This is the 18th year of Asia Risk magazine's awards, which recognise best practice in risk management and derivatives use by banks and financial institutions around the region. The awards ceremony will take place on 26 September at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
With equity markets regaining some of their momentum this year and commodity markets starting to rebalance, we are hoping to see what clever ideas structurers have been deploying to capitalise on the current market environment.
There have been some challenging headwinds, too. Despite a great deal of geopolitical uncertainty, market volatility remains at an all-time low. How have the dangers inherent in this fed into innovative product strategies?
Returns in many areas in Asia remain suppressed and the Bank of Japan's negative rate policy continues to cause challenges. At the same time, interest rate hikes in the US have been luring money away from Asia. How has your firm been responding to this?
And then there is China, which continues to remain interesting, with plenty of opportunities and an unremitting capacity to surprise. Downward pressure on the renminbi, owing to the strengthening of the US dollar, was quickly countered with a clear signal from the authorities that they are prepared to support the currency. How does your firm continue to serve client needs and find new opportunities in such conditions?
What the judges are looking for
In order to collect an award in September, you will need to show clearly how the strength of your product innovation, underpinned by sound risk management strategies, separates you from your competitors. Extra points can be gained by showing how your clever product strategies in one area leverage off the breadth of expertise and financial engineering in another area of the bank.
Funky investment products are always interesting but remember Asia Risk also covers hedging - the winner in most categories will need to demonstrate fluency in hedging for end users as well as structuring.
For many of the main asset-class and regional categories, client references are the main difference between winning and losing. What do your end-users think of your work?
This year we have two new categories. Alternative investment of the year is open to any asset manager or other buy-side firm that can demonstrate innovation within the alternative investment space, including but not limited to the use of smart beta.
Quant house of the year recognises excellence in mathematical and statistical models for addressing financial and risk management problems.
We wish you the best of luck this year!
Key judging criteria
How does the awards process work?
Submissions are now open and close on August 3. The editorial team will then make a shortlist of the top two or three candidates in each category to interview.
A second round of interviews, encompassing client references, will follow before the winners are announced in September.
The awards ceremony will take place in Singapore on September 26.
What should submissions contain?
Please keep entries brief - a maximum of four pages of A4, including case studies that demonstrate your structuring and hedging capabilities over the last 12 months. Please make sure both aspects feature - submissions based purely around structured investment products will be at a disadvantage.
The awards will look at activity conducted over the last 12 months.