IMAP Awards 2018: Recognising industry excellence

On 1 August, the inaugural IMAP Managed Account Awards were presented across seven categories. Following is a review of the award methodology and the winners.

There was stiff competition this year across the seven categories in the inaugural IMAP Managed Account Awards, with Sydney-based Stanford Brown taking out the coveted award for Licensee Managed Account.

At a ceremony in Sydney on 1 August, the following winners were announced across the seven categories:

Australian Equities – SG Hiscock & Company

Australian Equities Small Cap – Macquarie Investment Management

International Equities – DFS Portfolio Solutions

Multi Asset Class – The Lunar Group

Other Asset Classes – Real Asset Management

Innovation – Elston Asset Management

Licensee Managed Account – Stanford Brown


Speaking about the overall quality of entries for the 2018 IMAP Awards, Angela Ashton – a director at Evergreen Consultants and one of the six judges for the awards – said there was a wide variety of entries, with a large number of high quality submissions.

She said entries revealed an “extraordinary range of offerings” that provided access to just about every asset class available. However, she noted that ‘communications’, ‘investment process’ and ‘cost’ were three of the key areas in the managed accounts sector that judges believed improvement was needed in over the coming years.

“Communications were lacking for some entrants, while others did not clearly explain their investment process,” Ashton said. “Others were more expensive than it seemed they should be.”

However, what did impress the judges were the quality of some of the entries across all the areas they were looking for, including: good teams, well-developed investment processes, reasonable fee structures and impressive results.

“But some of the entrants were not as professionally presented as others,” Ashton said. “There were some weaknesses in the sizes of teams and investment processes that weren’t well explained or a little less transparent than others. So, there is always room for improvement.”

Judging criteria

In terms of the judging criteria for these awards, the portfolio needed to be offered through a managed account structure with the following features:

  • Recognised legal structure – registered MIS, MDA, IDPS-like, IDPS model.
  • Investments directly held by or on behalf of each investor, i.e. not a pooled structure.
  • Model based.
  • Clear discretion held by the portfolio or investment manager.

Importantly, the portfolio also needed to have a clear objective and a benchmark.

For the Asset Class portfolios, the judges took into account:

  • Performance;
  • Risk measures, including standard deviation and Sharpe ratio;
  • Weighted average cost of investment, both directly and considering the underlying investments; and
  • Qualitative criteria, including the resources available to the portfolio management organisation and the structure.

For the Licensee Managed Account category, the criteria applied to single sector portfolios, with the judges also considering:

  • The investment committee structure and resourcing;
  • The way in which the portfolios reflected the advice firm’s investment philosophy and appeared to be integrated with it;
  • How the managed account service fitted with the client proposition; and
  • Supporting materials, including communications about portfolio management and portfolio changes.

The Innovation Award category recognised those activities that had been designed to improve the:

  • Operation and process of managed accounts;
  • Adoption by advisers and licensees;
  • Investment options;
  • Technology used to support managed accounts; and
  • Other functions the judges thought were worthy of recognition.


Judging panel

This year’s judging panel for the awards included:

Stuart Alsop – Head of Data Australia/NZ for Financial Express.

Angela Ashton – Co-founder and director at Evergreen Consultants.

Nigel Douglas – Chief Executive Officer at Douglas Funds Consulting.

Brad Matthews – Founding Director at Brad Matthews Investment Strategies.

Dominic McCormick – Head of Investment Strategy/Portfolio Manager, Select Funds at Select Investment Partners.

Mark Oliver – Head of Managed Accounts, Macquarie Wealth Management.

Toby Potter – Chair, IMAP.

Following is a review of each category winner.

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