ABOUT Rob Hughes

I am Vice President/Head of Index and Advisor Solutions for Nasdaq Global Indexes and am responsible for managing and developing the Nasdaq Global Index business across the index licensing, benchmarking and custom calculation segments. I work with teams in the U.S., Europe and Asia to devise strategies and create business opportunities for current and prospective Nasdaq clients. Prior to joining Nasdaq, I served as a Director for the Independent Research Network (IRN), a joint venture co-owned by The Nasdaq Stock Market and Reuters. The IRN was developed to provide small and micro-cap companies access to broker quality independent research. I have worked in the financial sector my entire career and spent more than a decade in Investors Relations and was also employed with Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and was a Monogram winner for the university’s nationally-renowned football team.

Posts by Rob Hughes

on 11/19/2014

Nasdaq Aligns with BMO and Local Market Participants to Launch Two ETFs on Hong Kong Exchange

Nasdaq recently announced two of its indexes are the basis for ETFs recently launched by BMO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The BMO Hong Kong Banks ETF (Stock Code: 3143) tracks the Nasdaq Hong Kong Banks Index, and the BMO Asia High Dividend ETF (Stock Code: 3145) tracks the Nasdaq Asia ex-Japan Dividend Achievers Index.

The BMO Asia High Dividend ETF launch is the latest example of continued innovation around the Nasdaq Dividend Achievers family.

“This milestone for our index business in Asia Pacific is due to our close collaboration with local asset managers, exchanges and other local participants, who understand investor demand and the local environment. This allows us to offer consumers new opportunities for their investment portfolios," Rob Hughes, Nasdaq head of Index Services, said.

In 2013, the Guotai NASDAQ-100 Exchange Traded Fund, the first-ever ETF in China based on a U.S. Index, listed in Shanghai, , along with similar ETFs in Korea, India and Japan – all tracking the NASDAQ-100, one of the most liquid, most followed indexes in the world. Over the past year, additional ETFs – based on Nasdaq Indexes - have launched in Asia, including The Mirae Asset Tiger Nasdaq BIO ETF (KRX: Ticker 203780), based on the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which launched earlier this year on the Korean Exchange.

“We have been honored to work with fantastic firms all around Asia to bring innovative products to market, and we expect to continue bringing more ETF-related opportunities to Asia, based on the Nasdaq Index Families, such as Dividend Achievers, Biotech, Semiconductor and other indexes that can provide opportunities for Asia-based investors,” Hughes said.

Nasdaq’s Global Index Group offers comprehensive index services, including design, calculation, administration, licensing, research, global visibility, data distribution and exchange-traded product (ETP) listing and licensing. Currently, there are more than 150 ETPs with $100 Billion in AUM tracking some of Nasdaq’s 41,000 Indexes.


Nasdaq Global Buyback Achievers Index is Basis for new Invesco PowerShares ETF By: Rob Hughes
on 11/10/2014

Nasdaq’s Global Buyback Achievers™ Index is the basis for InvescoPowershares’ most recent ETF launch – the PowerShares Global Buyback Achievers UCITS ETF (symbol: BUYB). This marks the first product based on the successful Nasdaq Buyback AchieversTM Index family to launch in the UK and Europe.

“Nasdaq is proud to team with InvescoPowershares again to launch a product based on one of our most successful franchises,” said Rob Hughes, head of Index Services at Nasdaq. “Smart Beta indexes, and products linked to them, have provided more opportunities for investors to manage risk and diversify their portfolios. The Buyback concept has proven successful in identifying companies that have - through the use of share buybacks - delivered increased shareholder value and outperformance over the broader market.”

