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Editor's Letter: Awards Season

More than 220 firms and organizations were selected as finalists in one or more of the 93 categories for the 2021 Industry Awards.

Our judges have spoken, and we have announced the finalists for our seventh annual Industry Awards.

You’ll find a list of the firms here, but that doesn’t reflect the magnitude of the nominations, nor the variety of the initiatives for which these firms are being recognized.

For those unfamiliar, the Industry Awards are meant to recognize the best business initiatives that help financial advisors build better practices and better serve their clients. It’s not the firms themselves being judged, but rather the particular initiative rolled out, or enhanced, over the previous year.

If the number of new initiatives that were submitted for award consideration is any indicator, the business of financial advice flourished during the pandemic. We received more than 900 entries from 346 companies, an increase of over 40% from previous years.

After our judges evaluated them all, 221 firms and organizations were selected as finalists in one or more of the 93 award categories, covering the entire ecosystem of firms that support financial advisors, including asset managers, custodians, broker/dealers, support platforms and technology, as well as a handful of individual industry leaders at RIAs and broker/dealers.

Technology, as always, is fertile ground for these awards; one-third of the categories fall under the technology umbrella, and this year we saw several quality initiatives in the relatively new categories of blockchain and cryptocurrency, as well as artificial intelligence. Innovation is alive and well in wealth management technology.

For advisors, the list of finalists should be seen as a kind of pre-vetted shopping guide, highlighting the best work being done by the vendors and service providers that could move your business, and the industry, forward. Please take some time to explore the initiatives in further detail at

Speaking of awards, I’d be remiss if I did not mention that was named Best Media Brand for Overall Editorial Excellence by judges of the 2021 Jesse H. Neal Awards in our size category. The Neal awards seek to highlight the best in business-to-business journalism—it’s a big honor, and I want to publicly and personally thank the staff here for making it possible. 

Furthermore, we were named as finalists in three other categories; Diana Britton’s article on public school teachers who are too often aggressively sold terrible retirement plans, and the advisors trying to stop it, was a finalist for Best Single Article; Patrick Donachie’s series of articles on the nuances of advisors taking Paycheck Protection Program loans was recognized as a finalist for Best News Coverage; and our July 2020 issue of the magazine, dedicated to diversity and inclusion in wealth management, was a finalist for Best Single Issue.

For many, it’s been a tough year, so these awards are welcome recognition for efforts made in less-than-ideal circumstances.

As we move beyond the pandemic, I hope to see many of you again out in the real world soon.

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David Armstrong


TAGS: Technology
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