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Revealed: All the winners of the IA Best Practice Adviser Awards

Which firms triumphed across East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa and the UK?


Blacktower Financial Management, Carrick, Melbourne Capital, Partners Wealth Management and Skybound have emerged as multiple winners of the latest Best Practice Adviser Awards, with the latter firm actually collecting honours across three of the five different geographies under consideration.

Now in their eighth year, the awards – run by International Adviser in partnership with Morningstar Wealth Platform – are designed to recognise, showcase and celebrate top-class advisers’ achievements in embedding best practice within every aspect of their business, from front-line advice to back-office support.

For East Asia, Melbourne Capital won the Best Adviser Firm accolade, as well as the region’s Excellence in Business Strategy and Excellence in Professional Development categories.

For Europe, Blacktower Financial Management was adjudged the Best Adviser Firm and also topped the region’s Best Support Team and Excellence in Marketing categories.

For the Middle East, Skybound won the Best Adviser Firm category as well as the regional gongs for Excellence in Professional Development and Best Support Team. An impressive showing by the firm also saw it top two regional categories in both Europe and the UK.

For South Africa, Carrick was the stand-out advice business, winning the Excellence in Investment Planning, Excellence in Business Strategy, Excellence in Diversity and Excellence in Professional Development awards as well as, perhaps unsurprisingly, being adjudged the region’s Best Adviser Firm.

For the UK, Partners Wealth Management topped the Excellence in Investment Planning, Excellence in Client Service and ESG Initiative categories, in addition to winning the regional Best Adviser Firm accolade.

You can find the full Roll of Honour below.

‘Rising tide of professional standards’

“We are living through a challenging time – with much to test and occupy advice firms,” said Mark Sanderson, managing director of Morningstar Wealth. “In among all that, it is incredibly encouraging to see the increasing priority placed on best practice, with a rising tide of professional standards. Well done to all firms striving to be the best – for their clients, their teams and their profession.”

Julian Marr, editorial director of International Adviser, added: “The Best Practice Adviser Awards would not have been possible without the time, insights and efforts of our panel of expert judges – chaired as efficiently as ever by David Worsfold – so our sincere thanks go to all of them.

“While these awards do encourage entries across 12 different categories covering every aspect of the business of financial and investment advice, it should be stressed that the process will only allow for a winner to be named if our panel of judges agrees the appropriate quality threshold has been reached. As such, some categories across each of the regions do not have a winner; at the same time, there can be no more than one winner per category.”

International Adviser Best Practice Adviser Awards 2023 – Roll of Honour

East Asia

Best Adviser Firm (region): Melbourne Capital

From the judges: “A high-quality business with a clear strategy, strong growth and a sustainable business model.”

Excellence in Investment Planning: BMP Wealth

From the judges: “Starts with the client and finishes with the client. A model operation.”

Excellence in Business Strategy: Melbourne Capital

From the judges: “They have made a big commitment to growing their business in Asia and it is paying off. A very clear strategy, delivered with focus.”

Excellence in Client Service: Oreana

From the judges: “A real focus on supporting clients with a top-quality, all-round service that has built genuine customer loyalty.”

Excellence in Marketing: Bluestar

From the judges: “Well thought-through messaging delivered creatively across various platforms.”

Excellence in Professional Development: Melbourne Capital

From the judges: “Professional development has been a key ingredient of their successful growth strategy in the region. Impressive buy-in from staff.”

Best Support Team: TallRock Capital

From the judges: “They have built a well-resourced back office team that has a clear understanding of the importance of supporting frontline advisers.”


Best Adviser Firm (region): Blacktower Financial Management

From the judges: “Great strategy – focused, measurable, and successful.”

Best Adviser Firm (established under three years): PCC Direct

From the judges: “Full of new ideas, imaginatively brought together in an ambitious but achievable development plan.”

Excellence in Investment Planning: Aisa International

From the judges: “A thoroughly professional approach that is client-centric and meets the demands of regulators across multiple jurisdictions. Keeping customers well-informed helps empower them.”

Excellence in Business Strategy: Skybound

From the judges: “A sound strategy that has enabled the firm to build on its already successful track record. No resting on laurels here.”

Excellence in Client Service: Black Swan Capital

From the judges: “Client service seems to be part of the business’s DNA – it sets them apart.”