The launch is the latest example of continued innovation around the Nasdaq Buyback Achievers family. In May, InvescoPowershares launched the international version of this Index as an ETF in the US, The Powershares Nasdaq International Buyback Achievers Index ETF (symbol: IPKW).
The Nasdaq Global Buyback Achievers™ Index is comprised of securities from the Nasdaq US Buyback Achievers™ Index and the Nasdaq International BuyBack Achievers™ Index. The Nasdaq US Buyback Achievers Index is comprised of corporations that have effected a net reduction in shares outstanding of 5% or more in the trailing twelve months and the Nasdaq International BuyBack Achievers Index is comprised of corporations that have effected a net reduction in shares outstanding of 5% or more in its latest fiscal year. The Index began on August 11, 2014 at a base value of 1,000.00.
For more information, contact Rob Hughes, Nasdaq Global Indexes, +1 212 231 5836.

Multi-Asset ETFs Continue to Grow By: Rob Hughes
on 8/27/2014

We were pleased to see MDIV and YDIV, which are issued by First Trust and based on the NASDAQ US Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index and NASDAQ International Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index respectively, mentioned in a recent article regarding multi-asset ETFs. Indexers play a prominent role in the accelerating multi-asset marketplace. Underlying this trend are investors seeking higher yields in a low rate environment. However, they have demanded that it done in a thoughtful, risk-managed way. Assembling indexes of diverse, high-yielding asset classes using a transparent, rules-based methodology can help raise investor confidence that both goals are being addressed simultaneously.

Read more about the First Trust ETFs here.

on 7/23/2014

The NASDAQ Global Risk Managed Income Index is a rules-based, quantitatively enabled index designed to provide risk managed, globally diversified exposure to income-generating asset classes to produce a high yield for the risk taken. The Index consists of liquid, income-bearing exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other exchange traded products across various asset classes to gain the diversified, risk managed exposure.

The First Trust ETF seeks to replicate, to the extent possible, the performance of the Index net of expenses. The investment strategy of the First Trust ETF is to invest in and hold constituent securities of the Index in the same proportion as they are reflected in the Index or securities intended to replicate the performance of the Index.

“NASDAQ’s suite of Dividend and Income indexes have long been standard benchmarks, and we are proud First Trust has launched a product on one of the most innovative income indexes in the market,” said Dave Gedeon, Managing Director, NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes. “NASDAQ’s partnership with Newfound Research has resulted in an expansion of income investing from the traditional to the technical.”

“We are pleased to partner with NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes and Newfound on a strategy that we believe provides a compelling income solution for Canadian investors,” said Fraser Howell, chief executive officer of FT Portfolios Canada Co. “In the current low yield environment where many investors and advisors actively hunt for the dual goals of income generation and risk mitigation, we feel our new First Trust ETF (TSX:ETP) may provide the flexibility to potentially achieve both objectives.”

For more information, contact:

Rob Hughes
Vice President, Sales and Business Development
NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes
Direct: +1 212 401 8987

NASDAQ Global Indexes and Dorsey Wright Partner for International Focus 5 Index By: Rob Hughes
on 7/23/2014

NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes is once again excited to partner with Dorsey Wright & Associates (DWA) to launch the Dorsey Wright International Focus 5 Index. The index comprises five select exchange-traded funds from the First Trust Portfolios product line with powerful relative strength characteristics.

The First Trust Dorsey Wright International Focus 5 ETF (Symbol: IFV), based on the index of the same name, will be listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market® (NASDAQ®) and begin trading on NASDAQ today.

IFV is designed to provide targeted exposure to the five First Trust international ETFs, identified by the (DWA) index methodology, to offer the greatest potential to outperform the other ETFs in the selection universe. First Trust international ETFs provide the universe for the index selection. Using DWA's relative strength ranking system, the ETFs are compared to each other to determine inclusion. The top five ranking ETFs are included in the index and the relative strength analysis is conducted on a weekly basis with ETFs replaced when they fall sufficiently out of favor. The index is rebalanced periodically so each position is equally weighted. The design of the index allows for identification of major themes in the market, exposure to those countries or regions whose price action is superior to others, and elimination of exposure to those countries or regions whose price action is sub-par relative to others.

