To be judged by the Risk.net editorial team.
Europe house of the year
Issuers nominating themselves for Europe structured products house of the year should be strong in at least three asset classes. Case studies detailing how the bank has best met the needs of clients should play a large part in the submissions. Tactical and strategic adaptation to market dynamics will be particularly important - and risk management is a key criterion. Submissions must include granular detail on performance. We will require evidence to back up claims. In addition, client testimonials should be included - they may make the difference in deciding the winner. Issuers may nominate themselves, but the editorial team may also select a winner from among the issuers submitting for the other awards.
Equity Derivatives house of the year;
FICC house of the year
As above, submissions should include case studies and key deals. Firms must include details on structured products processes and systems, engagement with and adaptation to regulatory change, and granular detail on performance. As mentioned, we will need client testimonials.
Retail structurer of the year;
Institutional structurer of the year
Houses submitting for the structuring categories must demonstrate superior pricing and product manufacturing capabilities relative to their peers. Size is not a prerequisite for success, however; firms who can demonstrate structuring prowess in niche markets - bespoke annuity products for insurers, for instance - or a willingness to price products where others can't should also submit. Case studies of key deals are a must.
Deal of the year:
This award offers an issuer the chance to showcase a landmark deal from the last 12 months. The parameters of this category are deliberately broad: it could be given in recognition of the successful pricing and sale of an innovative product by one issuer, or a sizeable deal to sell an established product to a new investor, for instance. Submissions should outline the terms of the deal, and describe why the trade is special. This could be in terms of a deal's size, the speed at which it was put together, its novelty, or combination of factors. Testimonials from the client or clients involved, as well as other service providers involved (e.g. law firms) are important for this category.
To be judged by a panel of distributors:
Benelux house of the year
Central and Eastern Europe house of the year
France house of the year
Germany house of the year
Italy house of the year
Nordic region house of the year
Iberia house of the year
Switzerland house of the year
UK house of the year
Banks entering themselves for one of the country or regional house of the year awards should be able to demonstrate strength across a range of flow products, and either a sizeable market share gain or defence of a position of strength in their core markets. Case studies detailing how the bank has best met the needs of its diverse client base should play a large part in the submissions. Evidence of tactical and strategic adaptation to market important will be considered - and risk management is an important criterion. In addition, customer testimonials should be included - they may tip the balance in deciding the winner.
Breakout issuer of the year
This category seeks to recognise an issuer that has made strong gains in key markets across Europe, breaking in to an established back in a given country, region or asset class - or a combination of all three.
Product launch of the year
This award is aimed at a specific product issue that has performed spectacularly - both in terms of volumes sold and returns achieved for investors. Entries are invited from all jurisdictions, and will be considered on their relative merits.
Bank technology provider of the year
This award seeks to recognise excellence in technology and service provision from issuers via their single-dealer platform and other channels, such as email autopricing solutions. Innovations in the face of particular problems - whether market or regulatory driven - will play an important part in determining the winner of each category, as will all-round continued excellence in terms of client service provision to firms in the structured products marketplace.
Index provider of the year
ETF house of the year
These awards seek to recognise innovation in the indexing and exchange-traded funds space. A novel smart beta strategy, an ETF that's consistently beaten the market, for instance - entrants will be considered on their relative merits. ETF providers that act as authorised participants should demonstrate a strong awareness of compliance issues in the ETF marketplace. Dealers and specialist providers may both submit; each should provide client references amongst buyside users of the product.
To be judged by a panel of issuers:
Law firm of the year
Law firms pitching for this award should be able to show - and willing to discuss and evidence in detail - a strong track record of advisory work for issuers. The award will not be granted on the basis of advice relating to vanilla issuance and documentation issues, but, principally, on advice related to ongoing regulatory initiatives impacting the structured products and wider equity derivatives markets: Priips compliance; the forthcoming TLAC framework and related prudential regulations; ongoing scrutiny of proprietary indexes; and reforms of the ETF market.
Best pricing and analytics platform;
Best reg-tech initiative
These awards seek to recognise excellence in provision from independent software vendors. Innovations in the face of particular problems - whether market or regulatory driven - will play an important part in determining the winner of each category, as will all-round continued excellence in terms of client service provision to firms in the structured products marketplace.
Exchange of the year
Submissions may include details of new equity derivatives contracts, improvements in technology, trading volumes, etc. Where exchanges offer OTC equity derivatives clearing, advances and improvements here - clearing for new product types such as total returns swaps, for example - will also be considered, along with regulatory engagement and risk management.
Distributor of the year
This category is aimed at distributors and other intermediaries that have excelled in the past 12 months - either by shifting strong product volumes or by showing particular innovation, for instance. Entries should include details of notable trades and exclusive distribution deals with key issuers.