You may submit your nominee for consideration in any of the applicable FOUR Programs. 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 & 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. 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.

Open to firms and organizations that meaningfully embrace and genuinely strive to incorporate individuals of different ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities and sexual orientations through creative and effective programs within their organizations and within their community. Their programs demonstrate strong participation, and those using their products and services advocate vigorously in the broader financial services industry to strengthen diversity and inclusion.  

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. 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.

Open to all firms and organizations propelling the financial advisory industry in new directions through unique thinking, innovative data visualization and research, as well as ground-breaking financial tools. This work includes new understanding and approaches to topics such as ESG/sustainable investing, retirement income and planning (i.e., accumulation and decumulation), wealth transfers, behavioral finance and financial literacy.   These efforts should encompass (but are not limited to) valuable research, new tools, products and services, as well as educational outreach via social media, online apps, videos, podcasts, white papers, etc., 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, 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. 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.

This category will honor specific examples of how firms and individuals have produced tangible forward-facing and competitive responses to industry trends and developments. These efforts can include measures that capitalize on the use of technology and communications or similarly bold steps that have led to products, programs and services making a dramatic quantitative and qualitative impact on the financial services industry.

Dealmaking

This category honors those individuals who have been part of moves to acquire, merge, invest in, form or otherwise support powerful partnerships and transactions between different industry players. It also recognizes those in the industry that are uniting firms in different industry segments -- such as fintech and portfolio management or technology and retirement -- to make a difference for investor clients, advisors, organizations and the broader financial services industry. We will also acknowledge rising stars in this category.

Nominees should have an established and recent record of achievement in  guiding and developing innovative dealmaking. Their work in this area should include deals of various types and sizes, as well as transactions and/or partnerships that unit firms in different industry segments -- such as fintech and portfolio management or technology and retirement -- to make a difference for investor clients, advisors, organizations and the broader financial services industry. In addition, nominees will be reviewed for deals that bring in specific executive talent, abilities, geographic presence and other competitive strengths that help them stand out from others in the business.

Nominations should describe how their dealmaking, including transactions as well as partnerships, have resulted in specific products, programs and/or services that enhanced the competitive position of the firm. These efforts also should have broadened the scope of business and potential opportunities for growth and demonstrated a quantifiable and qualitative impact on advisors, clients, staff and the broader financial services industry.