Since the dawn of financial innovation, legendary gurus have always held the spotlight, as these individuals helped shape and develop the market we know today. Though their contributions are certainly significant, there is one group of sometimes overlooked individuals who have continually played a major role in the world of finance and economics: professors. And with the ETF industry continuing its rapid development and expansion, academics are getting on board. These professors are reshaping the curriculum, teaching extensively about exchange-traded funds, which, until recently, were rarely covered in thecourseworkof many major universities. Some of the names on this list have even translated their academic theories into investment results, helping create some of the mostintriguingETFs out there. For those wondering who exactly is behind the ETF evolution, we highlight several well-accomplished ETF-friendly professors (in no particular order):

1. K. Geert Rouwenhorst

In addition to being aprofessor, K. Geert Rouwenhorst is the deputy dean for the MBA curriculum at the Yale School ofManagement. His research spans a wide array of topics, including hedge fund strategies, commodity investments and the history of financial innovation. Professor Rouwenhorst is also the co-founder and director of research of SummerHavenIndex Management LLC, a pioneer in the commodity indexes space.

  • University: Yale University
  • Specialties: International Finance and Asset Pricing
  • Academic Work:Facts and Fantasies about Commodity Futures

2. Robert Shiller

Robert Shiller is a professor of economics at Yale University and one of the creators of the Case-Shiller Index of U.S. house prices. There are now a number of financial instruments based on this index, including The Barclays ETN + Shiller CAPE ETN (CAPE).

  • University:Yale University
  • Specialties:Behavioral Economics, Real Estate and Financial Markets.
  • Academic Work:Arithmetic Repeat Sales Price Estimators

3. Andrew Lo

Andrew Lo is a professor at MIT as well as the director of the MIT Laboratory forFinancialEngineering. In 2009, Lo co-designed the quantitative model behind the Credit Suisse 130/30 Large-Cap Index, which is tracked by CSMand more try ETFdb Pro].

  • University:MIT
  • Specialties:FinancialEngineering, Econometrics, Financial Asset Pricing Models.
  • Academic Work: 130/30: The New Long-Only

4. Jeremy Siegel

Jeremy Siegel is a professor of finance at the Warton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Senior Investment Strategy Advisor at Wisdom Tree Investments, Inc. Siegel worked closely with Wisdom Tree to develop several dividend-focused exchange-traded funds.

  • University:University of Pennsylvania
  • Specialties:Financial Markets, Long-run Asset Returns and Macroeconomics.
  • Academic

5. Gary Gorton

Gary Gorton is a professor of finance at Yale School ofManagementand is currently a Research Associate of the NationalBureauof Economic Research. Professor Gorton also worked withSummerHavenIndex Management LLC, a pioneer in the commodity indexes space .

  • University:Yale University
  • Specialties:Stock Markets, Commodity Futures, Banking.
  • Academic Work:The Fundamentals of Commodity Futures Returns

6. James A. DiLellio

James DiLellio is a professor of decision sciences at the Graziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University. Professor DiLellio is an expert on portfolio management and has done extensive research on exchange-traded funds.

  • University:Pepperdine University
  • Specialties:Applied Mathematics, Computational Methods and Applied Statistics.
  • Academic Work:The Financial Planner, Exchange Traded Funds, and ETF Trading Strategies to Enhance Client Wealth Maximization

7. Darrol J. Stanley

Darrol Stanley is a professor of finance and accounting atGraziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University. Alongside his colleague James DiLellio, Professor Stanley has also provided key insight on the ETF industry, highlighting their performance relative to the broader equity markets .

  • University:Pepperdine University
  • Specialties:Valuing Corporations.
  • Academic Work:The Financial Planner, Exchange Traded Funds, and ETF Trading Strategies to Enhance Client Wealth Maximization

8. A. Seddik Meziani

A. Seddik Meziani is the Department Chair and a professor of finance at the School of Business of Montclair State University. Meziani has written numerous books and publications on exchange-traded funds, including the well-known books Exchange-Traded Funds as an Investment Option and Exchange-Traded Funds-Conceptual and Practical Investment Approaches.

