NEW YORK, NY, October 22, 2022 – The Money Management Institute (MMI) announced the winners of the 2022 MMI/Barron’s Industry Awards at its Industry Celebration Dinner during the 2022 MMI Annual Conference. Now in their 14th year, the awards recognize innovation and leadership in the investment advisory solutions industry.
“The prestigious MMI/Barron’s Industry Awards annually provide us with perspective on some of the most important and innovative steps being taken by leading wealth managers, asset managers and solutions providers to meet the ever-changing challenges investors and our industry faces,” said Craig Pfeiffer, MMI President and CEO. “The awards pay tribute to the caliber of leadership shown in bringing about change in a rapidly evolving wealth management environment.”
Jack Otter, Global Head of Wealth & Asset Management at Dow Jones, the publisher of Barron's, added, “The MMI/Barron’s partnership puts the spotlight on the industry’s leaders in improving advice delivery across all sectors, resulting in better outcomes both for advisors and the investors they serve.”
The winners in the 13 award categories this year are:
Digital Innovation (Asset/Wealth Manager Firms): Honoring a new technological innovation (or specific enhancement to an existing platform or tool) that enhances the investor or advisor experience with advisory solutions
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch—Mobile Advisor Experience (MAX)—MAX provides financial advisors with a secure mobile app on their company-issued iPhones that consolidates all the necessary information and tools needed to successfully service their clients when away from their workstations. By offering a new channel in which an advisor can seamlessly manage their respective books of business, urgent matters can be addressed from anywhere where there is internet connectivity.
Digital Innovation (Technology/Service Provider Firms): Honoring a new technological innovation (or specific enhancement to an existing platform or tool) that enhances the investor or advisor experience with advisory solutions
- Vestwell—Vestwell’s Managed Accounts—In partnership with Franklin Templeton, Vestwell launched an advisor managed account feature for the retirement plan market in late 2021. The offering utilizes Franklin Templeton’s award-winning Goals Optimization Engine to build a more personalized retirement portfolio for employees. The experience is built directly in Vestwell’s platform, which means advisors can capture participant data and provide a tailored investment strategy for every stage of their client’s life, at a fraction of the cost of legacy solutions.
Doing Good: Honoring programs that support a deserving cause or give back to the communities we serve
- UBS—Ukraine Relief Fund through the UBS Optimus Foundation—The UBS Optimus Foundation is the only client-driven foundation linked to a global wealth manager staffed with philanthropy experts. With an approach that takes advantage of their unique network, they take a leading role in driving impactful philanthropy that delivers breakthrough solutions to pressing social issues. When the war in Ukraine began, UBS quickly mobilized their clients and employees to support our Ukraine Relief Fund.
Inclusive Programs: Honoring exemplary commitment and progress in embracing and advocating diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the investment advisory solutions industry
- Morgan Stanley Wealth Management—The Equity Collective—The Equity Collective is a group of 27 Wealth Management and Asset Management businesses who have come together to educate, empower and develop the next generation of diverse leaders in the finance industry. The group focuses on creating awareness and demystifying financial service career opportunities to break barriers while reaching future motivated leaders wherever they are. By partnering with three key organizations—Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Team IMPACT and HIVE diversity—the Equity Collective reaches high school, college and early career talent.
Sustainable & ESG Investing: Honoring programs that support awareness and adoption of Sustainable and ESG investing
- Northern Trust Asset Management—Northern Trust Asset Management Sustainable Investing—Northern Trust Asset Management helps investors future-proof their portfolios by bringing clarity to investment opportunities and risks resulting from financially relevant environmental, social and governance factors. We fundamentally believe material ESG factors are pre-financial indicators that can affect a company’s future financial viability and clients’ long-term risk-adjusted investment returns. This belief is at the core of how we view, analyze and manage associated risks. It is at the core of how we have structured our team, and it is the underpinning of the products we develop, the innovations we bring to market, and the engagement decisions we make.