For more information, contact:

Rob Hughes
Vice President, Sales and Business Development
NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes
Direct: +1 212 401 8987

PowerShares launches new Canadian ETF with NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes By: Rob Hughes
on 7/21/2014

The appetite for fixed-income investments remains strong among Canadian investors despite a prolonged period of record-low yields. When interest rates eventually rise, many Canadian fixed-income investors may be surprised by the negative effect on their portfolios.

Historically, a laddered bond strategy has helped reduce the risks associated with rising interest rates, but managing a fixed-income portfolio requires expertise.

PowerShares Canada today announced the listing of two new smart beta exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) that aim to help investors interested in fixed income strategies.

One of them, the PowerShares LadderRite U.S. 0-5 Year Corporate Bond Index ETF, is based on the new NASDAQ LadderRite 0-5 Year USD Corporate Bond Index . The index is designed to give investors exposure to a laddered basket of U.S.-dollar-denominated, investment-grade corporate bonds. USB has a low management fee of 0.25%. The ticker symbol "USB" represents Canadian-dollar-denominated units, while "USB.U" represents U.S.-dollar-denominated units.

For more information, please contact:

Rob Hughes
Vice President, Sales and Business Development
NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes
Direct: +1 212 401 8987

NASDAQ BuyBack Achievers Index is the basis of a New Invesco PowerShares ETF By: Rob Hughes
on 2/26/2014

We are excited to announce that Invesco PowerShares launched the Invesco PowerShares International BuyBack Achievers Portfolio (IPKW) exchange traded fund (ETF) on The NASDAQ Stock Market, providing investors efficient access to a portfolio of global companies classified as International BuyBack Achievers.

The ETF is based on the NASDAQ International BuyBack Achievers Index, which comprises international securities, excluding the United States, issued by corporations that have repurchased at least of 5% or more of outstanding shares in the trailing 12 months.
"Our U.S.-focused flagship fund, the PowerShares BuyBack Achievers Portfolio (PKW), has achieved a competitive long-term track record demonstrating the investment merit of the BuyBack Achievers methodology, and more broadly of smart beta," says Lorraine Wang, Invesco PowerShares global head of ETF products and research. "The PowerShares International BuyBack Achievers Portfolio (IPKW) expands the range of tools investors can use to efficiently allocate the BuyBack Achievers strategy across the globe."

The NASDAQ International BuyBack Achievers Index is the latest index in NASDAQ OMX’s popular Dividend AchieversTM index family. The NASDAQ Dividend Achievers are an objective composite of companies with a history of increasing dividend payouts. This select group of companies is committed to enhancing shareholder value through the return of capital to shareholders.


First Trust Launches International Multi-Asset ETF Based on NASDAQ Index By: Rob Hughes
on 8/26/2013

On the heels of the recent launch of the NASDAQ International Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index (NQMAXUS), First Trust today launched a new low volatality, high yield exchange-traded product (ETF), the International Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index Fund (Ticker Symbol: YDIV), tracking the index.

Similar to the First Trust U.S. Multi-Asset Diversified Income Fund (MDIV), YDIV provides a diversified strategy with high yield components such as dividend-paying equities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), preferred stocks, infrastructure securities and fixed-income ETFs (represented by EMB, the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF.) With the exception of the fixed income, the asset class segments are generally derived from broad global benchmarks that exclude U.S. securities.

To read more about NQMAXUS, the benchmarking index for YDIV, DOWNLOAD our latest Research piece.

Vanguard Launches Two New Canadian ETFs, Benchmarked to NASDAQ OMX Index By: Rob Hughes
on 8/22/2013

Last week Vanguard listed two new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Toronto Stock Exchange, based on the NASDAQ Dividend Achievers CAD Select Index. The new ETFs, the Vanguard U.S. Dividend Appreciation Index ETF (VGG) and the Vanguard U.S. Dividend Appreciation Index ETF (VGH) represent the expansion of the NASDAQ Dividend Achievers into Canada.

