NOVA Awards


Each year, Nicsa recognizes industry leaders for innovation and leadership across a number of categories within the asset management industry. The Nicsa NOVA Awards aim to showcase best-in-class initiatives, technologies, and leadership in asset management today.

The Awards recognize outstanding organizations and industry professionals that excel in the field of asset management by demonstrating exemplary leadership and innovation. Considerations include creative design and implementation of business initiatives resulting in positive and long-lasting contribution to their respective company and/or the industry as a whole.

Nicsa is proud to serve an industry built on the dedication to meet investor needs with outstanding client service—and recognize those who clearly demonstrate this commitment with the NOVA Awards.

The award categories are listed below. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, October 29.

The Nicsa NOVA Awards are historically presented at the General Membership Meeting (GMM) every October in Boston. Since the 2021 GMM will be virtual, we will recognize our deserving recipients later on via Nicsa’s multiple communication channels.  

Go here to view our 2020 NOVA Award Honorees.

2021 Nicsa NOVA Award Categories

Lifetime Achievement Award

The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award honors distinguished executives (or recent retirees) who, during their lifetimes, have made impactful contributions of outstanding leadership to the field of asset management. This visionary will have shown an extraordinary personal commitment to the industry across multiple areas over a significant period of time. This Award seeks to recognize members of the field who have devoted their professional lives to the development and betterment of the asset management industry. Nominees must have demonstrated at least 25 years of service to asset management and be current or retired employees of Nicsa member firms.

Outstanding Service to the Fund Industry Award (Robert L. Gould Award)

The Robert L. Gould Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual who has helped the fund industry better serve its investors by improving the quality of customer service.

This Award honors senior-level Operations Executives (or recent retirees) who have made a significant personal contribution to their organization and to the wider industry knowledge base of financial services operations. Candidates will have demonstrated exceptional thought leadership and influence within the fund operations community over a significant period of time.

The award seeks to recognize an individual whose advocacy has, during a distinguished career, significantly advanced and/or improved investment operations, and who by substantial service to Nicsa, has significantly furthered the cause and the mission of the Association.

The Robert L. Gould Award was established in 1987 by the Board of Directors of Nicsa in memory of a leader whose death at 54 years of age deprived the mutual fund industry of an unusually creative, innovative, and dynamic executive. Mr. Gould made a significant contribution to the financial services industry through the development of systems, methods, and procedures to better serve shareholders. At the time of his death, he was president of DST Systems in Kansas City, Missouri.

Strategic Leadership Award

The Strategic Leadership Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated excellence through cutting-edge thought leadership and business solutions with a wide scope of influence across the global asset management industry. Award winners are change agents that have set an inspirational example for, and made a long-lasting contribution to, the asset management industry by improving overall capabilities to serve investors.

Visionary navigation of industry trends requires excellence in thought leadership, exemplary adaptation of evolving fiduciary standards, and a dedication to the advancement of the client experience. Strategic Leadership Award winners demonstrate leadership through cutting-edge business solutions with a wide scope of influence across the asset management industry.

Innovation in Distribution

This award recognizes notable achievements to improve and enhance the strategy, distribution and servicing of asset management products as a result of transformational changes in organizational dynamics and/or the utilization of technology solutions, business intelligence and data analytics. This award recognizes firms or individuals that have made ground breaking changes which have resulted in transformation to distribution strategies for asset management products and the optimization of their distribution partnerships. The award considers achievements in providing value added services to clients as part of their distribution strategy.

This award recognizes achievements within national sales, key accounts, wholesaling, relationship management, investment consulting as well as transformational changes in organizations that provide outsourced distribution capabilities.

Innovation in Product Development and Marketing

This Award recognizes trendsetting product development and marketing teams within the asset management industry’s leading organizations.

Winners of this Award represent outstanding leadership in concept development and delivery resulting in "game changing" investment products and/or services that deliver enhanced value to shareholders. The Award may also honor ground-breaking marketing campaigns across a multitude of categories, including content marketing, customer experience, analytics, and/or creative use of mobile or social tools to enhance client engagement.

Innovation in Technology

This Award recognizes visionaries in the asset management industry that have developed or implemented ground-breaking technology which has delivered financial, performance, and/or risk-reduction benefits to investors.

The Award showcases distinguished pioneers who have advanced the integration of transformative technology in order to drive improved efficiency, productivity, and client service capabilities. Candidates will have demonstrated creative utilization of cutting-edge technology solutions or business intelligence initiatives.

Operational Excellence

This Award recognizes asset management teams or organizations that have implemented operational excellence programs to deliver outstanding business results and/or transformations. Candidates will have made meaningful and lasting contributions to the industry by optimizing back office performance in pursuit of world class operations standards.

Considerations include excellence in concept development and implementation of strategic initiatives resulting in process efficiency and/or performance improvement. Candidates will have demonstrated innovative methods to enhance systems and/or processes, generating impactful value for the asset management industry and enhancing the overall client experience.

Emerging Leaders

This Award recognizes investment professionals under the age of 40 demonstrating excellence in performance innovation with outstanding contribution to the development of asset management.

Candidates must demonstrate great potential in the field of asset management by exemplifying the enthusiasm and skills to become a transformational leader in the industry as well as the creativity and passion to deliver meaningful results to clients.