The 2021 Categories


The list of categories for 2021 are below. The majority of the categories are open for entry, however some are based on independent data and judging. Next to each category that is open for entry, you will find an example form where you can find the questions that will be asked of you when entering. Please note - this form is a template and will not be accepted as your entry. All entries must be made using the online portal. 

Adviser of the Year - London | Midlands & East Anglia | North East | North West | Scotland | Northern Ireland | South East | South West | Wales

(Requires entry: case study and questionnaire)

This award seeks to highlight outstanding advice processes by setting a challenging case study kindly provided this year by the Personal Finance Society. There is also a brief questionnaire that all applicants are required to complete. 

Download the example entry form


Best Model Portfolio Service

As there is no direct relationship between a model portfolio service (MPS) provider and the end-client, the support and communication on offer to financial advisers is a critical consideration. So, while performance, cost and investment process will be under the microscope, the judges will also be looking for MPS solutions that offer advisers a range of options – for example, ethical, active, passive, income for a range of risk profiles and availability across a choice of platforms. In addition, examples of supporting documentation to ensure advisers select a suitable solution for clients will be important while evidence of communications delivered to advisers in the last 12 months, covering performance and amendments to portfolios for use with clients, will also be considered. We are also looking for those who offer great value for advisers and their clients, justifying any higher costs where necessary. The winner will be selected by an independent panel including financial advisers.

Download the example entry form


Best Discretionary Fund Manager

Performance matters, so we are looking for discretionary fund manager (DFM) businesses that can demonstrate they have met their clients’ investment goals over the last 12 months – whether through bespoke portfolios or a full range of DFM investment solutions. (DFM businesses that focus principally on model portfolio services may prefer to enter the preceding category.) We are also looking for those who offer great value for advisers and their clients, justifying any higher costs where necessary. The judges may also be keen to know how you manage risk within the portfolios, and what reporting you provide to advisers and their clients. The winner will be selected by an independent panel including financial advisers.

Download the example entry form


Best Risk-Profiling Service for Advisers

Risk-profiling tools have become an integral part of the advice process since the Retail Distribution Review but which one is currently offering the best all-round service to financial advisers? Key considerations for the judges will be the strength of the risk-profiling service on offer, how your business helps advisers interpret client results, the clarity of objectives and principles involved and any ‘added-value’ aspects of, or new innovations within, your service. The winner will be selected by an independent panel including financial advisers.

Download the example entry form


Best Ratings/Research Service for Advisers

Advisers need all the help they can get these days and the increasingly complex world of fund selection is no exception. We are looking for the fund ratings and/or research provider that has provided the best service for advisers in the last 12 months. Key considerations for the judges will be the depth, breadth and objectivity of research and ratings, how they help fulfil client needs, the clarity of objectives and principles involved and any ‘added-value’ aspects of, or new innovations within, your service. The winner will be selected by an independent panel including financial advisers.

Download the example entry form


Best Platform for Advisers

We are not judging platforms on sales figures. Instead, we want to hear from platforms that believe they give advisers and their clients the best all-round service and experience.

Download the example entry form


Best Platform for Discretionary Management

We are interested here in the platforms that believe they best enable advisers to offer a comprehensive discretionary managed, investment-led service to their more affluent clients.

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Best Technology Provider

This award is open to all providers of technology to regulated financial advisers and advisory businesses. With advisers desiring greater cohesion between their front and back-office operations, and with new artificial intelligence developments in the space such as robo-advice, we want to hear from those providers who have demonstrated innovation in the last 12 months while putting their adviser clients front-of-mind throughout. The winner will be selected by an independent panel of judges including financial advisers. 

Download the example entry form


Best Support Services for Advisers

What has your company done in the last 12 months to help your adviser clients or users grow their businesses and support their own clients? What particular challenges and opportunities do you see for your adviser clients in the coming years and how are you helping them to prepare or take advantage of them? Are you providing a type of support service for advisers that they struggle to find elsewhere and what sets your own offering apart from your competitors? The winner will be selected by an independent panel of judges including financial advisers.

Download the example entry form


Best Advice Network

What has your network done in the last 12 months to help your adviser members grow their businesses and support their clients? What particular challenges and opportunities do you see for your adviser members in the coming years and how are you helping them to prepare or take advantage of them? What support are you offering firms opting for the independent or restricted advice routes? What help are you providing for succession planning? Overall, how are you helping advisers feel valued? The winner will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

Download the example entry form


Best Adviser Website

This award is open to financial adviser firms only. A website is your shop window so it would be a rare adviser business these days that did not have one. But what sets yours apart from the crowd? If you believe your website has a winning combination of great design, simple and consumer-friendly navigation and excellent content that adds up to an all-round great user experience, this is the category for you. The winner will be selected by an independent panel of judges including marketing experts.

