EXCLUSIVE: Winners Of Family Wealth Report 2020 Awards

Editorial Staff March 19, 2020

EXCLUSIVE: Winners Of Family Wealth Report 2020 Awards

Here are the comments made by judges about the winners and the highly commended organizations and persons at this year's awards for outstanding practitioners in the North American wealth management sector.

Here are the winners of the Family Wealth Report Awards 2020 and we've set out comments of the judges about their reasons for honoring the outstanding individuals and firms entering this year's program. Congratulations to all involved. 

These citations are a reminder of how important judges are to our awards program. They put in a tremendous amount of work sifting through applications, examining submissions and reaching decisions. A list of the judges can be viewed here. Judges don’t evaluate firms in their immediate sector to avoid conflicts of interest and access to potentially sensitive information. The team at FWR would like to thank the judges for their diligence and care. The team at FWR also wishes to thank all firms who entered the awards and congratulate the firms and people who made it to the shortlist stage. 

The awards are a chance for the industry to showcase itself and measure progress in delivering outstanding value for clients. As present events show, the need for carefully crafted advice has never been more urgent and important. 

(A separate report, about Rob Elliott, winner of the Lifetime Achievement award, is published here.)

Category sponsors for the awards were Bray Executive Search; F2 Strategy; Key Private Bank; SEI and smartKYC. 

Portfolio Management: 
Black Diamond Wealth Platform

“The winner’s submission demonstrated elegant integration of trading, reporting and analysis, and it was this that particularly inspired judges in this category.”

Client Communications: 

“Our winner impressed judges with their ground-breaking use of E-signature with pdfs, and with the social aspects of many of their workflows.”

Diversity in WM - Company:
Darc Matter

Our winner is demonstrably diverse in its make-up – indeed in its very DNA.

Consolidated Reporting: 

“With a highly-focused approach on the complex data source needs of family offices, our winner offers a personalized client experience with content organized in a secure digital vault.”

Marketing or PR Campaign:
Cerity Partners

After a long discussion our assessors agreed that their winner displayed very strong leadership.  Their marketing messages strongly reinforced in the repositioning of the new entity.


“Built to help educate the client on risk, one judge said the winner ‘elevates risk management to a science’.”

Outsourcing/Business Process Outsourcing: 
SEI Family Office Services, (formerly SEI Archway)

“Judges were impressed by their winner’s detailed submission which provided a number of case studies that demonstrated how private banks, MFOs and other financial institutions can benefit from its services.”

Accounting (Tech vendors): 
Asset Vantage

“Judges were impressed by their winner for its elegant solution for dual entry accounting and aggregating performance reporting.”

Innovative Client Solution (vendors): 
Canoe Intelligence

“Our winner is commended for its innovative AWS-based, multi-layer encryption and delivery of investment reporting process developed for alternative investments.”

Innovative Client Solution (advisors): 
RBC Wealth Management

“Here our winner was applauded for its investment in advisor efficiency tools. It embraces mobile technology to create an innovative platform for advisors.”

Customer Facing Digital Platform: 

“One of our judges said this firm ‘...has moved the needle here from an industry standpoint’ by integrating client’s data into actionable workflows.”

Best Insurance Brokerage Provider:
Crystal, Alliant Private Client

“Our winner offered a clear explanation of its proactive approach to coaching clients. They supplemented this with a clear example centered on alcohol and adults as well as others across its submission.”

Insurance Underwriter:
PURE Insurance

“Our winner distinguished itself amongst the judges by showing how it promotes transparency, eliminates conflict whilst reinforcing an alignment of interests among its stakeholders.” 

Cyber Security:

“Our winner offered specific detail on its service offerings, including its provision of a wide range of apps. It also gave great detail about its staff, retention rate and focus on R&D.”

Healthcare Services:
Black Bag

“The judges were impressed by the glowing testimonials contained within our winner’s submission which was both specific and non-trivial in nature.”

Concierge/Specialist Service Firm:
JDJ Family Office Service

“It was the evidence of the delivery a personalized suite of financial and lifestyle services to streamline its clients’ busy lives that most impressed the judges in the winner’s submission.”

Property & Household:
TAG Bill Pay

“Our winner’s submission focused on a critical area of business ethics: the importance of paying bills on time.”

Art & Private Collections:
Ronald Varney Fine Art Advisors

“Assessors noted that our winner has stamped his personality on this market and shines by being a real advocate for his clients.”

Tax & Accountancy Advice:
PKF O’Connor Davies Family Office

“The recipient of this award has an outstanding commitment to the UHNW sector which amply demonstrates its commitment to its clients, thus displaying its distinctive character.”

Philanthropy Advice:
Strategic Philanthropy

“Our winner offers a complete A to Z of philanthropic services to clients which impressed judges with their comprehensive nature.”

Family Office Management Consultancy:

“The international approach of this firm’s work added an important dimension to its very impressive submission.”

Family Wealth Counseling:
Fiduciary Trust Company International – winner 

“Judges determined that in this highly competitive category their winner should be recognized for doing great things in wealth transfer and is demonstrably tech-enabled in so doing.”

Abbot Downing – highly commended
“They are the real deal – and have been in this area for the long term.”

