We have made a number of changes to the category list for the 2023 awards in response to feedback we have received.
This year, the awards incorporate the Pension Scheme of the Year Awards, with three categories - Pension Scheme of the Year, Best Pension Scheme Communication Strategy and Pension Risk Reduction Initiative - dedicated to the achievements of pension schemes themselves.
The full list of categories for the 2023 awards is:
- Actuarial/Pensions Consultancy of the Year
- DC Consultancy of the Year
- Investment Consultancy of the Year
- Pension Lawyers of the Year
- Pensions Litigation Firm of the Year
This category looks to recognise those who work in pensions litigation and dispute resolution – looking to reward the firms that have conducted both high profile pensions cases in the trustee, corporate and public sector arenas but also those who can resolve such disputes behind ‘closed doors’ at an early stage.
- Risk Reduction Adviser of the Year
- Fiduciary Evaluator of the Year
This category looks to recognise those firms who evaluate, select and monitor fiduciary managers.
- Sponsor Covenant / IRM Adviser of the Year
- DC Pension Provider of the Year
- DC Investment Manager of the Year
- DC Multi-Asset Fund Manager of the Year
- DC Master Trust of the Year
- DC Innovation of the Year
The DC Innovation of the Year category is a wide-ranging category that rewards the firm that has innovated most in the DC space in the 12 months to 31 December 2021. This could include the launch of new DC offerings, new consulting services, investment innovation, technology solutions and services, communication, guidance and advice offerings etc. Judges will look at the extent to which your firm has developed new services, products and offerings for clients and the extent to which these innovations helped pension schemes, sponsors, trustees and scheme members.
- Investment Manager of the Year
- Fiduciary Manager of the Year
- Institutional Investment Platform Provider of the Year
- Equity Manager of the Year
- Fixed Income Manager of the Year
- Factor Investing Manager of the Year
- DB Multi-Asset Manager of the Year
- Emerging Markets Manager of the Year
- Real Estate Manager of the Year
- Alternative and Private Markets Investment Manager of the Year
The wide-ranging Alternative and Private Markets Investment Manager of the Year category will rewards the asset management firm that has excelled most in the alternatives and private markets space over the 12 months to 31 December 2022. Areas this category will cover will include hedge funds, private equity and infrastructure as well as private debt. It will also include more specialist alternatives such as agriculture and timber. Please note, however, the category is not limited to these specific areas and other alternatives will be considered in this category also.
- ESG Manager of the Year
The ESG Manager of the Year category aims to reward excellence among those managers who can best demonstrate how they integrate ESG across their product range as well as those who offer specific ESG focussed funds and strategies such as impact investing. Entrants should focus specifically on how they have improved their ESG processes and performance during the year, The award will focus on achievements made over the12 months to 31 December 2022.
- Impact Manager of the Year
The Impact Investment Manager of the Year category aims to reward excellence among those managers who can best demonstrate how they create a positive social or environmental impact with their strategy. Entrants should be able to outline the objectives of their fund as well as how well they have met them during the year. The award will focus on achievements made over the 12 months to 31 December 2022.
- Liability-Driven Investment (LDI) Manager of the Year
- Cashflow-driven Investment (CDI) Manager of the Year
- Risk Reduction Provider of the Year
- DB Investment Innovation of the Year
- Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award
This category is open to the providers, advisers and asset managers that provide services to occupational pension schemes and trustees. It aims to reward those firms that best promote diversity and inclusion within their own workforce as well as those who have contributed to industry-wide initiatives in this area. Judges will, in particular, look at initiatives launched and conducted during the year to 31 December 2022.
- Independent Trustee of the Year
- Third-Party Administrator of the Year
- Technology Innovation of the Year
- Pensions Communication Initiative of the Year
- DB Master Trust / Consolidator of the Year
This category is open to both DB master trust and superfund consolidators. Entrants, however, will need to be able to demonstrate they have had new business wins in the year to 31 December 2022.
- Educational and Thought Leadership Initiative of the Year
The Educational and Thought Leadership Initiative of the Year category specifically aims to reward the consultancy or provider which has worked hardest to help trustees and employers understand the complex world of pensions and investments and those that have broken new ground in terms of pensions knowledge and understanding – either developing new ideas to help solve the issues pension schemes and trustees or challenging current orthodoxies over the 12 months to 31 December 2022. Judges will look at the extent to which consultant and provider initiatives have helped trustees understand complex topics, make better decisions or look at things in a new way. Initiatives may include such things as thought leadership, articles, whitepapers, seminars, conferences, videos etc
- Retirement Innovation of the Year
Pension Scheme of the Year Award Categories:
The following three categories are only open to non-commercial pension schemes. Commercial providers such as insurers offering GPPs, master trusts and consolidators should enter the provider awards above. We do, however, welcome employer entries that are supported or put forward by commercial providers, but they must be in the name of client scheme or employer not in the name of the provider themselves.
- Pension Scheme of the Year *** NEW FOR 2023 ***
This category is open to both DB and DC schemes of all sizes but is not open to entry by commercial master trusts (which are covered by the 'DC Master Trust of the Year' and 'DB Master Trust / Consolidator of the Year' categories above.
Judges assessing this categories will be looking at innovations the scheme has made over the 12 months to 31 December 2022; what entrants have done to improve member experience, service and outcomes; improvements and innovations they have made to their investment strategy; and how they have successfully engaged and communicated with their members. It will also assess how funds have improved their governance and administration during the period as well as at-retirement processes as applicable.
- Best Pension Scheme Communications Strategy *** NEW FOR 2023 ***
This category is open to both DB and DC schemes of all sizes but is not open to entry by commercial group personal pension providers, master trusts or consolidators (which would be covered by the ‘Pensions Communication Initiative of the Year’ categories above. GPP providers and commercial master trusts are, however, allowed to put forward an entry on behalf of one of their employer or pension scheme clients.
Judges assessing this category will be looking for evidence of a successful communications or engagement project or strategy – particularly looking for evidence on the effectiveness of its communication, the way it has used technology to support its strategy and any innovations it has employed.
- Pension Scheme Risk Reduction Initiative *** NEW FOR 2023 ***
This category is open to DB schemes that have undergone or are undergoing a risk reduction exercise – be that the use of bulk annuity products such as buy-in or buyout; the use of longevity swaps or through things like member option exercises.
Judges will look at how trustees assessed potential reduction offerings, how they implemented the strategy and how the strategy fits in with the rest of the scheme's asset portfolio and will develop in the future. It will also assess how the risk reduction exercise was communicated to members.