Gearing up for the Morningstar Awards

Industry's top awards event will mark 20th anniversary on Nov. 26.

Diana Cawfield 24 November, 2014 | 6:00PM
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This year marks the 20th anniversary of celebrating the Canadian investment industry and honouring achievements. The annual Morningstar Awards gala will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 26 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. It's the premier awards event for the industry.

More than 500 guests from across the industry will attend the event. Back by popular demand to serve as master of ceremonies is the CBC's Peter Mansbridge.

Attendees will include investment managers, senior financial-services executives and members of the media. The evening is an opportunity for nominees and winners to celebrate their achievements and be recognized by their colleagues and peers.

Throughout the evening, more than 40 individuals and firms will be recognized in a series of on-stage presentations.

The awards ceremony represents the culmination of an extensive, year-long evaluation of dozens of firms and industry individuals by analysts and experienced jury members. Their efforts are designed to help investors identify funds and fund managers that have been judged to be exceptional, as well as achievements in other areas of the industry. The coveted awards recognize companies and individuals that Morningstar believes have made a difference in the lives of investors through superior investment products, services and education.

The awards program encompasses a wide range of investment products, including mutual funds, pooled funds and hedge funds. Additional awards recognize outstanding individual managers, online brokerage, investor education, marketing, technology and career achievement.

The Career Achievement Award is one of the most anticipated highlights of the evening. This award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the investment community. The individual must have contributed significantly to the Canadian financial-services industry for more than 20 years. In addition, possible criteria for consideration include community involvement, commitment to education, philanthropy and enhancement of industry standards. The winner is selected by a jury convened by Morningstar.

Morningstar awards

Morningstar's manager-research team is the sole decision maker in the distribution of five of the gala's most coveted prizes. The team judges and presents Fund Manager of the Year awards in three categories -- Domestic Equity, Foreign Equity and Fixed-Income -- as well as selecting the ETF Provider of the Year and Analysts' Choice Fund Company of the Year.

Submission-based awards

Each year industry participants are asked to submit initiatives that have had an impact on specific aspects of the financial services community. Independent juries with representation across the industry, including Morningstar, then select the winners. Awards are distributed across six categories: online brokerage, career achievement, marketing, investor education, technology and ETF initiative. These submissions cost $1,000 each, with all proceeds going to a charitable beneficiary.

Fund-category awards

There are four categories of fund awards: mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, hedge funds and pooled funds. Independent juries, with representation across the industry including Morningstar, nominate and then vote on the winners.

Among the awards under the mutual-fund umbrella are:

  • Best Canadian Balanced Fund
  • Best Canadian Dividend & Income Equity Fund
  • Best Canadian Equity Fund
  • Best Canadian Fixed Income Fund
  • Best Canadian Small/Mid Cap Equity Fund
  • Best Emerging Markets Equity Fund
  • Best Specialty Equity Fund
  • Best Global Balanced Fund
  • Best Global Equity Fund
  • Best Global Fixed Income Fund
  • Best Global Small/Mid Cap Equity Fund
  • Best International Equity Fund
  • Best U.S. Equity Fund
  • Best U.S. Small/Mid Cap Equity Fund
  • Best High Yield Fixed Income Fund
  • Best Fund of Funds

In the ETF category, there are awards for Best Equity ETF, Best Fixed-Income ETF and Best Specialty ETF.

In the hedge-funds category, there will be three awards: Best Multi-Strategy or Fund of Hedge Funds, Best Opportunistic Hedge Fund and Best Relative Value Hedge Fund.

In the pooled-fund category, eight funds will be honoured.

The evening also supports a great cause. For the fifth year in a row, a charitable donation will be made to MusiCounts, Canada's music-education charity, which is associated with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The mission of MusiCounts is to ensure that children in Canada, regardless of socio-economic circumstances or cultural background, have access to music programs through their schools.

Stay tuned throughout the week for our continued coverage of the 2014 Morningstar Awards:

Tuesday
A look at the selection process for the ETF Provider of the Year award

Wednesday
An overview of the nominees for the Fixed Income Fund Manager of the Year award

Thursday
Our recap of the awards gala, including a complete list of the evening's winners
A feature on the Fund Company of the Year award winner

Friday
A summary of the nominees and winners in all three Fund Manager of the Year categories

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Diana Cawfield

Diana Cawfield  

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