NEW YORK, NY, October 13, 2023 – The Money Management Institute (MMI) announced the winners of the 2023 MMI/Barron’s Industry Awards during this year’s MMI Annual Conference. Now in their 15th year, the awards recognize innovation and leadership in the investment advisory solutions industry.
“It’s imperative that wealth managers, asset managers, and solutions providers evolve and advance to meet the ever-changing needs of investors. Each year we are impressed by the innovative changes being made in this industry and look forward to honoring those firms with the prestigious MMI/Barron’s Industry Awards,” said Craig Pfeiffer, MMI President and CEO. “The awards spotlight the leadership shown in moving the needle forward in the wealth management environment.”
Jack Otter, Global Head of Wealth & Asset Management at Dow Jones, the publisher of Barron's, added, “Every year we look forward to joining MMI in highlighting the industry’s top leaders, who are enhancing advisory solutions across all sectors and providing improved results for their investors.”
The winners in the 14 award categories this year are:
Digital Innovation (Wealth Manager Firms): Honoring a new technological innovation (or specific enhancement to an existing platform or tool) by a wealth management firm that enhances the investor or advisor experience with advisory solutions.
- Morgan Stanley – Portfolio Risk Platform — The Portfolio Risk Platform (PRP) is a customized version of Aladdin by BlackRock that is used by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM) to provide Financial Advisors with detailed analytics and reporting. The platform includes stress scenarios (inflation, geopolitics, volatility) and the ability to model potential or hypothetical changes to a client’s portfolio. PRP analytics are visually organized within distinct “Insights” dashboards, allowing Financial Advisors to analyze portfolio risk across client accounts in a scalable manner.
Digital Innovation (Asset Manager Firms): Honoring a new technological innovation (or specific enhancement to an existing platform or tool) by an asset management firm that enhances the investor or advisor experience with advisory solutions.
- 55ip – Investment Strategy Engine – Tax-smart Transition & Tax Optimization — 55ip provides automated tax-smart management and transition services to advisory clients via their ActiveTax technology. 55ip’s core offering is to manage an investors account as tax effectively as possible with tax efficient scenarios and recommendation generation. In addition, 55ip offers transition services that help an investor transition a taxable account from one investment strategy to another tax-efficiently over time. In 2023, 55ip partnered with InvestCloud to be able to scale this offering via InvestCloud’s trade network, making this ActiveTax Technology accessible to over 400 wealth management firms with over 25 million accounts.
Digital Innovation (Technology/Solutions Provider Firms): Honoring a new technological innovation (or specific enhancement to an existing platform or tool) by a solutions provider firm that enhances the investor or advisor experience with advisory solutions.
- Andes Wealth Technologies – 4D Risk Framework — Andes Wealth Platform packs groundbreaking thought leadership and innovation into an integrated technology solution, empowering financial advisors to differentiate and deliver deeply personalized advice. Furthermore, its comprehensive methodologies can serve as the industry standard for wealth management.
Doing Good: Honoring programs that support a deserving cause or give back to the communities we serve.
- Morgan Stanley – Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge — Morgan Stanley's Strategy Challenge is a flagship pro bono program. It leverages Morgan Stanley’s strongest asset—their people—to help nonprofits solve strategic challenges. The program matches rising Morgan Stanley talent with nonprofit organizations in New York and London to help them address critical strategic challenges that impact their ability to deliver on their missions. Cross-divisional teams of select associates and vice presidents volunteer their expertise during an eight-to-ten-week engagement to provide nonprofits with tailored analysis, actionable plans, and tools for future decision-making.
Inclusive Programs: Honoring exemplary commitment and progress in embracing and advocating diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the investment advisory solutions industry.
- Raymond James – Veteran Financial Advisors Network — The Veteran Financial Advisors Network (VFAN) is a professional network where veterans can learn from and rely on one another as they grow their businesses and advocate for important causes within the firm and communities. VFAN also connects recently separated and discharged service members with a field that values their leadership and commitment to others. VFAN is committed to increasing the number of veteran advisors in the financial industry. Through the Network, veteran advisors are connected to a community where they can openly share challenges, insights, ideas and perspectives.
