Allocators’ Choice Awards: Nominations Are Now Open

Be sure to nominate your peers, bosses, and team before August 9.

Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Nominations are now open for Institutional Investor’s third annual Allocators’ Choice Awards, to be held in New York City December 3.

The event will honor the best institutional investors in categories like “Turnaround of the Year,” “Deal of the Year,” and “CIO of the Year.” Winners will be announced over dinner at the Mandarin Oriental, which will follow an afternoon forum for an elite group of asset allocators and managers called the Masterclass. There, attendees will explore and debate the biggest issues confronting institutional investors today.

Nominations for the Allocators’ Choice Awards will be accepted until August 9. You can submit your nominations here.

[II Deep Dive: T.J. Carlson Named CIO of the Year]

Anyone can nominate candidates for any category. Institutional Investor’s editorial team will vet the nominations and select finalists, which will be announced on September 3. Voting will then begin, and only asset allocators — folks who work for pensions, nonprofits, sovereign wealth funds, and the like — will be able to cast ballots for the winners. Votes are due on October 4, so make sure to cast your ballot.

Categories and last year’s winners are as follows:


Partnership of the Year

Think: Texas Teachers’ strategic partnerships with large private equity houses. Don’t think: Simply buying off-the-shelf asset management services. Last year’s winners: Alaska Permanent Fund, Public Institution of Social Security of Kuwait, RPMI Railpen, and Wafra, which teamed up to provide seed capital to “next-generation” private equity and alternatives managers.

Turnaround of the Year

Think: Cleaning up New York State Common Retirement Fund after the pay-to-play scandal. Don’t think: Doing the same thing as last year; making an already-great fund marginally better. Last year’s winner: Harvard Management Company, lauded for CEO Narv Narvekar’s ongoing efforts at the long-underperforming Ivy endowment.

Advocate of the Year (New Category)

Think: Allocators fighting effectively for their members, organization, or profession. For example, MassPRIM leader Michael Trotsky’s successful campaign to revamp his team’s compensation or a junior allocator educating the masses via Twitter. Don’t think: This necessary means ESG investing, or that the person needs to be CIO level.

Change Maker of the Year

Think: Iconoclastic. United Technologies’ annuity-style 401(k) option; CalPERS divesting from hedge funds. Don’t think: A larger or especially successful implementation of the industry status quo. Last year’s winner: the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, which was honored for its model of separating alpha and beta.

Team of the Year

Think: The group that once populated the Chrysler treasury function — and that subsequently spread out to become CIOs throughout the corporate and endowment fund universe. Don’t think: Your OCIO; a superstar CIO with deputies no one seems to know. Last year’s winner: University of Notre Dame.

Investment Committee/Board of the Year

Think: A public pension board that lowers its assumed rate of return, despite political pressure. Don’t think: Famous names alone are enough. Last year’s winner: Catholic health system Mercy.

Chief Investment Officer of the Year

Think: Larry Kochard, during his tenure at the University of Virginia’s endowment. Any investment chief exhibiting all-around excellence at portfolio construction, risk management, asset allocation, manager selection, board relations, and talent development — or one who has built a team achieving all that. Don’t think: Only CIOs of large funds. Last year’s winner: Texas Municipal Retirement System chief T.J. Carlson.