The Structured Products awards have a very simple objective: to recognise excellence and innovation. This is the second year that we have noted achievements in the European market, and it has to be said that the quality of pitches and interviews was even stronger than last year.
Awards have been broken down into four sections. Our innovation of the year award was open to every company active in the structured products market - be they distributors, index providers, or technology companies. In this category, we looked for something that has really made the market sit up and take note.
Our structurer awards were open to the banks who manufacturer derivatives-based investment products. These awards incorporate all major asset classes from credit to foreign exchange. This year, we have included two new categories, foreign exchange and structured funds, recognising just how important such products have become to the overall development of the European markets.
Our distributor awards, meanwhile, were open to the companies that sell these products to investors, whether that is at the retail or high-net-worth level. Again, we have added a new category with the Central and Eastern Europe award, since the region is providing some interesting opportunities for structured products professionals.
Finally, specialist awards recognise innovations by companies dedicated to a particular core function. The categories for exchange of the year, index provider of the year and technology company of the year were particularly competitive.
Winners were chosen from a large field in every category, after careful consideration by the Structured Products editorial team. Over the past year, we have noted achievements and asked the market for their opinions as to who is the best in the business. We took these comments on board, conducted our own research and devised a shortlist for each category. We then conducted interviews with the respective companies, spoke to their clients, and decided upon the winner in-house. Decisions were not made lightly and we carefully examined the strengths, and weaknesses, of every institution we spoke to.
It's important to note that we don't simply award companies who happen to be the 'biggest'. Rather, we look for evidence of innovation in the form of novel product offerings, dedication to industry initiatives and excellence in financial engineering, and so on. We also place weight on client feedback - particularly in the structuring section.
There can only be one winner in each category, and we will not divulge the names of any shortlisted candidates. However, we appreciate the time that every shortlisted institution took to present their case to us.
Structured Products congratulates all the winners, and encourages those who missed out to look forward to next year's awards.
Award write-ups were compiled by Paul Lyon, John Ferry, Daniel Sheehan, Amanda Lee and Hardeep Dhillon.
Click here for the full awards contents