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How We Select Winners

To receive the Top 50 Professionals Award, a professional must satisfy 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria that are associated with wealth managers who provide quality services to their clients. Factors taken into account include assets under management and client retention rate. Candidates also undergo a thorough regulatory and complaint review. 


Top Top 50 Professionals Award:


  • Conducts comprehensive research
  • Recognizes service professionals
  • Partners with leading city/regional magazines
  • Helps award winners gain the recognition they deserve


Top Top 50 Professionals Award conducts market research to define and promote professional excellence in the professions we serve. The Top 50 Professionals designation assists consumers in selecting a service professional based on an objective research methodology tailored to the specific profession.


Top Top 50 Professionals joins forces with local and national media partners to publish our research to consumers and promote Top 40 Money Managers designated professionals in more than 35 markets across the United States. Top Top 50 Professionals Award was founded in 2010 and is a subsidiary of Businessweek500.com 

Program Summary and Research Methodology

Award List Publication

The contracting magazine publishes an article, prepared by Top 50 Professionals, which describes the nomination and evaluation process of award winners. For city/metro markets, the special section also presents the resulting list of Top 50 Professionals. Top 50 Professionals are also listed on our website for the duration of their award year.


Wealth Managers do not pay a fee to be included in the research process or to be named a Top 50 Professionals Award. In connection with publication of the magazine section, wealth managers may elect to pay a fee to include a photo and certain profile information in the “profiles” section that accompanies the article and/or press release through membership only. 


For additional fees, Top 50 Professionals Award will provide award winners with strategies and tools for further publicizing being named a Top 50 Professionals Award through press release distribution services offered by Businessweek500.com. A professional purchase of a annual membership or other services does not influence Top 50 Professionals  determination of whether to include or exclude a particular wealth manager from any list of Top 50 Professionals Award.


In the Investment Advisers Association No Action Letter (December 1, 2005), the SEC Staff lists eight factors that investment advisers should consider when determining whether any advertisement containing a third-party rating is false or misleading. Appendix B describes how the Top 50 Professionals Award program satisfies each of the factors.


The following research declarations are included in the section article:


  • Top 50 Professionals do not pay a fee to be included in the research or the final list of Top 50 Professionals Award.
  • The Top 50 Professionals Award is not indicative of the professionals future performance.
  • Professionals may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their clients assets.
  • The inclusion of a professional on the Top 50 Professionals Award list should not be construed as an endorsement of the professional by Businessweek500.com
  • Working with a Top 50 Professional or any wealth manager, is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment in the future.
  • Top 50 Professionals Award is not an adviser firm and the content of this article should not be considered financial advice.
  • The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided.
    For more information on the Top 50 Professionals Award and the research/selection methodology please see Appendix C.

Appendix A – Top 50 Professional Award Summary Chart

Program Presentation and Discussion With SEC Staff

The SEC Staff verbally advised Top 50 Professionals  that the program does not constitute a client testimonial. In the Investment Advisers Association No Action Letter (December 1, 2005) the SEC Staff lists factors that investment advisers should consider when determining whether any advertisement containing a third-party rating is false or misleading. 

Award List Publication

The list of Top 50 Professionals for each industry is published in the leading city and regional magazine and/or business publication and on our website. The Top 50 Professionals Award winners do not pay a fee to be included in the research or the final list of award winners. They pay a $99 fee to have their profile published and press release distributed of the announcement of the award to our media partners.

Appendix B – Adherence to SEC Eight Factors

In the Investment Advisers Association No Action Letter (December 1, 2005), the SEC Staff lists eight factors that investment advisers should consider when determining whether any advertisement containing a third-party rating is false or misleading. Top 50 Professionals Award analysis of how the Top 50 Professionals Award program satisfies each of the factors is below. Please note that the Top 50 Professionals Award does not rate or rank advisers but rather identifies managers who satisfy objective eligibility and evaluation criteria.

Top 50 Professionals Award Adherence

The editorial copy in the program article (under the heading “Determination of Award Winners”) describes the objective eligibility and evaluation criteria.


The following 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria are considered in determining the Top 50 Professionals Award winners.


Eligibility Criteria – Required


1. Credentialed as an investment adviser representative or a registered investment adviser, insurance broker, or professional license.

2. Actively employed as a registered investment adviser representative or as a principal of a registered investment adviser firm for a minimum of five years.


Evaluation Criteria – Considered


3. One-year client retention rate.

4. Five-year client retention rate.

5. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non- discretionary client assets administered.

6. Number of client households served.
7. Education and professional designations.


The specific numeric values for some of the objective evaluation criteria are determined after the wealth managers have submitted their data forms. For example, Top 50 Professionals Award will determine the numeric requirement for the client assets administered after the data forms have been received. This helps assure a final list that is appropriately sized for the market, and it also allows Top 50 Professionals Award to accommodate the varying levels of client assets administered by wealth managers in different regions of the country.

Top 50 Professionals Award Program Adherence

The editorial copy in the program article does not categorize, rate or rank professionals. Professionals must satisfy objective eligibility. Professionals must be credentialed as an investment adviser representative or a registered investment adviser.


The editorial copy in the Program article (under the heading “Determination of Award Winners”) describes the objective eligibility and evaluation criteria (listed in item 1 above) that wealth managers must satisfy. Wealth managers who satisfy the 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria receive the Top 50 Professionals Award.


The footnotes of the editorial copy identify:


The total number of award candidates considered for the Top 50 Professionals Award, and the number of professionals who successfully satisfied the objective eligibility and evaluation criteria and received the Wealth Manager award. Top 50 Professionals are allowed to list a primary financial service they provide their clients. 

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