New Series Of Annual Awards Honors Firms And Individuals Who Contributed To Wealth Management Industry On Exemplary Basis
This week, WSR launches a new series of invitation-only awards to celebrate the best of the wealth management industry – the WSR Wealth Exemplar Awards. The awards honor outstanding firms across multiple categories, impactful and trend-setting M&A deals and a visionary leading executive who has successfully implemented change in our industry.
This series of annual awards follows the success of the WSR Pathfinder Awards series, which celebrates diversity and gives the voices of underrepresented communities a platform by awarding top wealth management executives from underrepresented backgrounds, coinciding with Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and National Hispanic Heritage Month.
WSR’s editorial team spent weeks reviewing exemplary firms, distinguished professionals and groundbreaking transactions to select the winners, and the criteria for each category is set out below.
The Wealth Exemplar Awards serve not only to celebrate excellence in wealth management, but also to express a bright, optimistic outlook for our industry. This includes its firms and organizations, advisors and professionals and their clients’ financial success, which is the ultimate reason that the outstanding firms and Person of the Year that we honor today strive for excellence.
The categories and winners are as follows, all equally deserving and in no particular order. Click on a winner’s name for more information.
Hybrid RIA of the Year goes to the top three RIA firms that offer fee-based solutions as well as commissionable services in affiliation with a broker-dealer, through either W-2 or independent financial advisors, or both. There is a minimum asset level of $250 million.
Fee-Based RIA of the Year goes to the top three SEC-registered RIA firms that focus primarily on fee-based solutions for clients, working through either W-2 or independent financial advisors, or both. There is a minimum asset level of $250 million.
Private Equity-Backed Firm of the Year goes to the top three wealth management firms that have received significant or majority equity investments from private equity, venture capital or other institutional investors for expansion and growth purposes. There is a minimum asset level of $1 billion.
Alternative Investments Platform of the Year goes to the top three firms that provide a platform for helping financial advisors align alternative assets with their retail investor clients. There is a minimum asset level of $10 billion.
Asset Manager Platform of the Year goes to the top three firms that have a significant presence in the wealth management industry and operate as third-party asset managers that serve B2B wealth management platforms. There is a minimum asset level of $10 billion.
Deal of the Year honors the top wealth management M&A deals of the year across five asset size categories, with one recipient for each asset size segment as follows:
- Mega Deal of the Year ($20 billion and over)
- Large Deal of the Year ($7 billion to $20 billion)
- Upper-Mid-Sized Deal of the Year ($2 billion to $7 billion)
- Mid-Sized Deal of the Year ($500 million to $2 billion)
- Boutique Deal of the Year ($200 million to $500 million)
Deals are selected based on their impact and importance to the industry as well as how they reflect ongoing industry trends. Asset size ranges are approximate.
Mega Deal of the Year – Advisor Group acquisition of Infinex Financial Holdings
Large Deal of the Year – Mariner Wealth Advisors acquisition of Heber Fuger Wendin
Upper-Mid-Sized Deal of the Year – Creative Planning acquisition of Reilly Financial Advisors
Mid-Sized Deal of the Year – Perigon Wealth Management acquisition of PM Wealth Management
Boutique Deal of the Year – SageView Advisory Group acquisition of Lakeview Wealth Management
Family Office of the Year goes to the top three financial advisory firms with a majority or significant focus on ultra-high net worth client families and engage in (themselves or through affiliates) sophisticated, tailored services typically offered to this clientele such as concierge services, tax and estate planning and art investment advice. There is a minimum asset level of $500 million.
Retirement Plan Advisory Firm of the Year goes to the top three wealth management firms with a majority or significant focus on advising retirement plans under ERISA. There is a minimum asset level of $1 billion.
Wealthtech Firm of the Year goes to the top three firms providing technology solutions for firms that operate within the non-institutional wealth management space. At minimum, winners must serve $250 million in assets.
Practice Management Platform of the Year goes to the top three practice management platforms either in-house within a wealth management firm or delivered via a third-party consultancy or solutions provider, with offerings that may include, among other areas, consulting, operational efficiency, succession planning or advisor marketing.
Retirement Income Solutions Provider of the Year goes to the top three firms that specialize in helping financial advisors align their clients with retirement income planning and retirement income generative vehicles. At minimum, winners must serve $250 million in assets.
Person of the Year goes to someone who, at an individual level, has exhibited exemplary vision for transforming the wealth management industry and has taken significant concrete steps to do so. This award also recognizes the year’s standout distinction as part of a broader career that’s shown consistent vision and boldness.