Getting your PCA nomination right

George HodgsonNominations for the tenth annual STEP Private Client Awards (PCA) opened recently, providing an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate professional achievement in private client practice around the world. This year 17 categories are open to individuals and firms globally across the industry, including a new category: the Vulnerable Client Advisor of the Year, recognising the huge and growing importance of this area of practice.

Last year STEP’s Deputy Chief Executive, George Hodgson, shared some tips to help entrants prepare the strongest possible submission for a PCA. In the spirit of putting the best foot forward, I thought it timely to re-iterate these points so that every submission fully reflects premier work worthy of a PCA.

  1. Apply for the right category

Last year a number of entrants entered the wrong category. Make sure you read the criteria and, if you think the nature of your business might seem at odds with category, explain what your firm does and why it’s relevant.

  1. Answer the questions fully

Using snippets from PR materials may sound like a time-saver, but the judges will likely ignore them if it they’re not backed up by answers that clearly address the criteria in the PCA application pack. This is where many submissions fall short.

  1. Support your submission with evidence

Few things support a statement better than evidence and examples. Don’t tell the judges that you’re an innovative firm – prove it. This will garner more attention than simple claims.

  1. Be consistent in your claims

Make sure the claims in your submission match the information on your website or in your press materials. It makes for a stronger case to the panel of Presiding Judges.

  1. Make use of your word limit

This is another common error. Don’t sacrifice valuable detail for the sake of brevity. Use your full word limit to put forward the best possible submission.

  1. It’s about the last 12 months

The PCAs are about top-tier work over the previous year. Statements about your role as an industry leader or your history might sound impressive, but the judges are interested in the past 12 months.

The PCA’s recognise the best, so be sure your submission is outstanding. I wish all nominees the very best of luck.PCA logo 2015

George Hodgson is Deputy Chief Executive of STEP

Nominations for this year’s PCAs close on 30 April with finalists announced in June. The PCAs will be held on 8 September at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel. Check out the PCA website for more information.

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