Download the example entry form


Best Client Engagement (Advisers)

This award is open to financial adviser firms only. How, why, when and in what way do you engage with your clients? We are looking for firms that have come up with powerful and/or innovative ways to communicate with their clients in the last 12 months. What have you done beyond a brochure and a website to explain to existing and potential clients what your business does and can do for them? If you believe you have gone the extra mile to engage with clients, we want to hear about it.

Download the example entry form


Best Client Engagement (Providers)

This award aims to recognise investment, pension, protection and other providers who go the extra mile in helping advisers to educate themselves and so become better able to inform their clients on a particular area or areas of finance. We are therefore looking for companies that have come up with powerful and/or innovative ways to help advisers better educate, inform and communicate with their clients in the last 12 months. What have you done beyond a brochure and a website to help advisers explain to clients what your services and solutions are – and can do for them?

Download the example entry form


Best Adviser Firm for Vulnerable Client Care

This new award for 2021 aims to recognise advisers who have provided the best care for their vulnerable clients during the coronavirus crisis. With that in mind we are looking for advisers who can prove and outline why they have gone above and beyond to ensure they felt financially secure and confident in this troubling year. Have you gone further than your monthly or quarterly newsletter to reassure clients? Explain how you knew your extra efforts ensured particularly vulnerable clients were well-looked after and remained financially comfortable.

Download the example entry form


Tax-efficient Adviser of the Year

Recent years have seen tax-efficient solutions re-establish themselves as a key part of the financial adviser’s armoury but who is the making the most effective use of what is on office. This award will recognise either an individual adviser or firm of advisers who can demonstrate not only their breadth of knowledge of this area but how they are making the most of that knowledge to benefit their clients, all the time balancing the potential rewards with the associated risks.

Download the example entry form


Paraplanner of the Year

What are we looking for? We are calling on advisers and product providers to nominate the paraplanner who has most impressed them in the last 12 months. Paraplanners are also encouraged to enter themselves for this award - you do not have to be nominated. With this award we are looking for you to outline how and why the paraplanner has made a difference, both to their working lives and to outcomes for clients, over the last 12 months.

Download the example entry form


Best Financial Adviser to Work for

Who are the best financial adviser firms to work for? To answer that question and honour the leading candidates, Professional Adviser is running its third annual Best Financial Advisers to Work for survey and awards. To nominate a firm or to find out more information, please click here 

Best Multi-Asset Group for ESG

As the rise of ESG investing grows among savers and advisers, we want to hear from the fund managers who are integrating ESG factors into the core of their businesses and investment propositions and are clearly communicating their strategies. Please consider the following questions in your entries.


Best Multi-Asset Fund for ESG

We would like to see a fund that has clearly defined aims centred on ESG factors, as well as a strong track performance and clear communication of the strategy to financial advisers. Please consider and answer the following questions in your entry.

Download the example entry form

Best ESG Solution for Advisers

We would like to see a solution that has clearly defined aims centred on ESG factors and a benchmark, as well as a strong track performance and clear communication of the strategy to financial advisers. Please consider and answer the following questions in your entry. Open to DFMs and all other product providers running ESG portfolios or solutions for advisers.


Best Adviser Firm for ESG

Financial advice firms that have integrated ESG factors into the centre of their investment processes or have created a segmented part of their investment proposition centred around ESG. Suitability in this area is key, so we want to hear from firms who make sure they understand and balance client needs and wishes in this area. Please consider and answer the following questions in your entry.

Best Multi-Asset Fund: High Income 
(No entry required. Based on independent data and adviser judging panel)


Best Multi-Asset Fund: Long-Term Growth 
(No entry required. Based on independent data and adviser judging panel)


Best Multi-Asset Fund: Positive Return 
(No entry required. Based on independent data and adviser judging panel)


Best Multi-Asset Fund: Pragmatic 
(No entry required. Based on independent data and adviser judging panel)


Best Multi-Asset Fund: Rising Income 
(No entry required. Based on independent data and adviser judging panel)


Best Multi-Asset Fund: Volatility Target 
(No entry required. Based on independent data and adviser judging panel)


Best Multi-Asset Group

(No entry required. Based on independent data and adviser judging panel) 

Adviser Personality of the Year
(Not open for entry)

Adviser Firm of the Year
(Not open for entry)