Nominations Are Now Open for the Allocators’ Choice Awards

Nominate your peers, boss, and team before June 18.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

Deadline Extended: Submit your nominations by June 18!

Nominations are now open for Institutional Investor’s fourth annual Allocators’ Choice Awards, to be held in New York City on September 22.

After a hiatus in 2020, the Allocators’ Choice Awards are returning to honor the best institutional investors in categories like “Partnership of the Year,” “Change Maker of the Year,” and “CIO of the Year.” Winners will be announced over dinner at the Mandarin Oriental.

Nominations for the awards will be accepted until June 11. You can submit your nominations here.

Anyone can nominate candidates for any category. Institutional Investor’s editorial team will vet the nominations and select finalists, which will be announced later in the month. 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.


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. 2019 winners: Hartford HealthCare and Eversource Energy’s pension fund, for a collaborative relationship that pools allocator talent for strategy, manager due diligence, and supporting causes.

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. 2019 winner: Cornell University, for CIO Kenneth Miranda’s rejuvenation of the school’s underperforming endowment.

Advocate of the Year

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 necessarily means ESG investing, or that the person needs to be CIO level. 2019 winner: Hartford HealthCare’s CIO David Holmgren, for interpersonal advocacy and generosity with his with his time, ideas, and network.

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. 2019 winner: Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, for its commitment to investing with diverse businesses and asset managers.

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. 2019 winner: The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s deep bench of talent led by CIO Jason Klein.

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. 2019 winner: The State of Wisconsin Investment Board, chaired by Associated Banc-Corp executive vice president David Stein, for maintaining a competitive compensation program and turning SWIB into a successful asset management organization.

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. 2019 winner: Kim Lew, then-CIO of the Carnegie Corp. of New York, for her strong leadership of the $3.5 billion endowment.