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Emily Spurling, Nasdaq
Emily Spurling, Nasdaq

Pioneering Nasdaq dominates in ESG and Emerging Markets in US awards


Last October’s ETF Express US Awards 2023 found Nasdaq winning Best Index Provider – ESG ETFs and Best Index Provider – Emerging Markets ETFs.

Emily Spurling, SVP and Global Head of Index, answers the questions on those wins.

Why do you think you won these awards?

Nasdaq has been a pioneer in creating innovative, rules-based indexes since 1971. Our success stems from our focus on partnerships, thought leadership, and expertise in intellectual property. We collaborate closely with clients, proactively offering new strategies and partnering on unique, market-driven ideas. Our expertise extends from equities to thematic technology to sustainable investments like energy transition, emphasising transparent methodologies and product development to serve diverse client needs in the global financial ecosystem.

What is the size and scale of your business at the moment?

As a global index provider, Nasdaq offers a comprehensive suite of indexes, including equity benchmarks, thematics, and ESG-focused strategies. As of Q1 2024, we manage over USD500 billion in assets under management (AUM) across more than 360 ETPs globally, partnering with stakeholders in 22 countries to innovate and meet the evolving needs of the markets.

Our role as an index provider is to develop transparent, rules-based methodologies and develop an all-weather portfolio through product development with our partners; continuing to expand into more client segments and products such as insurance ESG and income-based outcome-oriented products; emphasizing our clients and continuing to respond to market-driven needs in the global financial ecosystem.

What trends have you seen over the past year?

This past year, we’ve seen a continued demand for ESG integration and targeted investment strategies. To help address this demand, we launched seven energy transition ETFs in collaboration with Sprott, focused on critical minerals. Additionally, there’s a growing trend of retail investors seeking personalized investment opportunities, particularly through ETFs, which offer diversified, liquid, and accessible market exposure. Investors are seeking alignment between their personal interests and investment themes, and we offer a diverse portfolio of solutions tailored to these preferences, mitigating risk and fostering wealth creation over time.

What plans do you have for growing your business over the coming year?

Looking ahead, a crucial growth avenue for our index business is reaching out to new client segments. For instance, we’re observing a rising adoption of index-linked products with annuities in the insurance sector. Annuities are products used for retirement investing and the aging population recognizes the Nasdaq brand, creating a great opportunity for us to grow our presence in this market. Additionally, there’s a sustained shift towards index-linked products compared to active ones within the institutional space across different areas of their portfolio.

We’ll also continue to expand our global reach by designing methodologies that comply with global regulatory frameworks so our clients can bring products to market that resonate with investors in a modular and scalable manner.

Where do you see the ETF industry going in terms of products over the coming year?

The ETF industry is evolving from its mutual fund origins to offer more dynamic, tax-efficient solutions that trade throughout the day. We see a strong demand for income-generating, options- based products. As we move forward, we anticipate ongoing growth in outcome-oriented strategies and further expansion into global markets, driven by client demand and our strong brand presence.

Looking across the globe, we’ve seen the power of our brand as it permeates global markets and opens up opportunities in Europe and Asia. As we look ahead to the coming year, we anticipate continued growth in global markets based on client and market demand.

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