Steven M. Bloom was named yesterday as the first recipient of The Skip Viragh Innovation Award at The 7th Annual Financial Advisor Symposium in Chicago.

The award, named in honor of the late Skip Viragh, founder of Rockville, Md.-based Rydex Investments, honors a company or individual showing Viragh's spirit of innovation and integrity by developing a new service, benefit or product that positively affects advisors and their clients.

Bloom was a pioneer in efforts that led to the world's first ETF, the Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipts, better known as SPDRs. Bloom also contributed to the development and launch of the QQQ, the Nasdaq 100 Index Tracking Stock and the most actively traded ETF.

Bloom founded Capmark, a financial consulting firm, in 1998. Previously, he was a senior consultant for National Economic Associates, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.

During the presentation yesterday, Bloom commended Viragh, who lost a battle with cancer in December, for his innovation and vision. Bloom added he was honored to be the first recipient of the award.

As part of the award, proceeds from an annual charity golf tournament benefiting the Make-A-Wish foundation were used to grant a wish to a sick child in Bloom's home town in New Jersey. The girl has an inoperable brain tumor, and asked for the proceeds to be used to buy her a playhouse for her backyard.

For information on nominating an individual for the award, visit