Category Archives: AdvisorShares

WisdomTree Wins ETF of Year at ETF.com Awards As ProShares Walks Away With 4 Statues

It’s award time again.

Much like Spring follows Winter, although reports of more snow this weekend are leading some to question that, the ETF industry starts its period of self-congratulations on the heels of the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes.

ETF.com, the self-proclaimed world’s leading authority on exchange-traded funds, started the season off with their second annual awards banquet.

“Our awards try to recognize the products that make a difference to investors,” said Matt Hougan, president of ETF.com. “The ones finding new areas to put money to work.” The awards are determined by a panel of experts chosen by ETF.com.

Held at The Lighthouse restaurant at New York’s Chelsea Piers March 19, ETF.com wins the prize for best party location. With picture windows overlooking the Hudson River, guests of the cocktail hour took in the sunset over New Jersey before the ceremony started.

The WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity (HEDJ) was the big winner, grabbing the prize for ETF of the Year, while the Market Vectors ChinaAMC China Bond (CBON) won Best New ETF. Not quite sure what the difference is between those two awards, but obviously both funds stand out from the crowd of 117 ETFs issued in 2014.

However, ProShares swept the evening, as the single provider that won the most awards. The twin funds ProShares CDS North American HY Credit (TYTE) and CDS Short North American HY Credit (WYDE) claimed the awards for both Most Innovative New ETF and Best New Fixed-Income ETF.

“We designed these ETFs for investors who want high yield credit exposure that is isolated from interest rate risk,” said Steve Cohen, ProShares managing director.

The fund was also nominated for Best Ticker of the Year with its homophones for “tight” and “wide”. However, the awards announcer had a chuckle by claiming they really were pronounced “tighty whitey”, a reference to his jockey shorts. Best Ticker was awarded to HACK, the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF.

ProShares also won Best New Alternative ETF for the ProShares Morningstar Alternative Solution (ALTS) and Most Innovative ETF Issuer of the Year.

“We are always striving to deliver new and innovative products to allow investors to build better portfolios,” said ProShares Chief Executive Michael Sapir.

Lee Kranefuss, the man who created the iShares brand of ETFs and built them into the largest ETF issuer in the world won the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the only speech of the night — thank goodness — Kranefuss said, “ETFs allow people to take control.” He likened ETFs to iTunes, saying “no longer are you limited to what the record company puts out.” He said he’s often been asked if he thought the ETF industry would take off like it has in the 15 years since iShares launched.

“Not really,” said Kranefuss, “we just put out the best products we could put out.”

The other award winners:

Best New U.S. Equity ETF – iShares Core Dividend Growth (DGRO)
Best New International/Global Equity ETF – Deutsche X-trackers Harvest MSCI All China Equity (CN)
Best New Commodity ETF – AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/Euro (GEUR) and AdvisorShares Gartman Gold/Yen (GYEN).
Best New Asset Allocation ETF – Global X /JPMorgan Efficiente (EFFE)
ETF Issuer of the Year – First Trust
New ETF Issuer of the Year – Reality Shares
Index Provider of the Year – MSCI
Index of the Year – Bloomberg Dollar Index
Best Online Broker for ETF-Focused Investors – TD Ameritrade
Best ETF Offering for RIAs – Charles Schwab
Best ETF Issuer Website – BlackRock

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Jacques Cousteau’s Grandson Creates ETF With AdvisorShares

The marquee name may be Cousteau, but no one wants this new ETF to go underwater.

Philippe Cousteau, the grandson of famed marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau, joined forces with AdvisorShares, the sponsor of the most actively managed ETFs, to create a new socially responsible ETF that hopes to do well by doing good.

The AdvisorShares Global Echo ETF (GIVE) is “the first ETF to be launched with a sustainability mandate,” says Cousteau, the co-founder and president of Earth Echo International, a non-profit that creates programs to educate people on protecting and restoring the oceans. This focus on sustainable investments means the fund’s four subadvisors must look for investments through a screen of sustainability in one of three categories, environmental, social or governance. Sustainable governance means forging strong relations with its community and having strong corporate governance of the company’s funds.

“There can be no environmental sustainability without social sustainability, says Cousteau.

Because of the difficulty in raising money for charitable organizations in the current economy, Cousteau joined with AdvisorShares as a way to fund causes he believes in on a steady basis.

Thus one objective of the ETF is to donate about a quarter of its very high 1.7% expense ratio to the Global Echo Foundation, Cousteau’s new 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. The Global Echo Foundation, which launched with the ETF, hopes to provide resources to solve social issues affecting women and children, environmental conservation and support entrepreneurship through micro-enterprise. It aims to provide investors the best of two worlds: making investments in companies providing a sustainable impact, while also helping Global Echo, and hopefully, realizing a return on their capital.

At the time of the launch, the foundation didn’t know exactly where it would place its donations. Cousteau suggested groups like Girl Effect, which seeks to alleviate poverty by investing in girls, and Grameen Bank, a microfinance organization in Bangladesh.

Four asset managers will each run a quarter of the ETF’s portfolio. Community Capital Management manages sustainable fixed income strategies that invest in bonds that support and finance affordable housing. Baldwin Brothers invests in global equites that follow sustainable investment themes. Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management invests in global equities focuses on sustainability and concentrated growth. First Affirmative Financial Network manages long/short strategies with alternative investments, such as commodities.