EARLY  BIRD CLOSING  COUNTDOWN

The awards are given to best-practice Independent Financial Advisories and their service levels based on a defined set of customer-centric judging criteria.

Please note that the descriptions under each category are the high-level criteria for each company to determine its eligibility to enter.  Once an entry is made, a separate set of detailed questions will be offered through the submission portal assigned to each company.  

Categories available for 2021:

Measuring the success of an independent financial advisor (IFA) is by their endurance and performance under the current stringent regulatory environment, and market volatility is more complex than ever. We are looking to award a broker with 100 seats or less that has rigorous processes to find the least expensive, complicated, or risky products to achieve its objectives.

The following metrics measure the award:

Product Onboarding – The investment selection and onboarding requirement and sell discipline and the infrastructure to provide advice on various investment instruments, including mutual funds, equities, ETFs, debt instruments, etc., while offering the client a cost-efficient trading platform.
Range of Services – The wealth management services provided to clients, including research and advice, retirement planning, tax, estate planning, etc.
Portfolio Management – The process of building and maintaining an investment portfolio that adequately addresses the strategy to achieve the investor’s objectives and meet constraints, and use sophisticated tools to monitor the client’s mandates against current risks and performances
Administration – The administrative process to execute the portfolio management processes, including trading, clearing, reporting activities, and required functions.
Client Support – Servicing delivery and satisfaction, complaint resolution, client communication, reporting, execution, and frequency.
Corporate Governance – The governance framework, infrastructure, and an operating model that addresses the critical functions of the board’s role and oversight, responsibility and compensation, risk culture, people and talents, processes and technologies, and maintaining a diverse board of directors.
ESG Integration – ESG integration into the due diligence, the materiality issues identified at the fund house level, and the metrics used to monitor the improvement/deterioration of their ESG factors.

Measuring the success of an independent financial advisor (IFA) is by their endurance and performance under the current stringent regulatory environment, and market volatility is more complex than ever. We are looking to award a broker with 100 seats or more that has rigorous processes to find the least expensive, complicated, or risky products to achieve its objectives.

The following metrics measure the award:

Product Onboarding – The investment selection and onboarding requirement and sell discipline and the infrastructure to provide advice on various investment instruments, including mutual funds, equities, ETFs, debt instruments, etc., while offering the client a cost-efficient trading platform.
Range of Services – The wealth management services provided to clients, including research and advice, retirement planning, tax, estate planning, etc.
Portfolio Management – The process of building and maintaining an investment portfolio that adequately addresses the strategy to achieve the investor’s objectives and meet constraints, and use sophisticated tools to monitor the client’s mandates against current risks and performances
Administration – The administrative process to execute the portfolio management processes, including trading, clearing, reporting activities, and required functions.
Client Support – Servicing delivery and satisfaction, complaint resolution, client communication, reporting, execution, and frequency.
Corporate Governance – The governance framework, infrastructure, and an operating model that addresses the critical functions of the board’s role and oversight, responsibility and compensation, risk culture, people and talents, processes and technologies, and maintaining a diverse board of directors.
ESG Integration – ESG integration into the due diligence, the materiality issues identified at the fund house level, and the metrics used to monitor the improvement/deterioration of their ESG factors.

The Investment Management award aims to identify winning IFAs licensed to implement investment planning and management for clients. We are looking for winners with a stringent process to find the least expensive, complex, or risky products and demonstrate best practices in mitigating investors' risks and losses.

Contestants will be judged using the following criteria:

Management Commitment – The senior management's participation from business units, legal, compliance, risk management, and operations on new product offerings, vetting, and ongoing monitoring

Customer Protection – The processes which govern internal “ownership" for issues through a training program that is comprehensive, transparent, and easy to understand based on investor suitability profiles and risk profiling

Due Diligence Diligence – The process for onboarding and offboarding investments that are beyond the standard checkbox.  The workflow and screening process for fund/securities selection and under what circumstances are they off-boarded from the recommended list.

Product Viability – Products offered and risks associated with the product, including the product's structure or legal and credit risks, product complexity, and transparency of the product

Technology – The tools offered to allow customers access to the account for management. More importantly, the mechanism assesses and monitors client risk profiling, product mapping, and portfolio management.

This award aims to identify winning brokers licensed to implement financial planning and management for clients. We are looking for winners who possess the best knowledge and implementation for clients with financial planning needs.

Contestants will be judged using the following criteria:

Management Commitment – The senior management's participation from business units, legal, compliance, risk management, and operations on new product offerings, vetting, and ongoing monitoring

Customer Protection – The processes which govern internal “ownership" for issues through a training program that is comprehensive, transparent, and easy to understand based on investor suitability profiles and risk profiling

Due Diligence Diligence – The onboarding and offboarding insurance process, investment-linked products beyond the standard checkbox.  The workflow and screening process for product selection and under what circumstances are they off-boarded from the recommended list

Product Viability – Products offered and risks associated with the product, including the product's structure, fulfillment history and risks, credit rating, solvency ratios, legal risks, product complexity, and transparency of the product

Technology – The tools offered to allow customers access to the account for management. More importantly, the mechanism assesses and monitors client risk profiling, product mapping, and portfolio management.

What You Need to Know to Enter?

The BENCHMARK rating programs are not about simply handing out a rating or a trophy — they are programs designed to act on behalf of the customers to validate what is going behind the scenes of the providers and helping providers do better each year. The process removes the sugar-coating and prettification and digs deeply into the providers’ operations, values, and practices. The process also holds the companies accountable for their behavior.

Entry Opens:
Tuesday, November 8, 2021
Close of Entry:
Friday, November 19, 2021
Submission Deadline:
Friday, December 3, 2021
Results Announcement:
Monday, December 13, 2021
Awards Presentation:
Early January, 2022
Media Outreach:
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Social Media Campaign
January to February 2022

The candidates' submissions will be scored and voted by independent veterans and judges after the submissions have been assigned a score based on the weight of each pillar question.  

The BENBENCHMARK'sting programs are not simply handing out a rating or a trophy — they are programs designed to act on behalf of the customers to validate what is going behind the scenes of the providers and help service providers do better each year.

The process for crowing the winners  involves five simple stages:

1.  Choose the Categories you are either confident to compete in or gather industry insight into your capability in the area.
2.  After confirming the entries, you will answer a standard questionnaire in your submission portal. It would be wise to give examples and to attach relevant appendices, videos, and screen captures.
3.  Each pillar carries a different weight where the submission answers will be scored accordingly. 
4.  An independent judging panel of independent consultants and industry veterans across the region with valuable industry insights will contribute to the decision-making process while referencing the separate due diligence conducted with product providers who have an existing relationship with the candidate.
5. Finally, the candidates' final scores will be aggregated, and independent veterans and judges will vote the winners.

Participation Fees: USD 1,350 per category

The Benchmark Sustainable Wealth Forum is a knowledge exchange where industry leaders and winners of the Benchmark awards are featured. The Forum covers the financial eco-system and discovers the inside out of the providers’ practices that lead to a more sustainable industry through responsible and ethical investing in protecting the investors across multiple generations. The inaugural series covers the Winners at the Benchmark Wealth Management Awards of 2020. The topics covered in the Insurance series include topics from Product Proposition, Quality of Advice, Client Journey, Digital and Brand Value.

Between March and May of this year, we have helped seven winning companies gain over 200,000 impressions per interview on LinkedIn and Facebook with an average engagement rate of 3.16% compared to the market average of 2%.