Sustainable & ESG Investing: Honoring programs that support awareness and adoption of Sustainable and ESG Investing.
- Merrill Lynch Wealth Management – Sustainable Investing Educational & Awareness Campaign — Merrill launched an educational & awareness campaign to help advisors and clients to better understand the demonstrable investment case for sustainable and impact investing, as part of a long-term approach. The Bank of America Chief Investment Office partnered with third-party asset managers to dispel oft-quoted myths about the space and focus attention on the facts of sustainable investing. As a firm committed to sustainability, Merrill Lynch plays an important role in educating all parties about the truth about sustainable investments and the power they can play in portfolios.
- Morgan Stanley – Morgan Stanley IQ® — Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Investing with Impact has recently launched detailed impact reporting capabilities for their Investing with Impact Portfolio suite, which includes both our Impact and Diversity Portfolios. These Portfolios pursue competitive risk-adjusted returns alongside positive societal outcomes by leveraging Morgan Stanley’s best thinking on asset allocation, manager selection and portfolio construction. The reports apply insights harvested from their patented and award-winning impact reporting application—Morgan Stanley Impact Quotient® (Morgan Stanley IQ®)—providing investors with transparency around portfolio impact.
Distribution Excellence: Honoring firms that provide exemplary and innovative advisor sales support both in the field and from the home office.
- Raymond James – Start Smart Assessment — The Start Smart Assessment aggregates 100+ resources and support areas across Raymond James, and recommends an actionable plan, specifically tailored to an advisor’s business, based on six different categories: (1) practice operations and administration; (2) marketing and business development; (3) business goals, team effectiveness and continuity; (4) wealth solutions offered to clients; (5) investment management process and execution; (6) client management and experience.
Thought Leadership/Education: Honoring new programs, research, educational campaigns, or content that meaningfully advance industry knowledge and understanding of topics key to the future of advisory solutions.
- CAIS – CAIS IQ — A recent CAIS-Mercer survey found that three-quarters of asset managers and other investment professionals flagged a lack of education around alternative products and strategies as one of financial advisors’ greatest challenges in accessing alternative asset classes. CAIS IQ seeks to close this gap by improving advisor education around alternatives so advisors can have the same comprehensive toolkit that institutional investors have used for decades.
Disruption: Honoring a groundbreaking new product, technology, or process that will fundamentally alter the future delivery of advisory solutions.
- Morgan Stanley – UMA Fractional Share Program — The purpose of the Fractional Share Program is to facilitate a meaningfully lower account minimum size for separately managed accounts (SMAs) at Morgan Stanley, which is intended to create efficiencies for financial advisors. The minimum investment amount for equity SMAs was lowered by managing and trading individual stocks positions that will have fractional share allocations and fractional share rounding, enabling the client to purchase shares with less money. Clients within the program can buy and sell fractional share positions of equity securities, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other securities.
Wealth Manager Platform of the Year: Honoring a wealth manager platform that exemplifies innovation in delivering better outcomes for investors and financial advisors.
- Cetera Financial Group – My Advice Architect™ – Manager Program — My Advice Architect® (MAA) is Cetera’s award-winning advisory platform that offers a range of features and enhancements for advisors across Cetera’s network. With over $100 billion under management, MAA has become the fastest growing advisory platform within the Cetera network. The latest enhancement to MAA–a new Manager Program–empowers advisors to provide portfolio personalization at scale through direct or custom indexing capabilities designed to address specific tax management needs and/or values-based investing for clients who desire to align their investments with their values.
Asset Manager of the Year (AUM of less than $25 billion): Honoring a smaller asset manager that exemplifies innovation in delivering better outcomes for investors and financial advisors.
- Bluerock Fund Advisor, LLC – Bluerock Total Income+ Real Estate Fund — The Bluerock Total Income+ Real Estate Fund (“TI+” or “Fund”), formed in October 2012, is a public, closed-end interval fund utilizing a multi-manager, strategy, and sector approach. The Fund allows individuals to invest in institutional private equity real estate securities alongside some of the nation’s largest endowment and pension plans. The Fund seeks to provide a comprehensive real estate holding designed to provide a combination of current income, capital preservation, long-term capital appreciation and enhanced portfolio diversification with low to moderate volatility and low correlation to the broader equity and fixed income markets. The Fund utilizes an exclusive partnership with Mercer Investment Management, the world’s leading advisor to endowments, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and family offices.
