For the second year, WSR is proud to present a series of invitation-only awards that celebrate excellence in the wealth management industry – the WSR Wealth Exemplar Awards. These awards call out the most outstanding firms in the industry in a broad range of categories, the most impactful and trend-setting M&A transactions and two leading executives with stellar reputations and achievements.
The Wealth Exemplar Awards celebrate the best our industry has to offer as a foundation for a bright future and optimistic outlook for wealth management at all levels, from individual advisory practices to the largest enterprises and M&A deals. The greatness in our industry we highlight today points to the fact that our best days are yet to come.
This year’s Wealth Exemplar Awards build upon the momentum of a series of recognition lists we published in 2023 honoring firms and executives who demonstrate excellence in the industry, as well as a second successful year for the WSR Pathfinder Awards, which recognize the achievement of executives from underrepresented backgrounds and the firms that support underrepresented communities.
The criteria and winners for each category are set out below. The winners in each category are in alphabetical order. Click on a winner’s name for more information.
Person of the Year
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 has shown consistent vision and boldness.
CEO of the Year
CEO of the Year goes to a Chief Executive Officer who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in leading a large and highly visible wealth management enterprise, especially in the areas of strategy and positioning the enterprise for significant future growth.
Hybrid RIA of the Year
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.
Fee-Based RIA of the Year
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.
Wealth Management Enterprise of the Year
Wealth Management Enterprise of the Year goes to the top three wealth management enterprises, offering a full-service experience to financial advisors across multiple stages of their business life cycle, that support either W-2 or independent professionals, or both.
Private Equity-Backed Firm of the Year
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.
Alternative Investments Firm of the Year
Alternative Investments Firm 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.
Asset Management Platform of the Year
Asset Management 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
This year, the award honors the top three wealth management M&A deals of the year based on their size and strategic importance. There is a minimum asset level of $10 billion and a minimum headcount of 100 advisors. Deals are selected based on their impact and importance to the industry as well as how they reflect ongoing industry trends.
Family Office of the Year
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.
Retirement Plan & Income Solutions Provider of the Year
Retirement Plan & Income Solutions Provider of the Year goes to the top three firms that advise on retirement plans under ERISA, support firms and professionals who support ERISA retirement plans and/or specialize in income solutions and strategies that financial advisors can align with their end clients.
Wealthtech Firm of the Year
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 Solutions Provider of the Year
Practice Management Solutions Provider of the Year goes to the top four 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, business consulting, succession planning, advisor marketing/client prospecting or advisor-facing technologies and digital solutions.
Compliance Solutions Provider of the Year
Compliance Solutions Provider of the Year goes to the top three firms providing compliance and regulatory solutions for firms that operate within the non-institutional wealth management space.
Insurance & Annuities Solutions Provider of the Year
Insurance & Annuities Solutions Provider of the Year goes to the top three firms that offer life insurance and annuities products that assist financial advisors’ clients with their long-term planning and asset protection needs, including through relationships with RIAs and broker-dealers.
Julius Buchanan, Editor in Chief at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.