The March 15 nomination deadline for the 31st annual “Rep.’s Altruism Awards: Advisors With Heart” (formerly the Outstanding Advisor Awards) is fast approaching. Each May Registered Rep. honors 10 veteran financial advisors who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism and are active in charitable giving and mentoring.

The nominations are evaluated based on the level and depth of commitment of the advisor to altruistic activities outside of his or her practice. The term we often use is “sweat equity,” or the advisor’s willingness to commit his time, abilities and passion to a cause—as opposed to merely writing a check or managing a daughter’s softball team.

We review FINRA and SEC sites for any compliance or ethical violations, contact references whose names are submitted along with the applications, and talk with the nominee him or herself. An advisor must demonstrate success in the operation of his or her practice (growth in assets, clients, staff), but this just a minimum criteria. The award selection is somewhat subjective; there are no spreadsheet calculations. The winners’ stories should speak for themselves.

Nominations require a short essay explaining the nominee’s merits. Be brief—a page will suffice. Specifics are important; please include anecdotes that illustrate the advisor’s strongest qualities and commitment to philanthropic activities. But please also describe the kind of practice the advisor runs so that we have a clear understanding of his or her book. All applications are confidential and you can self-nominate.

Entrants must meet certain productivity requirements (registered reps must be among the top 25 percent of their firms in terms of gross production; RIAs must have a minimum of around $100 million in assets.) There are a couple of other hard-and-fast rules. Applicants must have:

• a minimum of three years in the industry as a producing registered rep or investment adviser rep.
• a minimum of one year working with the FA’s present firm.
• a clean compliance record. (Please send full names and CRD number. We check all nominees’ U4s and Form ADVs.)
• three references with phone numbers and email addresses. No previous OAA winners may apply.

To enter a friend, colleague, boss, or yourself, click here. Each winner will be profiled in the May issue. Questions? Contact Senior Editor Jerry Gleeson at jerry.gleeson@penton.com or 212-204-4261.