By Terry Flanagan

Markets Choice Awards to be Presented

Markets Media will convene about 150 senior market professionals on Thursday, February 20, for its second-annual Markets Choice Awards.

There will be 25 awards presented, covering buy-side investment institutions, sell-side broker-dealers, exchanges, and technology providers.

CBOE’s Bill Brodsky, winner of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award

CBOE’s Bill Brodsky, winner of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award

On a frigid Thursday night in February 2013, Markets Media hosted the inaugural Markets Choice Awards event at Arena, an event space near Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. There were 22 awards handed out, ranging from big-picture (Lifetime Achievement, Bill Brodsky of CBOE) to granular (Best New Market Data Product, Superderivatives DGX); well-known (Best Technology Provider, Goldman Sachs) to not-so-well-known (Best Mid-Sized Buy-Side Institution, Rainier Investment Management); and established (Best Futures Exchange, CME Group) to emerging (Best New Technology Product, Trading Technologies X_TRADER 7.11).

Specific awards to be announced at this year’s event include Best Buy-Side Trading Desk, Lifetime Achievement, Best M&A Deal, Best Buy-Side Derivatives Trading Desk, Best Futures Exchange, and Best Data Provider.

The Markets Choice Awards are more qualitative than quantitative. The methodology in selecting nominees and then winners was simple yet thorough, and kept the focus on the important opinions: those of market participants.

Markets Media first conducted more than 50 one-on-one interviews with senior market participants across the buy side and sell side, drilling down into their respective areas of their expertise. Buy-side traders were asked which sell-side desks they trade through and which technology products they use, and sell-side practitioners were asked their opinions on the best exchanges and the savviest buy-side players. The focus was on 2013 performance. The idea was to get at least some high-value information from a wide range of sources, which collectively would form a reasonably complete mosaic of the market landscape.

Markets Choice Awards 2013

Markets Choice Awards 2013

After that initial nominee-generating process, online polling was conducted via MarketsMedia.com. Responses from this step weren’t as in-depth as the one-on-one interviews, but the online feedback served as a good supplement by confirming — or calling into question — some of what was learned in the one-one-one interview process.

At that point there were clear winners in some categories, shortlists in others, and still others with a wide dispersion of opinion. The task for the latter two scenarios was to take a fresh look at the responses for quality and depth, make eleventh-hour calls to a few select sources for clarification and elaboration, and finally, deliberate internally and in consultation with Markets Media’s Advisory Board to decide winners.

The process was imperfect, and of course not everyone will agree with the results. But that’s okay, as one thing everyone can agree on is that recognizing excellence in the highly competitive financial markets involves some very close calls.

Stay tuned for the winners.

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