Awards season is almost upon us. In November we will be publishing awards that celebrate excellence and innovation in the European markets, and awards for the Asia-Pacific region will appear in December. But it's a little misleading of me to suggest that we only think of awards following the summer in Europe. Far from it.
Throughout the past few weeks, I've received a mountain of phone calls and emails from companies pointing out that their competitor received an award last year, and arguing that it must be their turn now. It's hard not to laugh. And it's even harder to keep my composure when I have previously had no contact with these companies, sometimes despite our best efforts to speak with them about their products and other matters of interest to our readers.
The awards process is pretty straightforward. Throughout the year the Structured Products editorial team speaks with as many market participants as possible - this is how we get our stories. But when we're interviewing we also note achievements and, more often than not, ask people their opinions as to who the best companies in the market are - whether that's an index provider, structurer or distributor, and so on.
Couple this with our own research and we have a sound base for compiling a shortlist of institutions in each category. We then approach these companies and request an interview to ascertain just how innovative they have been. The trick for the shortlisted companies at this stage is to give us as much information as possible. We can see through PR spin in the blink of an eye and we respect those firms that are able to back up their claims for excellence with real-life details. We then decide the winners in-house, and our decision is final.
Some of you will be contacted in the next few weeks and I look forward to finding out why you think you deserve to win an award. To those companies who think a phone call or press release once a year - just before the awards are decided - is enough to triumph, then please think again.
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