Prudential, Bridgewater, Others Repeat as Industry Innovation Award Winners

Strategic Investment Group, Russell Investments, and State Street join Prudential and Bridgewater as repeat winners in aiCIO’s annual award series; a slew of firms make their first appearance.

(September 4, 2012)–Prudential, Bridgewater, Strategic Investment Group, Russell Investments, and State Street have all repeated as winners for aiCIO’s Industry Innovation Awards.

However, only Strategic Investment Group–the investment-outsourcing firm based in Arlington, Virginia and headed by Hilda Ochoa–has repeated in the same category.

First-time winners include Och-Ziff Capital Management in the hedge fund space, Invesco in the Strategic Beta Management category, and TIAA-CREF in the real estate space. 

This is the third year that aiCIO will host the Industry Innovation Awards. See last year’s winners here.

Overall, the awards are broken down into five broad categories: Core Investments, Alternative Investments, Strategy& Tactics, Servicing, and Holistic.

A full list of asset management/servicing category award winners is below. Asset owner category finalists will be released on Monday, September 10, with winners being announced at a dinner on December 4 in New York City. For a list of 2011 Industry Innovation Award Winners, click here.

Core Investments

Fixed-Income (US): Cutwater Asset Management
For the firm’s focus on liability-driven investing (LDI) and, in particular its novel work on corporate pension glide-paths, holistic approach to LDI, and Risk Analysis Manager system.

Fixed-Income (Global): Lazard Asset Management
For the exemplary work being done by firm’s emerging market debt team–recently hired from HSBC–within the hard currency, local currency, corporate, and securitized debt markets.

Equities (US): Select Equity
For being focused first and foremost on asset management, not asset gathering, and for its truly long-term investment horizon that matches the requirements of institutional investors.

Equities (Global): MFS Investment Management
For the firm’s large and growing array of global investment products and stellar record of returns, as well as for its particularly strong focus on serving the institutional marketplace.

Emerging Markets: Investec
For the firm’s breadth and success in emerging market investing, and for its continuing willingness to rapidly expand its emerging market product range across both debt and currency sectors.

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Alternative Investments

Private Equity: Blackstone (Special Mention: KKR, Apollo Global Management)
For the firm’s pioneering work on strategic partnerships with America’s largest public pension plans, including its recent work with the New Jersey state pension.

Hedge Fund: (Two Winners)

Citi Capital Introductions (Cap Intro)
In an age where direct alternative allocations are almost universally on the rise, for the group’s aggressive work–within a larger context of Citi’s efforts to work with pension funds–in bringing asset owners and hedge funds together.

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (Management)
For the firm’s willingness to develop customized separate accounts and altered fee structures for large institutional investors, as well as continued strong performance in its core offerings.

Real Estate: TIAA-CREF
For the firm’s long-standing commitment to global diversification, as well as more recent work in the energy infrastructure space.

Strategy & Tactics

Strategic Beta Management (includes risk-parity products): Invesco
For the firm’s work in the risk parity space and, in particular, its drive to move the strategy into the defined-contribution world.

Liability-Driven Investing: Legal & General Investment Management
For the firm’s rapid growth in and commitment to the American LDI market following the establishment of a leading UK-based LDI business, and for its thought leadership in the use of swaptions within LDI portfolios.

Pension Risk Transfer: Prudential
For the firm’s unprecedented pension risk transfer deal with General Motors.

Investment Outsourcing: Strategic Investment Group
For the second year in a row, for the firm’s commitment to responsibly growing its business while providing clients with best-in-class asset management and client relations.

Tactical Risk Management (includes tail-hedging products): (Two Winners)

Mcube Investment Technologies (Active Tactical)
For the firm’s work with asset owners via its AlphaEngine software that aids funds in managing assets dynamically.

Russell Investments (Passive Tactical)
For the firm’s work with clients on trading execution tied to tactical asset allocation programs, notably with the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association, among others.

Foreign Exchange: No Award Given
With both the custodial FX and currency-fund industries in flux, it was decided that no award will be given in 2012.


Transition Management: (Two Winners)

For its work during the past year with UK-based pensions who were questioning their transition management costs.

J.P. Morgan
In a controversial industry, J.P. Morgan is widely regarded as a steadfast and honest player.

Securities Lending: eSecLending
For its pioneering work in forging a new model of securities lending and its commitment to building out its team with well-respected industry veterans.

Custody (Master Trust/Global Custody): State Street
For its willingness–through the State Street Center for Applied Research–to share cutting-edge research with its major custodial clients.

Custody (Asset Management Servicing): BNY Mellon
For its continuing commitment to working with the world’s largest asset managers and hedge funds, especially in the middle- and back-office outsourcing space.

Investment Consultant: Albourne Partners
For being the go-to consultant as pensions increasingly turn to direct hedge fund investing, and for its commitment to community building through their Albourne Village platform.


Overall Pension/E&F-Focused Unit: Bridgewater Associates
For the firm’s long-acknowledged commitment to not just asset management, but also asset maintenance via its large investment in highly-regarded client relations teams and support infrastructure.

Methodology: The aiCIO Industry Innovation Awards are split into two general categories: asset management/servicing (the above listing) and asset owners (nominees of which will be announced next week). Nominations were open from June 1, 2012 until August 1. With input from our awards Advisory Board (Rich Goldman, formerly of Guggenheim Investments; Dan Gallagher, formerly of Los Angeles’ City Employees Retirement System; David Nixon, formerly of the Electronic Data Systems pension; and Jay Vivian, formerly of the IBM Retirement System) as well as surveys and data where applicable, the aiCIO editorial team makes the final decisions as to nominees and winners.