The FTSE/RAFI indexes made a strong showing at the William F. Sharpe Indexing Achievement Awards sponsored by IndexUniverse.com and IMN and held at the 10th annual Super Bowl of Indexing at the Scottsdale Regency at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona last week.
The FTSE/RAFI fundamental index series won the award for most innovative benchmark index, and RAFI founder Rob Arnott also took the award for best index-related research paper with his tome to Fundamental Indexation. Claiming the other lead awards in the product categories were the EasyETF GSCI Commodities ETF for most innovative index fund or ETF, and the Vanguard Vipers Options on the CBOE for most innovative index derivative
This year's Super Bowl of Indexing, held December 5th in Scottsdale, AZ featured the second annual awards ceremony honoring outstanding innovations in the index industry. Leading off the awards was the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to William F. Sharpe, Nobel Prize Laureate in economics, and generally recognized as the "father of indexing." Mr. Sharpe not only won the award, but the award he won will now be named after him. Future lifetime recognition honorees will be recipients of the William F. Sharpe Indexing Achievement Awards.
A lifetime achievement award was also presented posthumously to Nathan Most, who spent 19 years at the AMEX, during which time he designed and ran two futures exchanges and a number of derivatives-based stock indexes. Mr. Most is widely recognized as the inventor of the ETF, and he designed the S&P Depository receipts (SPDRs), which began trading in 1993. Most also consulted to Barclays Global Investors to assist in the development of the iShares program.
In addition to the lifetime achievement awards, the ceremony honored The New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement System with the Award for Plan Sponsor Innovation. The plan, with over $126 billion in assets, provides pension, death and disability benefits for New York state and local government employees.
The awards ceremony featured an even more rigorous voting methodology this year for the four "voted" categories, chosen by a panel of industry experts who sifted through the original nominations in each category. The broad industry panel selected (by vote) five finalists from each category. These finalists were then submitted to a voting committee comprised of the world's leading academics in the field of indexing research, who chose this year's winners. The group of academic judges included:
Don Chance - Louisiana State University
David R. Gallagher - The University of New South Wales
John A. Haslem - University of Maryland
Burton G. Malkiel - Princeton University
William F. Sharpe - Stanford University Graduate School of Business
Robert J. Shiller - Yale University
Hans R. Stoll - Vanderbilt
Robert E. Whaley - Duke University