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What You Need to Know

  • ThinkAdvisor's pioneering industry recognition program is accepting nominations through April 29, and there is no cost to participate.

We are pleased to announce the new submission deadline and other details for the second year of our pioneering recognition program — ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES — which celebrates top advisors, industry executives, teams, RIAs, broker-dealers, asset/investment/portfolio managers and other firms by showcasing their achievements in four key areas:

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 
  • Thought Leadership 
  • Executive Leadership   
  • Community Impact  

Nominations are being accepted through April 29, and there is no cost to participate.

As in 2021, the program and its related coverage will shine a spotlight on the quantitative and qualitative impacts that ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES are making on the industry, for both today’s and tomorrow’s advisors. We’ll also highlight the bold steps the winners are taking to drive the wealth, investment and retirement industry forward in more dynamic and inclusive ways. 

The program is not meant to emphasize asset levels or rankings — or the latest industry buzz. Rather, our awards and coverage of the winners ​will tell the stories of how top-performing industry participants are producing meaningful results in the areas that matter most to advisors.

In 2022, ThinkAdvisor will be accepting nominations for the new Community Impact category, which will honor those who lead community-focused efforts, serving as role models of excellence and demonstrable impact.

Nominees should have a record of achievement in building powerful community service projects in ways that can be replicated by others and that stand out in their communities — locally or nationwide.

New Judges

We’re also pleased that we have three new judges for the 2022 program:

  • Christine Benz, director of personal finance, Morningstar;
  • Jamie Hopkins, managing partner of wealth solutions, Carson Group; finance professor of practice at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business; and
  • Rose Niang, director of financial planning, Edelman Financial Engines

Morningstar’s Benz says that while the term “assets under management” is viewed as “shorthand in this business for how successful someone is,” recognition programs like the LUMINARIES “take a more expansive view and demonstrate that financial professionals can do great work, contribute thought leadership, and make an impact even if they’re not” working for one of the largest firms in the business. 

Carson Group’s Jamie Hopkins agrees and adds that industry recognition “inspires others to do innovative work by showing the impact of creating” something new. Awards programs, he explains, also “pull people together, people who might not otherwise meet and converse.” 

Events held to present awards — such as the LUMINARIES gala held in New York on Nov. 9, 2021 — allow for communication and community building, according to Hopkins. With their focus on the “great work” being done by financial professionals across the industry, these gatherings can be “super positive for growing your network,” he says.   

For Edelman Financial Engine’s Niang, the LUMINARIES and other recognition programs can “motivate those who may be thinking about taking action, and most importantly help move the needle on our shared goal of making sure our industry reflects those we hope to serve.”

Community Impact

All three of the new judges are pleased with the focus of the LUMINARIES’ new awards category: Community Impact. The area of focus “creates opportunities for advisors and firms to motivate and inspire tomorrow’s talent. It also assures us that we are building solutions that meet the needs of diverse communities,” Niang explains.

Industry veteran Mark Tibergien, who served as a LUMINARIES judge in 2021 and is doing so again 2022, points out that financial advisors “have multiple constituencies their clients, employees, service providers, stakeholders and the communities in which they practice.”

Historically, the industry “has celebrated assets and income,” according to Tibergien, now serving as advisor in residence for Ernst & Young Wealth & Asset Management. The “real opportunity to elevate the profession is to celebrate how advisory firms make an impact on important community causes by leveraging the wisdom and wealth they have accrued.”

Benz concurs and points out that many financial professionals aim to serve “not just their clients but their communities broadly speaking. They recognize that financial wellness and empowerment is inextricably linked to overall wellness and empowerment. …  I love this category because hearing about other’s contributions inspires me to think about whether I could do more to make a difference, too.” 

For her part, Niang believes that “through our work and our community initiatives, our industry can help better the lives of all people around us. The Community Impact Awards creates opportunities for advisors and firms to motivate and inspire tomorrow’s talent. It also assures us that we are building solutions that meet the needs of diverse communities.”

We invite you to complete nominations in the Community Impact; Thought Leadership; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and Executive Leadership categories by April 29 in the LUMINARIES event portal. Please send questions about the program to [email protected].