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Industry Spotlight > Advisors

Inside the LUMINARIES Program: Methodology

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Our LUMINARIES recognition program honors the top financial advisors and firms moving the industry forward in ways that matter most to financial professionals and the communities they serve.

The following details highlight the process of how the finalists and winners of 2022 are selected. On Nov. 17, the select group of winners will be announced on stage at the program’s second awards dinner and gala in New York.

Category Selection

The program is based on several evolving categories that are reviewed each year by the editorial team and revised in light of changes in industry best practices, priorities and trends, in order to focus on efforts that truly are taking the industry to the next level. For 2022, the themes are Community Impact; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Executive Leadership; and Thought Leadership & Education. 

The Nomination Process

Individuals and firms complete a nomination form for themselves and/or others via an online platform, which requests detailed data, metrics and examples that show the nominees are meeting category criteria.

All nominations are given equal consideration. Editors do not dictate the nomination pool and work to ensure that the field of honorees is as open and broad as possible. An email marketing campaign targeting a database of 350,000 contacts is conducted over 12 weeks to encourage entries. 

Nominees are encouraged to answer each question in detail and to avoid repetition in the information being submitted in the form.

The Judging Process for Finalists

All nominations are reviewed by our editorial team using the criteria posted online. Out of hundreds of submissions, a percentage of candidates are selected as finalists, with a large number of nominations being excluded.

The criteria for the selection of finalists and winners include: the nominee’s qualitative and quantitative impact on the firm, its advisors, the broader professional community, industry and investors nationwide; a demonstrated ability to achieve goals and display ingenuity in terms of creative thinking and problem solving — i.e., filling a significant gap — and to serve the best interests of investor clients and the broader community in which they live and work; and a personal commitment to the highest ethical standards, service and excellence.

The Judging Process for Winners

An independent judging panel of 12 industry experts reviews the list of finalists and selects the winners, which represent a small percentage of the finalists. The judges include widely respected and diverse leaders from across the industry. 

The selected winners are honored at an awards ceremony to highlight their achievements and inspire the next generation of leaders.

Coverage Plan

LUMINARIES finalists and winners are highlighted through a year-round coverage plan on and in Investment Advisor magazine, designed to celebrate their achievements as well as to offer advice and best practices for moving the industry forward.

A biweekly editorial briefing highlights leaders from the year’s LUMINARIES class, selected based on editorial merit and the power of their individual stories.


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