Asset Manager of the Year (AUM of $25-$100 billion): Honoring a mid-size asset manager that exemplifies innovation in delivering better outcomes for investors and financial advisors.
- Russell Investments – “How do you want your Russell Investments?” — “How do you want your Russell Investments?” is a firm-wide sales and service approach helping advisors achieve their goals. Russell Investments has been adapting their investment and business solutions to the changing needs of advisors for over 40 years. Russell has worked with advisors to meet the challenge of the rapid introduction of new technologies, the rise of robo-advisors and the growing demand for customized investment solutions. Additionally, Russell is among only a few firms that exclusively sells to advisors.
Asset Manager of the Year (AUM of more than $100 billion): Honoring a larger asset manager that exemplifies innovation in delivering better outcomes for investors and financial advisors.
- Invesco – Portfolio Playbook — Invesco launched Invesco Total CX in June 2022–a commitment to their advisor clients in providing the tools, coaching and content to help advisors better connect with their clients, enhance their business, and optimize their portfolios. As part of that evolution and to further embolden our indispensable partnership with clients by providing them with information that better guides their investment decisions, Invesco launched the new Portfolio Playbook in December 2022. Portfolio Playbook is a timely and actionable overview of what’s happening in the markets and economy and how to position portfolios, updated monthly.
Solutions Provider of the Year: Honoring a solutions provider firm (technology/service provider) that exemplifies innovation in delivering better outcomes for investors and financial advisors.
- iCapital—iCapital Marketplace — iCapital is the leading global fintech company powering the world’s alternative investment marketplace. iCapital has revolutionized the alternative investing industry by providing intuitive, end-to-end technology and service solutions; compliance training and educational resources; and robust diligence and portfolio analytics capabilities to break down the barriers that have historically prevented advisors and their high-net-worth clients from accessing alternative investments.
About the MMI/Barron’s Industry Awards Program:
Nominations were reviewed and evaluated by a specially appointed MMI Industry Awards Steering Council and the MMI Membership Experience Committee (MEC). The council and committee members represent all segments of the MMI membership—asset managers, wealth managers and solutions providers. The Steering Council and MEC reviewed the nominations based on:
- Level of innovation and forward-thinking
- Potential to effect noticeable change in the investment advisory industry
- Advancement of existing investment advisory practices and protocols
- Potential to deliver improved outcomes for financial advisors and investors
After carefully reviewing the nominations submitted, the Steering Council and MEC determined a slate of finalists in each award category. The primary contacts at each of MMI’s 208 members firms were eligible to vote to determine the winners in each category.
About the Money Management Institute (MMI): Established in 1997, the Money Management Institute (MMI) is the industry association representing financial services firms that provide financial advice and investment advisory solutions to investors. Through conferences, educational resources, and thought leadership, MMI facilitates peer-to-peer connections, fosters industry knowledge and professionalism, and supports the development of the next generation of industry leadership. MMI member firms are dedicated to helping individual and institutional investors, at every level of assets, plan for and fulfill their financial goals. For more information, visit www.MMInst.org.
About Barron’s: Barron’s is America’s premier financial magazine, known for its market-moving stories. Published by Dow Jones since 1921, it reaches an influential audience of professional fund managers, financial advisors, affluent individual investors, financial-services professionals, and senior corporate executives. With new content available every business day in digital form and every week in print, Barron’s provides readers with an intelligible recap of recent market action coupled with insights on what’s likely to happen in the market in the days and weeks to come. In addition, the Wealth & Asset Management Group’s annual series of exclusive conferences for financial advisors and investors is dedicated to identifying, enhancing, and expanding best practices in wealth management. As a result of these initiatives, Barron’s is the trusted financial-publishing brand that people active in the market turn to for information, ideas, and insights they can use to increase their professional success and enhance their personal, financial well-being.
- Media Contact:
Kelly Caporale, Money Management Institute, email@example.com, (646) 868-8514