Clear Indexes LLC Announces Winners of Second ETF Student Contest

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Two College Student Sports Fans Turn Passion Into Grand Prize Investment Thesis

The judging criteria focused not only on the quality and distinctiveness of the investment thesis, but also on the marketability of the submissions

Two York University students and sports enthusiasts turned their passion and knowledge into the winning entry in the "Next Generation ETF Contest" run on Facebook and the Internet by Clear Indexes, LLC.

Their winning idea, an International Sports investment concept, focuses on publicly-traded equities of holding companies that own professional sports teams and clubs; it relies on the large and loyal fan base of these teams, which typically grow even in economic downturns.

Selected from nearly 200 submissions, Sean Vrbica, and Vlad Berbece teamed up to win the grand prize of $5,000, a paid internship, and the chance to participate in an exchange bell ringing ceremony of the ETF based on their concept.

Vrbica, an undergraduate finance major at York University's Schulich School of Business, Toronto, Canada, has been actively trading since 2006 and maintains a blog, The Young Raging Bull, at Berbece, a rising junior and finance major at Schulich, is a capital markets enthusiast who has taken a leadership role in the York University Finance & Industry Club.

"Both students are ardent sports fans who were able to translate their passion and knowledge of sports as a business into an innovative and compelling investment thesis," said Andrew Corn, CEO of Clear Indexes LLC.

Three second prizes of $1,000 each were awarded to the following students:

  •     Mary Gondokusumo and Henry Young, Cornell University
  •     Alexander Lachman, Johns Hopkins University
  •     Daniel Abramov, Doug Guan and Vily Sarbinska, York University.

"The judging criteria focused not only on the quality and distinctiveness of the investment thesis, but also on the marketability of the submissions," said Corn.

The contest, which came to a close on April 4, was established to discover original and innovative ideas for ETFs and other packaged and structured products that are both constructible and marketable to investors.

Last year's grand prize winner, James Baker, a New York University sophomore, works as an intern at Clear Asset Management Inc., the parent firm of Clear Indexes LLC. His winning U.S. Exporters Index, which has been constructed and backtested, is being presented to issuers of packaged and structured products.

The judges decided to name seven honorable mentions, out of a possible ten:

  •     Derek Gabrish of Pennsylvania State University
  •     Boris Gotzev of Schulich School of Business, York University
  •     Franklin Keller of Pennsylvania State University
  •     Saed Shabbir and Mushrur Shareef of Schulich School of Business, York University.
  •     Andrew Vanloon of Pennsylvania State University
  •     Andrew Vanloon of Pennsylvania State University (second submission)
  •     James Williams of Harvard University

All the winners are acknowledged on Clear's Facebook page at

In its continued pursuit of unique investment opportunities, Clear Indexes LLC has begun the planning process for its fall contest. Schools seeking participation should contact Noel Sullivan at 212-675-1070 or visit or the contest's Facebook group page at

Issuers of packaged and structured products seeking licensing opportunities should contact Andrew Corn at 212-675-1070 or acorn(at)

About Clear Indexes LLC

Clear Indexes LLC creates and publishes custom indexes using a combination of qualitative research and quantitative methods. Clear Indexes designs custom indexes to quantitatively measure specific market segments. The indexes are used for custom institutional benchmarks and investment product design. Clear Indexes is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clear Asset Management Inc. For more information, please see and


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