  • University:Montclair State University
  • Specialties:ETFs, Portfolio Investment Strategy, Micro Cap Stocks.
  • Academic Work:Exchange Traded Funds

9. Pankaj Pank Agrrawal

Pankaj Agrrawal is a professor of finance at University of Maine and is the Founder and President of Advanced Portfolio Solutions. Professor Agrrawal's research primarily focuses on analyzing the performance of long-short ETFs.

  • University:University of Maine
  • Specialties:ETFs, Portfolio Investment Strategy, Quantitative Analysis.
  • Academic Work:Determinants of ETF Liquidity in the Secondary Market: A Five Factor Ranking Algorithm

10. Zvi Bodie

Zvi Bodie ia a professor of management at Boston University and is a consultant at Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. He is best know for his textbooks and publications on pension finance and investment strategy .

  • University: BostonUniversity
  • Specialties:Investment Management, Finacial Literacy, Pension Finance and Financial System Design.
  • Academic Work:On the Time Dimension of Personal Investing

11. K.J. Martijn Cremers

K.J. Martijn Cremers is a professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame and is the Associate Editor of the Review of Financial Studies and at the Review of Finance. Professor Cremers introduced a new measure of activemanagement the Active Share, which has become widely used in the financial industry.

  • University:University of Notre Dame
  • Specialties:EmpiricalAsset Pricing, Corporate Governance, InvestmentManagement.
  • Academic Work:The Mutual Fund Industry Worldwide: Explict and Clost Indexing, Fees, and Performance

12.Joëlle Miffre

Joëlle Miffreis a professor of finance at the EDHEC Business School in France. Her research focuses on themanagementand pricing of commodities and equities, and her work has been featured in a number of academic journals.

  • University:EDHEC Business School
  • Specialties:Commodities and InvestmentManagement.
  • Academic Work: Country-Specific ETFs: An Efficient Approach to Global Asset Allocation

13. Marco Avellaneda

Marco Avellaneda is a professor of mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University. In his research, Professor Avellaneda applies mathematics and econometrics to the financial market, including analysis on ETFs .

  • University:New York University
  • Specialties:Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Mathematical Finance, Econometrics of Financial Markets.
  • Academic Work: Structural Slippage of Leveraged ETFs

14. William F. Sharpe

William F. Sharpe is a professor of finance at Stanford's University's Graduate School of Business, as well as a Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences. He was one of the originators of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and developed the Sharpe Ratio. Professor Sharpe frequently blogs on his website, Lifetime Finance, aboutgeneralinvesting and finance topics.

  • University:Stanford University
  • Specialties:Asset Allocation and Quantitative Analysis.
  • Academic Work:Index Investing: A Prosaic Way to Beat the Average Investor

15. Robert Korajczyk

Robert Korajczyk is a professor of finance at the Kellog School of Northwestern University and is the Director of the Zell Center for Risk Research. He has been quoted numerous times about exchange-traded funds, and teaches extensively on the topic in his classes.

  • University:Northwestern University
  • Specialties:Asset Pricing, Equity markets,Investmentsand Portfolio Choices, Liquidity.
  • Academic Work:Performance Measurement with the Arbitrage Pricing Theory: A New Framework for Analysis

16. Hendrik Bessembinder

Hendrik Bessembinder is a professor of finance at the University of Utah and is the Editor of the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Professor Bessembinder has also served as a consultant for the Department of Justice, the SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission .

  • University:University of Utah
  • Specialties:Energy Markets, Financial Management, Trading, Financial Risk, International and Domestic Equities.
  • Academic Work: Predatory or Sunshine Trading? Evidence from Crude Oil ETF Rolls

17. Allen Carrion

Allen Carrion is an assistant professor of finance at Lehigh University as well as a consultant for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The methodologies behind his research are motivated by both academic theory and his experience as a trading floor analyst.

  • University: LehighUniversity
  • Specialties:Empirical Market Microstructure, Emperical Asset Pricing, Risk Management.
  • Academic Work:Predatory or Sunshine Trading? Evidence from Crude Oil ETF Rolls

Did we miss someone?Drop us a lineand let us know if you're an ETF-friendly professor; if your story checks out, we'd be happy to include you in our database.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.