"The launch of these new Dividend Achiever ETFs in Canada is another milestone in the international expansion of investment products tracking NASDAQ OMX indexes," said John Jacobs, Executive Vice President of NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes. "We are continuing to expand our overall index offering and improve our Dividend and Income family of indexes to help global investors benchmark this increasingly important space."

There are now five NASDAQ Dividend Achievers indexes offering exposure to Canadian companies.

NASDAQ Bulletshares-linked ETFs Cross $3B By: Rob Hughes
on 8/5/2013

Announced in June, NASDAQ OMX partnered with Accretive Asset Management (AAM) to co-brand and expand the NASDAQ BulletShares® Indexes, a pioneering and innovative family of target-maturity corporate and high yield bond indexes. Assets of the NASDAQ BulletShares-linked Guggenheim ETFs have grown nearly 60% in 2013 ? from $1.7B as of 12/19/2012 to over $3B as of 8/2/2013.

To put this in perspective, U.S. Fixed Income ETF assets were virtually unchanged YTD through 6/30/13 ($243.1B as of year-end 2012 and $243.6B as of the end of the second quarter in 2013*).By contrast, over this same six-month period, the BulletShares ETFs are up $1B.

"Bulletshares ETF investors recognize the significant advantages of building portfolios using target maturity bond funds that act like a bond. This has pushed Bulletshares ETF assets to its historical high,” said David Krein, Head of Index Research, NASDAQ OMX.


  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2013 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJD)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2014 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJE)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJF)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2016 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJG)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2017 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJH)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2018 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJI)


  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2013 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCD)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2014 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCE)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2015 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCF)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2016 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCG)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2017 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCH)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2018 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCI)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2019 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCJ)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2020 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCK)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2021 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCL)
  • Guggenheim BulletShares 2022 Corporate Bond ETF (BSCM)

*Source: BlackRock ETF Landscape reports


The Demand for Leveraged ETFs Continues to Multiply By: Rob Hughes
on 7/25/2013

By David Fabian, NASDAQ OMX Guest Contributor

Leveraged ETFs are some of the most widely respected and feared investment vehicles to come to market in the last 10 years. They are lauded by hedge funds, professional investors, and day traders as excellent tools to access a specific index and quickly magnify your returns. However, they have also been derided by traditional Wall Street brokers and media outlets as a dangerous weapon in the hands of unsuspecting investors. Whichever side of the argument for leveraged ETFs that you come down on, you can’t deny the continued demand and success of these sophisticated investment vehicles.

Read the entire article.

Top ETF Industry Trends and Strategies in the First Half of 2013 By: Rob Hughes
on 7/24/2013

In the first half of 2013, just one new ETF/ETP launched in the US joined the exclusive blockbuster or Billion Dollar Club.

Many ETF/ETP managers adjust their product offerings hoping to create and develop best-selling products that will enter the exclusive blockbuster or Billion Dollar Club, a milestone that indicates $1 billion in assets under management. Popular with investors, these are profitable and blockbuster products for firms. At the end of H1 2013, there were 1,478 ETFs/ETPs with assets of $1.44 trillion from 54 providers listed on three exchanges in the United States.

Just 14% or 201 of the ETFs/ETPs listed in the US have joined the exclusive blockbuster or Billion Dollar Club. The top 100 ETFs/ETPs ranked by assets, out of the 1,478, account for just over three quarters of the $1.44 trillion in assets. The top 20 or the top 1% of all ETFs/ETPs ranked by assets account for 40% of all assets.

Read Debbie Fuhr's entire Q1-Q2 recap.


IBB Leads Biotech ETF Inflows By: Rob Hughes
on 5/21/2013

Investor inflows into exchange traded funds (ETFs) tracking the biotechnology sector have surged as the share prices of biotech companies make a record breaking start to 2013. According to FT.com, the largest vehicle in the sector, the iShares NASDAQ biotechnology fund (IBB), based on the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI), has registered inflows of $311.5M so far this year, already surpassing the $287.8M it gathered over the whole of 2012.