Excellence in Digital Innovation: OpesFidelio

From the judges: “Definitely shifted the dial in terms of their digital offering. Had a well-structured plan and delivered it.”

Excellence in Marketing: Blacktower Financial Management

From the judges: “High-quality multi-media. Excellent and highly informative guides that are fresh and up-to-date and answer the key questions clients in different markets are asking.”

Excellence in Professional Development: Skybound

From the judges: “Shows how embedding professional development contributes to a firm’s success, ensuring staff buy-in and commitment.”

Best Support Team: Blacktower Financial Management

From the judges: “Investment in the team shows the value placed on it. This is what good support should look like.”

Middle East

Best Adviser Firm (region): Skybound

From the judges: “The good gets better. An impressive, integrated business that works hard to raise its game.”

Excellence in Investment Planning: Farringdon Capital

From the judges: “A thoroughly professional, integrated approach that gives clients renewed confidence.”

Excellence in Business Strategy: Continental Group

From the judges: “A solid strategy for development and profitable growth across the region.”

Excellence in Client Service: Abacus

From the judges: “Two-way communication has raised client engagement to a new level. ‘Provide them with timely, quality information and build a conversation’ is a refreshing approach.”

Excellence in Digital Innovation: Nexus

From the judges: “Clear, easy-to-use tools help clients and advisers alike.”

Excellence in Professional Development: Skybound

From the judges: “An impressive all-round programme for front-line advisers and support staff. Tied in effectively with key business objectives.”

Best Support Team: Skybound

From the judges: “Every department contributes to a joined-up, seamless support operation with the firm’s clients always at the end of it.”

South Africa

Best Adviser Firm (region): Carrick          

From the judges: “They have nailed it. Always a solid, reliable business but have now moved up to a different level. Given their competitors something to think about.”

Best Adviser Firm (established under three years): Family Wealth Custodians

From the judges: “Breaking into the market with a well-grounded plan and an effective communication strategy.”

Excellence in Investment Planning: Carrick

From the judges: “A core function, a focus of constant improvement. Gets to the real heart of helping clients with insightful analysis of their needs.”

Excellence in Business Strategy: Carrick

From the judges: “Set out an ambitious plan with objectives for growth built around the core pillars of professionalism and client service.”

Excellence in Client Service: Autus Private Clients

From the judges: “The firm understands client service. Kept up the high standards we have come to expect from them, especially with its bespoke reporting.”

Excellence in Diversity: Carrick

From the judges: Have built real momentum in their determination to improve the gender and race balance at every level of the business. Shown this is not a one-off campaign but a long-term, sustainable plan.

Excellence in Marketing: Family Wealth Custodians

From the judges: “A new firm that has brought new thinking to the challenges of reaching its target market.”

Excellence in Professional Development: Carrick

From the judges: “This is about helping all staff reach their potential. Programmes are shaped around the individual but with real connection to the needs of the business too.”


Best Adviser Firm (region): Partners Wealth Management

From the judges: “Definitely moved up a gear, The progress of recent years has been consolidated and built on, with new thinking and a targeted growth strategy.”

Best Adviser Firm (established under three years): Insight Wealth

From the judges: “Every success to this new business. It should find its niche by bring some fresh thinking to the market.”

Excellence in Investment Planning: Partners Wealth Management

From the judges: “Solid investment process, with some excellent marketing too. Explains processes, products and options, making it a central feature of the client/adviser relationship.”

Best ESG Initiative: Partners Wealth Management

“Well constructed ESG-focused process and good feedback from clients.”

Excellence in Business Strategy: Cooper Parry Wealth

From the judges: “Brilliant strategy across all aspects of the business, backed up with clear evidence of success.”

Excellence in Client Service: Partners Wealth Management

From the judges: “Excellent evidence of good client servicing, which is modelled around the client and deepens their understanding of their portfolios.”

Excellence in Marketing: Blacktower Financial Management

From the judges: “Many innovative ideas on show in this submission. New ideas and new creatives that have impact.”

Excellence in Professional Development: Skybound

From the judges: “A first-class entry. I particularly like the examples of how people have progressed in the business, showing how the programme works in real life.”

Best Support Team: Skybound

From the judges: “Top class entry showing how efficiency and effectiveness impact the business.”

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