Benchmark defines the competition by three distinct groups of stakeholders: Investment Management, Trustee, and Sponsors, all performing specific functions to serve the members of their schemes.
BCT Group ("BCT") is named Trustee of the Year at the Benchmark MPF Awards 2021. Benchmark recognizes BCT as the best performing Trustee of the year with their excellence in discharging their fiduciary duties, creativity, and leadership in Risk Management, Employer Support, and Member Servicing. BCT has demonstrated excellent board oversight and risk management integration from the front to mid and the back office while focusing on the prevention against fraudulent withdrawals and mis-selling activities. BCT has also achieved the highest scores in Employer and Member Servicing with highly adaptive technology and servicing improvement protocols led by the senior management team. Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited ("HSBC") was the first runner-up for the title.
Manulife (International) Ltd ("Manulife") won the highest score for Investment Manager and is named Investment Manager of the Year at the Benchmark MPF Awards 2021, with the highest winning ratios in qualitative and quantitative categories. Manulife was recognized for its strategies in delivering sustained, consistent outperformance on a risk-adjusted basis while maintaining excellence in Benchmark's pillars of Investment Approach, Performance & Risk, Portfolio Management, Stewardship, and Corporate Quality. Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited ("HSBC") was the first runner-up for the title. A special commendation for their excellent stewardship and very high-quality standard for ESG integration to their investment strategies.
Sun Life Hong Kong ("Sun Life") is named Sponsor of the Year at the Benchmark MPF Awards 2021. Sun Life has surprised the panel with its exciting and high-quality Investor Education programs targeting the younger ones. The company also received overwhelming jurors' support for their intermediary support, ensuring intermediaries are kept abreast of the relevant market news and developments, while great use of technology to enhance the employee-client experience, including those who are less tech-savvy.
"We want to be clear to the public that what makes an excellent MPF provider is their ability to withstand a stressful environment like now and their ability to protect their members from taking unnecessary risks while generating respectful returns. Our sister company, BlueOnion, played a crucial role in identifying the providers' underlying investments' sustainability, ensuring no green or blue washing activities. I truly admire companies that are willing to be transparent, diligent, and aspiring to do better, despite business disruptions under a pandemic of a lifetime. On the contrary, firms who see a lesser need for transparency or who are not walking the talk of sustainable performances have taken a few steps back," says investor activist organizer Elsa Pau.
About Benchmark Fund of the Year Awards
The 18th Benchmark Fund of the Year Awards organized by WealthAsia Media ("WAM") has gained a solid industry reputation for running distinguished awards safeguarded by powerful gatekeepers from global institutions. The awards can be interpreted as a buy-side driven and a client-centric initiative. Banks' gatekeepers and service users such as asset owners will dominate the awards' decision-making process. The awards also raise awareness of responsible investing and drive better practices in responsible and sustainable investing.
BlueOnion is Benchmark's research tool that empowers institutional investors, asset owners, and private banking gatekeepers to find, screen, and monitor the sustainable performance of over 290K mutual funds covering 40K+ issuers in 99 countries, with over 300 key indicators spanning 22 sectors and 130 industries. It uses the three-lens approach by peeling back the funds' layers in their investment returns, Sustainability performance, and forward-looking Qualitative capabilities. BlueOnion holds managers accountable for their ESG strategies by analyzing their sectors, industries, and investment/divestments actions to validate that they follow their stated ESG integration philosophies. The data-driven process for outcomes reflects how they have taken materiality issues of specific ESG issues into their investment processes.
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About the Gatekeepers Forum
The virtual event in 2021 involved 47 sessions delivered by 57 senior fund house representatives, with 51 judges and gatekeepers occupying 283 seats over three days. The Gatekeepers' Forum is a sub-set of the judging process, with four to six jurors holding a two-way conversation with the manager of a contesting strategy. The Forum allows the contestants' CIO or Portfolio Manager to showcase how they are running a profitable system and respond to technical questions raised by the gatekeepers. The Gatekeepers' Forum is a highly curated platform that connects both the buy and sell-side of funds and empowers gatekeepers from Private Banks, Institutions, Foundations, Single and Multi-Family Offices to look under the hood before they invest.
About WealthAsia Group
WealthAsia Group is a profit-for-purpose organization – a purpose-driven organization with a mission to drive best practices in the finance community by emphasizing social responsibility and advocating for investors' protection. Our business model focuses on industry benchmarking, assessment, and ranking to help financial institutions improve.
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