Distribution Excellence: Honoring firms that provide exemplary and innovative advisor sales support both in the field and from the home office
- Clark Capital Management Group—Brushing Off Bear Markets: Continued Growth Despite Volatility—Clark Capital’s increased focus on a partnership model with independent advisors has been successful, despite challenging markets. Clark has achieved seven straight years of organic, double-digit growth through 2021 and anticipates approximately 7.5% organic growth in 2022.The team raised approximately $8.3 billion in 2021 and is on pace to surpass that with over $4.4 billion in gross sales through June 2022. Although year-to-date outflows have plagued the industry, every Clark wholesaler has experienced positive net inflows over the last 12 months, during which time AUM went from $24.8 billion to $26.9 billion.
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
- Blackrock —Alternatives: Think Beyond 60/40—Alternatives: Think Beyond 60/40 was created to help financial advisors understand the growing opportunities and benefits of alternative investments. The program explains the pressure in today’s markets and some of the challenges in traditional asset classes. It discusses how to screen the many investment options within alternatives, suggesting the focus to be on those that provide differentiated return streams to diversify portfolios and private markets to help seek higher returns or income over traditional public markets.
Disruption: Honoring a groundbreaking new product, technology, or process that will fundamentally alter the future delivery of advisory solutions
- Envestnet—Envestnet - Intelligent Financial Life™—The Intelligent Financial Life™️is the solution to investors’ stress and confusion about money. It connects every facet of their finances through an ecosystem focusing on data aggregation, along with data-driven advice and solutions propelled by technology and intelligence. The next-generation Envestnet Client Portal is a one-stop-shop where clients can analyze account performance, review financial goals and create budgets. Advisors can customize the Portal and allow clients to set their own dashboard preferences, providing a unique end-to-end experience. After consolidating all aspects of the client’s financial life and connecting them with future goals, advisors can use data analytics and software to connect clients to the right solutions. This feedback loop helps advisors demonstrate how spending and investing decisions impact future financial goals.
Wealth Manager Platform of the Year: Honoring a wealth management firm whose investment advisory platform exemplifies innovation in delivering better outcomes for investors and financial advisors
- LPL Financial—Model Wealth Portfolios—LPL Financial’s Model Wealth Portfolios (MWP) platform has become an industry-leading advisory service. MWP offers portfolios from 17 internal and external strategists. In addition, LPL advisors are able to manage their own models through MWP’s Advisor Sleeve, while institutions and RIAs using LPL’s platform can manage their own models using Firm Sleeve.
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
- Ariel Investments—Ariel Investments is an independent money management firm founded in 1983 and built on a philosophy of patient, long-term investing. Ariel is also the first African-American-owned asset management firm in the country. The firm offers five proprietary mutual funds and nine separate account strategies. In 2021, Ariel launched a private asset management firm, Ariel Alternatives, to scale minority-owned businesses—creating supply chain diversity for the Fortune 500 and helping to close the racial wealth gap.
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
- Clark Capital Management Group—Clark Capital’s breadth of strategies and services has resonated with advisors, and Clark Capital has subsequently delivered 7 straight years of double-digit organic growth and anticipates a 7.5% growth rate in 2022. In spite of significant market headwinds, the firm finished May with $26.9 billion in AUM, up from $24.8 billion in May 2021. Despite experiencing tremendous growth, the firm has remained steadfast in its commitment to preserve its independent and employee-owned culture. As a result, the firm was recognized as one of Philadelphia’s Best Places to Work for the fourth year in a row.
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
- Franklin Templeton—As the industry’s sixth largest independent asset manager, Franklin Templeton offers clients the best of both worlds: global strength and boutique specialization. With a deep understanding of their clients’ global businesses, Franklin Templeton offers a broad range of services as part of its tailored relationship experience along with creating innovative and customized solutions. They champion client ambitions and collaborate with their internal experts from across the firm (investment management, sustainability, distribution, and technology) to deliver value through investments as well as value beyond investing. Additionally, Franklin Templeton pays attention to ensuring coordinated, consistent global execution of our joint strategic priorities.
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—Global Alternative Investing Infrastructure—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 investment strategies.
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 218 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.
Kelly Caporale, Money Management Institute, email@example.com, (646) 868-8514