Solutions for International Americans:
Citi Private Bank

“As we have seen around the world in our other award programs, judges here similarly recognized that this is a really great global business.”

Legal Team:
Handler Thayer

“Our winner’s workload for single and multi-family offices was a standout feature of its submission, as were its widely recognized planning tools and structures.”

Independent Fiduciary or Trust Services:
Fiduciary Trust Company International

“There’s a spring in their step and [they] have a dominant presence in their part of the market.”

Institutional Fiduciary or Trust Services:
Key Private Bank

“Our winner shone through by demonstrating its high-touch integrated delivery model and service-oriented culture in a submission bursting with relevant examples.”

Wealth Planning – Institutional:
Wells Fargo

“The judges commented that their winner has an ‘amazing wealth management business’ populated with ‘exceptional’ wealth planners.”

Wealth Planning – Other:
Gresham Partners

“Our judges remarked that their winner was like a ‘best kept secret’ having repositioned recently.”

Private Client Investment Platform:
Evercore Wealth Management

“The winner is completely fit for purpose and it impressed with its bespoke approach.”

Responsible Investing/ESG Investing:
Sonen Capital

“The winner displayed a singular focus and has demonstrated concrete achievements in its submission.”

Alternative Asset Management:
Citi Private Bank

“The winner impressed with being a fine leader in the industry, its well-rounded offering and it is global in nature.”

Best Outsourced CIO:
Tiedemann Advisors

“Here our winner illustrated how it is totally focused and responsive to the client agenda.”

Best Asset Management Firm Serving Family Offices and PBs:
Capital Counsel

“The winner of this category focuses on companies it has rigorously researched and understands. By investing in profitable, growing companies with sustainable business models, it has helped its clients achieve their goals through outperforming benchmarks.”

North American PB:
Citi Private Bank

“The judges were very impressed: with the submission from this firm. ‘Quite a set-up!’, said one. ‘Many new initiatives this year,’ said another.”

MFO – Client Initiative:

“Our winners ‘Wealth Momentum Initiative’ is what wowed the judges in this category.”

MFO – New Entrant:

“One judge described this as the ‘All-time best launch with very good strategy with obvious flexibility’. It has very good teams and benefits from being well capitalized.”

MFO up to $2.5 billion AuM:
Northwood Family Office

“Assessors observed that their winner reported very good metrics in what has been a traditionally difficult market in which to excel.”

MFO - $2.5 billion to $5 billion AuM:

“Judges noted that their winner is a wirehouse team reconstituted as an RIA who take their fiduciary duties very seriously.”

MFO - $5 billion to $15 billion AuM:
WE Family Offices

“This winner is seen in the industry as being uniquely positioned benefiting from an iconic leader whose influence pervades throughout the firm.”

MFO – More than $15 billion AuM:
Tiedemann Advisors

“It was remarked that tonight’s winner has ‘hit its stride’ and is making excellent advances in pursuing its well-defined plan.”

Thought Leadership Individual:
Northwood Family Office – Tom McCullough – Winner

“Of the winner one judge said our winner’s co-authored publication – Wealth of Wisdom: The Top 50 Questions Wealthy Families Ask - was the most important book in this area of the year.  This substantial contribution is supported by a regular podcast.”

Family Wealth Consulting and The Consulting Practice of Dennis T Jaffe – James Grubman and Dennis T Jaffe – Highly Commended
“The commendation goes to a longstanding collaborative partnership that has made profound advances in new concepts and competencies related to the advisor-client relationship.”

Thought Leadership Other Companies:

“The first winner in this section is strong investment centric and highly focused on education.”

Thought Leadership Tech Companies:
Tegra118 (Formerly Fiserv Investment Services)

“Speaking before the recent announcements of the company’s takeover, one judge with a degree of prescience said that Cheryl Nash is leading her company out of the wealth management wilderness.”

Women in Wealth Management – Company:

“You just have to look at their stats on women in leadership positions to recognize the emphasis our winner places on recognizing and rewarding merit.”

Women in Wealth Management, Banks – Individual:
Shannon M Kennedy, BMO Family Office

“Judges noted that their winner has many outstanding and demonstrable qualities and enjoys the interaction she has with clients and staff alike.” 

Women in Wealth Management - MFO/Wealth Managers:
Rhona Vogel, Vogel Consulting    

“Our winner is commended for the consistency and quality of approach in serving clients, and to sharing her expectational level of domain expertise.”

Women in Wealth Management - Advisors (Individual):
Susan R Schoenfeld, Wealth Legacy Advisors

“As founder and CEO of a woman-owned business in the male-dominated financial services industry, our winner spends untold hours helping young women who are trying to break through the glass ceiling. 

“She is one of the few women on the national speaking circuit who is guiding financial services firms and their clients to connect with the human side of the client relationship.”

Leading Individual 
Chris Zander – Evercore Wealth Management

“The citation recognizes that our winner is in many ways an unsung hero, but highly esteemed by the industry as a whole.”

Leading Individual – MFO
Leslie Voth, Pitcairn

“The recipient of this award was made chairman of the board and CEO - the first non-family chairman and first female chairman of her company. She is much loved by colleagues.”

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