when iShares launched IEMG in 2012, giving EM investors a straightforward, accessible way to invest in the full EM market-cap spectrum. It gained traction in 2013 as investors realized the value of adding small-caps to their EM exposure.

MSCI World with EM Exposure: MSCI’s economic exposure series go a long way toward clarifying sources of risk and return by revenue and business exposure, allowing users to make country-by-country investments with greater precision than they could using country of incorporation or country of listing.

S&P 500 Stock Covered Call: This is the first buy-write index that actually mimics the behavior of covered-call writers who are looking to generate income in exchange for some, but not all, of their holdings’ upside.

 

ETF Market Maker of the Year
Awarded to the ETF market maker that has done the most to improve investor outcomes through education, support, services, innovation and outreach.

 

Citigroup: Citigroup’s Total Touch system provides groundbreaking insight into market depth, price discovery and privacy in one wrapper.

Goldman Sachs: Goldman Sachs offers an extremely efficient and capable team offering access to the entire spectrum of assets classes. It is also known for offering ancillary services to clients, putting the full power of the bank behind its most loyal users.

KCG: KCG offers an extraordinarily deep bench of traders with real expertise in different assets classes. Despite the tumult, it has managed to provide exemplary client experience.

Jane Street: Jane Street is willing and able to make markets in all shades of ETFs regardless of the secondary market liquidity, and is known for stepping into markets with little volume starting on day 1.

WallachBeth: Not just a well-respected name but one whose consultative approach is appreciated by issuers and institutions alike. A pioneer and proselytizer of the agency process.

 

 

 

Best Online Broker for ETF-Focused Investors
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.

Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab offers the most commission-free ETFs of any major platform, including its own ETFs as well as ETFs from a number of issuers. The website also features great education and a strong user interface.

E-Trade: E-Trade delivers 100 commission-free ETFs in an accessible platform with a low account minimum.

Fidelity: Fidelity offers 76 commission-free ETFs, albeit currently confined to 2 issuers.

 

Interactive Brokers: Interactive Brokers’ sophisticated site earns the nod for the ability for retail investors to earn securities-lending income on their holdings, just like ETF issuers do.

TD Ameritrade: TD Ameritrade offers more than 100 commission-free ETFs from the a strong array of issuers: Barclays, iShares, Market Vectors, PIMCO, PowerShares, State Street Global Advisors, Vanguard and WisdomTree.

 

 

 

 

Best ETF Research Team: Broker-Dealer Community

Awarded annually to the broker-dealer with the best ETF research. The work should be aimed at educating and informing investors about how to best use ETFs in their portfolios, or about how ETFs work and the risks and opportunities they offer.

 

Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse is a must-stop shop for ETF research aimed at institutional investors. It offers consistently incisive research devoid of clichés.

Morgan Stanley: Between Michael Jabara and David Perlman, Morgan Stanley provides the most actionable ETF research available for institutional and retail investors alike.

Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo’s strong ETF research team produces consistently high-quality ETF insight that’s not available anywhere else. It’s a productive, powerhouse group that many of the most-well-respected ETF investors rely on.

 

 

 

Best ETF Issuer Website

Awarded annually to the most informative and user-friendly website by an ETF issuer.

 

BlackRock’s iShares: The iShares website combines excellent design, extraordinarily deep resources, strong tools, great usability and exceptional thought leadership.

 

SSgA (SPDRs.com): SSgA’s website offers excellent access to critical information, very strong educational content and good design.

Vanguard: Vanguard’s thought leadership and research is among the best in the industry, and the website is a deep resource for investors, advisors and more.

PIMCO: PIMCO’s website combines the best macroeconomic research on the Web (available for free!) with good usability, excellent data and an easy-to-use design. Moreover, monitoring Bill Gross’ portfolio moves on a daily basis is fun.

PowerShares: PowerShares earns credit for providing access to every piece of data that an investor could need to make an investment decision about ETFs. The website, once you map it, is extraordinarily powerful.

 

 

 

Best Index Provider Website
Awarded annually to the most informative and user-friendly website by an index provider.

 

S&P Dow Jones: S&P Dow Jones receives wide praise for the navigability of the redesigned S&P website, especially coupled with easy access to tons of data, including index returns.

ERI Scientific Beta: EDHEC merits mention for its policy of offering free access to its suite of indexes for investor use.

FTSE: FTSE’s website is easy to navigate, with easy-to-find methodologies and a full list of indexes they offer.

Deutsche Bank Indexes: DBIQ indexes allow users to download up to three years’ of returns data for free, a valuable tool for investors looking into related products.

Russell Indexes: Russell Indexes’ website offers quick access to the latest market data for a variety of U.S. and global indexes, with detailed information on its annual reconstitution as well. It deserves praise for its target-date evaluation and other unique tools as well.

 

 

 

 

Best ETF Issuer Capital Markets Desk
Awarded annually to the ETF issuer providing the most useful support to advisors for ETF trading.

BlackRock’s iShares: BlackRock’s iShares boasts an extremely accessible and experienced capital markets desk, willing and able to help clients of all sizes. A pioneer in the space, BlackRock’s iShares offers a model that many try to follow.

State Street Global Advisors (SSgA): SPY is the standout, but SSgA’s team manages a diverse set of products whose liquidity dominates many of the key segments of the ETF market. Its expanding capital markets desk provides strong support to advisors who care about executions.

WisdomTree: WisdomTree’s small capital markets group is headed by David Abner, consider by many to be the world’s leading authority on ETF liquidity. His work has provided WisdomTree with an unmatched competitive advantage in the space.

Vanguard: Vanguard’s share-class patent gets all the attention, but its securities-lending complex delivers massive value to investors, while its ETFs trade at persistently tight spreads.

 

 

 

ETF Strategist of the Year

Awarded to the ETF strategist/ETF model portfolio provider who has done the most to improve investor outcomes in the previous year.

 

CLS Investments: CLS began using ETFs in the late 1990s and started emphasizing them as a core part of their business in 2002. It now manages more than $2 billion in ETF assets, and has built a sterling reputation as an active portfolio manager and ETF strategist in the space.

Good Harbor Financial: Good Harbor Financial is one of the fastest-growing ETF strategists, offering a global suite of tactical solutions designed to generate enhanced risk-adjusted returns. Its willingness to use complex products, including leveraged and inverse funds—but to use them intelligently—is just one distinguishing feature that separates them from the crowd.

Main Management: Led by the indefatigable Kim Arthur, Main Management has been a leader in the ETF market for the past decade. Arthur is a champion for the intelligent use of intelligent ETF strategies, including sector rotation and option-overlay strategies, and is a driving force in the industry.

Sage Advisory: Sage Advisory is widely recognized as the king of bond investing among ETF strategists, bringing institutional quality management to a wide variety of customers. Founded in 1996, Sage has more than a decade of experience in its tactical fixed-income and all-cap equity products.

Wealthfront Investment Management: Wealthfront represents a low-cost and radical challenge to traditional advisor services, offering high-quality, primarily ETF-focused portfolios to clients through an online-only experience. With solid, sensible portfolios managed by Burton Malkiel, Wealthfront charges $0 for the first $10,000 in assets and 0.25% per year above that.

 

 

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