Tech, Covered Calls Lead 2024 Award Finalists

The founders of legacy firms VanEck and Invesco are nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Finance Reporter
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Kent Thune

The past year was a tumultuous one for the world of finance, and exchange-traded funds that outperformed were facing headwinds from the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates, geopolitical conflict breaking out and a roiling equities market. 

As we reflect upon 2023’s standout exchange-traded funds, and prepares for our flagship Awards, the funds that stood out were ones that went against the grain and took risks while capturing strategies that excited investors, such as covered calls and options bets, while remaining cost-effective.  

“The finalists reflected a lot of the biggest themes in markets and the ETF industry that investors were focused on during 2023, including covered call strategies, crypto and artificial intelligence,” explained analyst Sumit Roy. “But it wasn’t just trendy ETFs that were represented. Funds that pushed the boundaries on cost and offered new ways to invest in traditional asset classes were among the finalists as well,” he added.  

Many of the names on this year’s finalist list are familiar faces to ETF industry watchers. Legacy players including Invesco, Franklin Templeton, VanEck and Fidelity Investments dominated the ETF Issuer of the Year category, while rising issuers in the ETF space, Dimensional Fund Advisors and Capital Group, are also finalists. 

ETF of the Year: Tech, Covered Calls & Crypto

The ETF of the Year category includes one of JPMorgan’s flagship covered call strategies from JPMorgan, the JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPQ), as well as other tech heavy hitters including the Invesco NASDAQ 100 ETF (QQQM).  

Cryptocurrency—which had a landmark 2023 due to the approval of the first spot bitcoin ETFs—is represented in the Bitwise Cryto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ). Other nominees in the ETF of the Year category include the Pacer US Small Cap Cash Cows 100 ETF (CALF) and the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP)

While the 2023 bull market was driven by high-flying tech stocks, positive performance is not the only thing judges will consider. A fund’s price, inflows and innovative qualitive factors are key metrics. 

“There’s been an increasingly fast chasing performance product development cycle we’re in,” explained Morningstar ETF analyst Bryan Armour. “[For example] the Magnificent Seven explodes and then we see a magnificent seven ETF launch immediately after. Sometimes it’s the right time to launch from a product standpoint, but maybe not the best time to invest.” 

Lifetime Achievement Award

As for the industry veterans who manage, oversee, or report on the top funds, the Lifetime Achievement Award category includes industry heavy hitters. Andrew Schlossberg, President and CEO of Invesco, Hunter Horsley, CEO of Bitwise Asset Management, Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck, Bob Pisani, Correspondent at CNBC, Joanna Gallegos, Cofounder of BondBloxx and Rory Tobin, Global Head SPDR ETFs at State Street Global Advisors are all the finalists in the category.  

The winners from 17 categories will be announced at the Awards ceremony on April 17th, 2024, which will be held at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City.  

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].  

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays,’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.