Awards Categories


Our 2019 Awards Categories

There are 44 categories in the Risk Awards 2019, listed in full below, along with the judging criteria for each.
To find out more about the judging process, please click here

House category:

  • Derivatives house of the year:

Banks nominating themselves for derivatives 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 regulatory change will be important, as will discussion of new technology initiatives - and risk management, as always, is a key criterion. Submissions have to include details of risk management processes and systems, how the firm reacted to difficult market conditions and to regulation, and granular detail on performance. We will require evidence to back up claims. In addition, customer references should be included - they have often made the difference in deciding the winner.

Market-making categories:

  • Interest rate derivatives house of the year
  • Currency derivatives house of the year
  • Equity derivatives house of the year
  • Credit derivatives house of the year
  • Inflation derivatives house of the year
  • Structured products house of the year
  • Risk solutions house of the year

As above, submissions should include case studies and key deals. Firms should include details of risk management processes and systems, technology initiatives, engagement with and adaptation to regulatory change, and granular detail on performance. We will require evidence to back up claims. As well as meeting with the relevant heads of desk, we may also need to meet risk managers - market risk, credit risk, CVA – and may need a demonstration of risk systems. We will need client references, including names, numbers and email addresses. There's no limit to the number of categories banks can make submissions in.

Non-bank market-making:

  • Rates flow market-maker of the year
  • Equities flow market-maker of the year
  • Currencies flow market-maker of the year
  • Streaming liquidity provider of the year

These categories recognise non-banks that quote prices in interdealer, dealer-to-client or all-to-all markets. Firms should pitch on the basis of strength in either listed or OTC derivatives products, but cash market activity will be considered as well. Market access, volume, response times, ticket sizes and reliability during periods of market stress will all be considered – and must be backed up with data and client feedback. We will also need detail on how the firm manages risk. The streaming liquidity award is for firms that quote prices direct to bank trading desks, and will be judged using similar criteria.

Deal category:

  • Deal of the year:

Pitching banks should present a case study that highlights creativity, teamwork and a good outcome for the client – the resulting risks must be shown to have been managed appropriately.

Individual awards:

  • Lifetime achievement

This will be awarded to a person that has made a significant contribution to the development of the derivatives/risk management industry. The winner is selected from a shortlist drawn up by the editorial team, but nominations can also be made by the candidates themselves, by colleagues or by employers/customers. Nominations should outline why he/she should win the lifetime achievement award and demonstrate the contribution he/she has made to the development of the market.

  • Quant of the year
  • Buy-side quant of the year

These categories are a little different. The winners are decided by Risk readers themselves. For the Quant of the year award, Risk asks past and present contributors to the Cutting Edge section of the magazine, as well as magazine subscribers, to vote for the top quantitative paper over the previous 12 months. The winner of Buy-side quant of the year is chosen in the same way, from among contributors to the Cutting Edge Investments section.

Buy-side categories, risk management:

  • Best asset manager, risk management
  • Sovereign risk manager of the year
  • Pension fund of the year
  • Insurer of the year
  • Reinsurer of the year
  • Best hedge fund, risk management

These awards are given for best practice in risk management. Submissions should outline risk and capital management processes, policies and systems, and describe any improvements made to the risk and capital management functions at the firm over the past year. Particularly important is how teams have responded to regulatory and market changes and how they have contributed to business strategy and performance. Ideally, the value of the risk function will be demonstrated in one or more case studies, showing how the firm has managed a particular source of exposure, anticipated or responded to a market move.

Buy-side categories, investment:

  • Best asset manager, quant investing
  • Best hedge fund, quant investing
  • Best emerging hedge fund

These awards are given in recognition of a firm’s success in applying evidence-based systematic investment techniques to deliver good risk-adjusted returns. The emphasis is on the firm’s approach and research – not only performance – and may highlight creativity, robustness, technical rigour or technological innovation.

  • Best asset manager, pensions and insurance solutions

This award is for asset managers working to meet the specific risk management and investment demands of pensions and life insurance clients with long-dated liabilities.

  • Institutional investment product of the year

This recognises an investment product that demonstrates innovation in meeting the investment and risk requirements of institutional investors.

  • Retail investment product of the year

This award is given for a product that applies innovative and creative structuring to meet the investment and risk requirements of retail customers. It could be an insurance product, a savings or an investment product.

  • Best quant research

This award will go to an independent research house for its quantitative research.

  • Indexing firm of the year

This award is for providers of indexes tracking systematic strategies.

Risk management categories:

  • Bank risk manager of the year
  • Credit portfolio manager of the year

These awards recognise achievement by an institution’s risk function, not by an individual risk manager. Applicants should outline risk management processes, policies and systems, and describe any improvements made to the risk function over the past 12 months. The value of the function should be evidenced via one or more case studies showing how specific exposures have been managed during the past 12 months.

Market structure and support categories:

  • Exchange of the year
  • Exchange innovation of the year
  • Clearing house of the year
  • Clearing house innovation of the year

Our exchange and clearing house of the year should be able to boast a range of achievements – from volume growth to product or geographic expansion – but risk management will be a key consideration for clearers. The innovation awards recognise creativity: pitching firms should select a single new product, service, technology change, or risk practice that has helped the firm and/or its users.

  • OTC client clearer of the year

This category is for the OTC client clearing businesses offered by dealers and other, non-dealer institutions. Submissions should focus on what the candidate has done to build its business this year, how it has engaged with stakeholders to shape the evolving OTC clearing space, and how its services are being received by clients.

  • OTC trading platform of the year:
  • OTC trading platform innovation of the year:

These categories encompass all OTC derivatives platforms – single-dealer, multi-dealer, Sef, MTF, aggregator. Pitching firms can highlight success in a range of ways: increased volumes, product or geographic scope, adaptation to regulatory change, popular or creative trading protocols or order types, reliable IT, etc. The innovation award recognises creativity specifically: platforms should select one new development to highlight.

  • OTC infrastructure service of the year:

This category recognises firms that provide services for the post-reform OTC markets. Portfolio compression or optimisation, trade reporting, margining, confirmations and reconciliations are just examples - any service designed to improve the efficiency of the market will be considered.

  • Law firm of the year:

Firms pitching for these awards should be able to show (and be willing to discuss in detail) a track record of work on derivatives- and risk-related cases/topics, including work related to post-crisis markets reform and/or prudential regulation.

Technology categories:

  • Technology vendor of the year
  • Fintech start-up of the year
  • In-house system of the year

Pitches are not required for the technology vendor of the year category – the winner will be one of the firms that has also won one or more categories in Risk’s separate technology awards, and will be based on information gathered during that process.

The in-house system award is for proprietary technology developed within a bank for its own use. Fintech startup is for firms that have been set up within the past three years – the business should provide some kind of service or product for front-office risk managers or the derivatives markets.