For 12 years, Envestnet and Investment Advisor have partnered in researching and then naming the SMA Managers of the Year to honor those money managers in the SMA space whose strategies are the best in the business.

Earlier this year, analysts at Envestnet | PMC with access to the universe of SMA strategies got to work to find those strategies whose performance is above their peers in multiple categories.

In addition, we name a manager of the year in impact investing and this year, two “strategist” awards that honor an entire firm for its multiple strategies and one that supports advisors with practice management help in various formats.

The analysts winnow down the candidates by looking for those managers whose strategies:

  • Exhibit a repeatable, clearly defined process and alpha thesis
  • Consistently capture significant market upsides while avoiding major downside exposure
  • Are widely available to advisors, on multiple platforms and deliver good customer service
  • Are open to portfolio customization by end clients, particularly when it comes to tax awareness
  • Are led by senior managers with long tenures supported by knowledgeable analysts and support staff
  • Are part of an organization that values the strategy, shown by firm resources and assets devoted to the strategy
  • Are part of an organization that values its managers and employees by its ownership and organizational structure

One important note: The Envestnet | PMC analysts know the numbers very well, but they also know the managers well through regular onsite visits. Such direct, personal knowledge of a firm’s culture often informs the awards committee’s decisions.

2016 SMA Managers of the Year Finalists

Here are the 17 strategies that are finalists for the 12th annual Envestnet-Investment Advisor SMA Managers of the Year awards:

U.S. Equity Large-Cap (two awards)

  • Brown Advisory — Large-Cap Growth
  • Schafer Cullen — High-Dividend Value Equity
  • Victory NewBridge — Large-Cap Growth
  • Montag & Caldwell — Large-Cap Growth

U.S. Equity Small- or Mid-Cap (two awards)

  • EARNEST Partners — Mid-Cap Value
  • Congress Asset Management — Mid-Cap Growth
  • Tributary Capital Management — Small-Cap Equity
  • Kayne Anderson Rudnick — Small-Cap Growth

International or Global Equity (one award)

  • Harding Loevner — Global ADR
  • Cambiar Investors — International Equity ADR
  • Acadian — International Equity ADR

Fixed Income (one award)

  • GW&K Investment Management — Municipal Bond Strategy
  • Tom Johnson Investment Management — Intermediate Fixed Income

Strategist (two awards)

  • JAForlines — Global Tactical Solutions
  • Sage Advisory Services — Tactical ETF Strategies
  • Russell Investments — Multi-Asset Class Strategy
  • Vanguard — Multi-Asset Class Strategy

Impact (one award)

  • Boston Common Asset Management — International Equity SRI
  • Breckinridge Capital Advisors — Intermediate Term Tax-Efficient Sustainable Bond

Manager of the Year

  • All of the winners in each category are finalists for this overall SMA Manager of the Year award.