IBB has risen 32.6 percent this year, outperforming the second largest fund in the sector, State Street’s SPDR S&P biotech ETF, known as XBI, which is up 25.2 per cent. XBI has attracted $40.8m in new inflows in 2013, up from $24.9m over the whole of last year.

China's 1st Cross-Border Exchange-Traded Fund Launches By: Rob Hughes
on 5/15/2013

The very first cross-border exchange-traded fund (ETF) in China launched on May 15. The ETF will be based on the NASDAQ-100 Index, providing Chinese investors access to 100 of the world's largest and most dynamic non-financial companies, based on market cap.

This is a significant milestone both for the growing global ETF landscape and for the increasing diversification of China's capital markets. The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Guotai Asset Management have paved the way for individual and institutional investors in China to trade an innovative investment solution that has not been previously available.

The Guotai NASDAQ-100 Exchange Traded Fund is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

We couldn't be more pleased with this development as a testament to NASDAQ OMX's prominence in the region. Read the press release, or visit our website to view the NASDAQ-100's performance history.

Buyback ETF Based on NASDAQ Buyback Achievers is Outperforming the Market By: Rob Hughes
on 5/7/2013

The PowerShares BuyBack Achievers Portfolio (PKW) has been one of the best performing ETFs on the market, writes Jordan Wathen for The Motley Fool.

According to ETF Trends, year-to-date, the ETF has gained 15.7% compared to the 11.7% increase in the S&P 500. Stock components in the Powershares ETF are slightly less volatile than the S&P 500, and the ETF has consistently beaten the broad index.

PKW tries to reflect the performance of the NASDAQ Buyback Achievers Index (DRB), which is comprised of stocks that have repurchased at least 5% of their total shares outstanding over the past year and is weighted by market cap.

Read more from ETF Trends.

Read more about the DRB here.

NASDAQ  OMX Joins BOOST ETP and IMC for ETPs Seminar By: Rob Hughes
on 4/30/2013

Dave Gedeon, NASDAQ OMX’s Head of Research, will present “Commodities and Equities — The Changing Relationship” at the BOOST ETP/APCIMS CPD Manchester Regional Seminar, on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at the Brewin Dolphin offices. This free event, which is CPD certified, will be the first of several Boost ETP regional seminars.

The seminar focuses on the current climate of the ETF market and provides insight into what industry specialists think the sector holds for investors.  In addition to Gedeon, Rick van Leeuwen, ETF Sales Trading at IMC will present on “ETFs – What to Look Out For” and Hector McNeil, Co–CEO at Boost ETP, will present on “ETFs & ETPs – The Next Generation.”

The free Boost ETP CPD-certified Regional Seminar will also be held in Jersey on May 16, 2013; Birmingham on May 23, 2013; Leeds TBC; and Edinburgh TBC. Visit www.boostetp.com for more information.

Boost ETP has a dozen products based off of NASDAQ OMX Global Indexes. 

A Diversified ETF Yielding Nearly Six Percent Based off of NQMAUS By: Rob Hughes
on 4/8/2013

According to an article in today's ETF Trends , MDIV (First Trust Multi-Asset Diversified Income, Expense Ratio 0.60%) is one of the best performers year to date in the category, and volume has swelled to more than 213,000 shares on an average daily basis. The ETF is making a name for itself in a little under a year of live trading history. It fits into the “Multi-Asset” or “Diversified Portfolio” categories.

According to the article, "...the ETF is challenging all-time highs as volume has certainly stepped up in the past month or so, and this product is designed to track the NASDAQ Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index, which invests in a broad array of income producing securities (read yield), including domestic and internationally listed equities, REITS, MLPs, preferred stocks as well as a household name ETF, HYG (iShares High Yield Corporate Bond, Expense Ratio 0.50%)."

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