Program & Categories

You may submit your nominee for consideration in any of the applicable FOUR Categories. Nominees may be individuals, firms, and professionals from small and large firms. They can span from the entire investment advisory ecosystem including:

  • Asset/Portfolio Management Firms
  • Retirement Product Companies
  • Retirement Planning Firms
  • Broker-Dealers
  • Corporate RIAs
  • RIA/IAR Firms
  • Clearing/Custodial Firms
  • Fintech/Tamp Platforms
  • Partnerships
  • Consulting Firms

Please keep in mind that each nomination must be unique to the specific segment. Within each submission, outline how the nominee exemplifies the relevant characteristics and accomplishments.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Open to those professionals leading diversity efforts that serve as role models of excellence. Ideal candidates have put into practice innovative, internal diversity practices, and they are uniting their own firms and the industry around diversity and inclusion goals. At the same time, they strive to share the strengths of these efforts more broadly with others through transparent educational and informative activities. Influential and supportive to many, these nominees relentlessly pursue gender and racial equality and powerfully cultivate change. We will also acknowledge rising stars in this category.

Applicable companies demonstrate how they go above and beyond in their efforts to ensure equality and unleash the untapped potential of all employees, advisors and executives. Through their programs, products and services, they have a proven track-record of attracting and advancing individuals of different ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities and sexual orientations, and with differences in education, personalities, skill sets, experiences and knowledge bases. At the same time, they strive to share the strengths of these efforts more broadly with others through transparent informative and educational activities.

Thought Leadership & Education

This category will honor those working to better understand, shape and improve industry practices, as well as those who strive to educate advisors and investors in timely and informative ways to improve client outcomes. It is open to professionals conducting valuable research and leading educational efforts across a variety of platforms -- social media, online apps, videos, podcasts, white papers, etc. -- that are focused on topics such as behavioral finance, retirement income, ESG and other topics. Influential to many, these nominees relentlessly support the industry’s efforts to educate both advisors and clients in beneficial ways that improve financial security, retirement security, financial literacy and related efforts. We will also acknowledge rising stars in this category.

Open to firms making outstanding efforts to better understand and train new and existing industry participants -- including advisors, as well as their investor clients through their programs, products and services. We also will honor companies at the forefront of areas like behavioral finance, retirement income, ESG and other innovative topics and which are producing independent research and tools to help the industry connect new understanding with practical applications and positive impacts for all investors and communities. These efforts should include (but are not limited to) valuable research, new approaches and educational outreach that encompass social media, online apps, videos, podcasts, white papers, etc., and that seek to improve financial security or have other broad impacts.

Executive Leadership

Economic, regulatory, technological and other issues are influencing the industry landscape as never before, making leadership and its responsiveness critical. This category acknowledges those leading and guiding key decisions, including strategy, product development, hiring, dealmaking and organic business growth, the use of technology and more, in successful, innovative and dynamic ways. It will recognize those making the decisions that matter most in this fast-changing environment and that support bold strategies producing both quantitative and qualitative results for their practices, teams, firms and the broader financial-services community. We will also acknowledge rising stars in this category.

Open to organizations that can demonstrate they are truly changing the industry in innovative and dynamic ways through their growth strategies, product development efforts, hiring, use of technology and other steps. Through their programs, products and services, these firms are taking impressive and unique steps that produce quantitative and qualitative results for their practices, teams, organizations and the broader financial services community.

Community Impact

Open to those professionals leading community-focused efforts that serve as role models of both excellence and demonstrable impact. Ideal candidates have put into practice innovative approaches and partnerships that serve charitable aims and produce meaningful philanthropic results.

These efforts can include specific philanthropic programs that incorporate financial professionals’ skills, knowledge and strengths within their respective local communities that demonstrate how they are giving back.

Nominees should have an established and recent record of achievement in guiding and developing innovative community service projects. This work includes charitable activities of various types and sizes. Through its programs, products and services, the firm should be making a clear difference for its community in ways that ideally can be replicated by others in the financial services industry. In addition, nominees will be reviewed for ways that specific executive or staff talent, abilities, geographic presence and other unique features of the firm help them stand out in their communities – locally or nationwide.