RIA Leadership Awards Guidelines

Award Categories

The RIA Leadership Awards recognize RIA members who demonstrated leadership in driving the growth and development of responsible investment in Canada during the calendar year 2020.

Organizational and Individual Awards will be granted in five categories:

  • Market Education: Driving awareness and demand for responsible investments
    >  Open to Organizational Members – Institutional Investors & Financial Institutions
  • Integration: Developing RI capacity of investment professionals
    >  Open to Organizational Members – Institutional Investors
  • Stewardship: Advancing practices and policies to support RI
    >  Open to Organizational Members – Institutional Investors
  • Service Leadership: Advancing market practices to support RI
    >  Open to Organizational Members – Service Providers
  • Individual Leadership: Implementing practices to drive awareness and demand for RI
    >  Open to Individual Members – Financial Advisors and Professionals

Key Dates for the 2021 Awards

  • February 12 – April 14, 2021: Submission Period
  • February 12 – February 28, 2021: Call for Judge applications
  • March 5, 2021: Judges selected and contacted
  • Mid April – mid May, 2021: Assessment period. Judges submit their scorecard to the RIA to compile the results
  • June 7, 2021: Winners announced at the RIA Virtual Conference

Eligibility

To be eligible for an RIA Leadership Award, submissions must meet the following criteria:

  • Membership – All Awards candidates must be members of the RIA for at least one year as of January 1, 2021. Awards candidates must be RIA members in good standing on the date they enter their submission, and on June 7, 2021 when the Awards are presented. Awards are available for both Organizational and Individual RIA Membership categories.
  • Note: Each Organizational Award also has specific sector eligibility as follows:
    • Market Education: Institutional Investors, including asset owners & asset managers, and Financial Institutions, including banks & credit unions.
    • Integration: Institutional Investors, including asset owners & asset managers.
    • Stewardship: Institutional Investors, including asset owners & asset managers.
    • Service Leadership: ESG/RI Service Providers, including providers of ESG research & data, ESG reporting & assurance, investment consulting, ESG consulting, proxy voting and engagement services.
  • Collaborative Projects –  Collaborative  Projects may be submitted, so long as at least 50% of the project’s participants are RIA members, or RIA members actively contributed at least 50% of the effort for the project. Simply sponsoring a project will not be eligible. All participants must agree to take part in the Awards before sending in their submission. Multiple submissions for one collaborative project will not be permitted; if multiple submissions are received, the RIA will encourage the participants to submit a single Collaborative submission.
  • Project Time Frame/Location – The activities described in the submission must have taken place or been implemented in Canada during the calendar year 2020. The Awards are open to both ongoing and completed projects. While activities might have been initiated prior to 2020, or may conclude after 2020, the submission will be evaluated on the basis of its reported results during calendar year 2020.
  • Previous Award Winners – Previous winners are welcome to make a submission to the 2021 RIA Leadership Awards, provided their 2021 submission relates to a different activity than was previously submitted.

Submission Process

The Submission/Nomination period will be open from February 12, 2021 to April 14, 2021 . All Awards candidates must be members of the RIA for at least one year as of January 1, 2021. Awards candidates must be RIA members in good standing on the date they enter their submission, and on June 7, 2021 when the Awards are presented.

An Individual or Organization can be nominated by another RIA member. The RIA will advise the Nominee of their nomination, and the Nominee will then be responsible for submitting their own Entry.

Additional information:

  • Submissions must be on behalf of an Organizational RIA Member or an Individual RIA Member.
  • Collaborative projects are welcome for either Submission type (further instructions on the Submission Form).
  • There is a limit of 1 submission per Organization/Individual per category and a limit of 2 submissions per Organization overall.
  • Submissions, supporting documents and links can all be submitted in either official language.

Submission Format

  • Contact Information
  • Project Description
  • Key Themes: Long form questions on the project’s Originality, Design & Delivery, and Influence
  • Supporting Material: Supplemental documents to support the submission

To address confidentiality concerns, Submissions should indicate any proprietary/confidential information. RIA, the Awards Committee, and Judges will be able to view the confidential information. Most of the information provided should be public.

Awards Programme Governance

There are 3 levels of oversight for the RIA Awards programme:

  • RIA Management Responsible for overall administration of the Awards programme. Initial screening of Judge Applications and Award Submissions will be done by the RIA to ensure the information provided is complete and relevant. The RIA is also responsible for ensuring that the RIA Leadership Awards’ conflicts of interest policy is upheld (see below).
  • Awards Committee – A working Committee of RIA Board members and other persons appointed by RIA Board members to provide guidance for RIA Management in developing the Awards programme. The Committee represents a diversity of perspectives including participants from various market segments. The Committee will also review the Judge candidates’ submissions and the shortlist, evaluate each candidate relative to the Standards of Quality and objectives for Panel Composition, and recommend finalists. Any scoring anomalies or issues will be reported to the RIA Awards Committee for deliberation.
  • Judges Panel – A panel of 10 judges will be responsible for independently assessing each submission based on three equally weighted themes. Judges will use a standardized and transparent scoring framework, evaluation criteria, and scorecard.

Judging Process 

The Assessment Period will take place from mid-April to mid-May, 2021. Judges will independently assess each submission based on three equally-weighted themes, by using a standardized and transparent scoring framework, evaluation criteria, and scorecard. Judges will submit their scorecards to RIA to compile the results.

  • Conflicts of Interest – Judges must sign an agreement to declare their commitment to operating in an unbiased manner. Judges will be automatically recused from assessing submissions in a category if they or their firm or sister firm/ subsidiary are among the Entries.

Selecting Judges

Judges will be selected based on the following Standards of Quality:

  • Alignment – The judge’s record and actions are aligned with the goals of responsible investing
  • Credibility – The judge is deemed to be a credible arbiter of responsible investment initiatives
  • Fairness – The judge is viewed as fair and unbiased
  • Neutrality –The judge is viewed as having little or no conflict of interest.
  • Expertise – The judge is deemed to possess the necessary business and category expertise to assess the submission.

The Judges’ Panel will be made up of 10 Volunteers. The Panel’s composition will consider factors such as geography, gender, and racial diversity, consistent with the RIA Board’s Diversity Policy, and will balance representation from the following sectors:

  • Academics
  • Advisors
  • Asset Managers
  • Asset Owners
  • Business/Consulting/Service Provider
  • Financial Institutions (Banks or Credit Unions)
  • Media
  • RI Organizations

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Judges will adhere to Conflict of Interest policies and will sign an agreement to declare their commitment to operating in an unbiased manner.

All selected Judges who are RIA Members must be in good standing with the RIA.

The judges’ opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the RIA.

Scoring Framework and Scorecard 

Each Judge will arrive at their own score independently and the scores from all Judges will be averaged to arrive at the final combined score for each Submission. Entrants will receive a copy of their completed scorecard. The full scorecards for the Top 2  Finalists in each category will be made publicly available, as well as the range of scores for all other Entrants. The winner for each category will be announced at the RIA Virtual Conference. The Judges’ scores are final.