MAX Awards recognise marketing, advertising and sales excellence 15 June

Financial Standard

The 25th Annual Max Awards have been presented in a new virtual awards format. The annual event which commends and acknowledges the outstanding efforts of marketing, advertising and distribution teams within financial services recognised a total of 21 winners.

Winning the ‘Executive of the Year – Marketing’ award this year was Felicity Nicholson, head of marketing at Legg Mason. Nicholson boasts more than 20 years in marketing within the financial services industry, having worked in roles at Colonial First State, ING Australia, AMP and MLC. In 2017, she joined Legg Mason as their marketing head and managing director where she continues to deliver marketing campaigns for the B2B market.

In the sales category, James Waterworth, iShares specialist at BlackRock took home the prestigious ‘Executive of the Year – Distribution’ award. BlackRock continues to be a dominant player in the exchange traded funds investment space, with a 15% growth in FUM in the 12 months to March 2020 according to Rainmaker Information’s most recent Exchange Traded Products report.

Now in its 25th year, MAX recognises professional excellence in 21 categories, including new segments that reflect the changing industry landscape such as Financial Education Campaign of the Year, which recognises influential education campaigns aimed at the advice industry, as well as Community Initiative of the Year which recognises Financial services companies going above and beyond in generating positive social change in the broader community.

Respective winners of these awards were TAL with their Risk Academy, FASEA exam masterclass and La Trobe Financial with their continued community outreach through their La Trobe Financial Foundation

It was a back-to-back win for Zurich, which received awards in the Print Campaign of the Year – Trade and Marketing Team of the Year. In receiving the Award Melanie Ware commended the broader Zurich team, particularly during their transition with OnePath over the past 12 months.

Also in for a double win was Vanguard Australia who won Website of the Year and Integrated Campaign of the Year.

Christopher Page, managing director of Rainmaker Group, which publishes Financial Standard and Money magazine, said “the MAX Awards continue to evolve with the changing wealth management industry. While the circumstances in which these awards have been delivered may have changed, it remains more important than ever to showcase the best of the best within the marketing advertising and sales spheres in all their glory.”

Echoing this, Financial Standard’s executive director – media, Michelle Baltazar said “there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes just to be shortlisted, so we’re delighted to be able to recognise this year’s MAX awardees, despite COVID-19.”

“We also want to show our support and encourage all our winners to step up and help more Aussies recover and rebuild their wealth in these challenging times.”

Financial services sales and marketing professionals have an important role to play as the industry continues on its growth trajectory to meet the $11 trillion mark by 2038. According to the latest Rainmaker Roundup report, the Australian investment market stood at $2.8 trillion as at December 2019.

2020 MAX Award winners:

Agency Campaign of the Year

T. Rowe Price with fundamental Media

Agency Executive of the Year – Financial Services

Claire Zipeure – Media Lab

Agency of the Year

Ptarmigan Media

Community Initiative of the Year

La Trobe Financial

Creative Agency of the Year

RADAR Sydney

Digital Campaign of the Year


Distribution Team of the Year

Allianz Retire+

Executive of the Year – Distribution

James Waterworth – BlackRock

Executive of the Year – Marketing

Felicity Nicholson – Legg Mason

Financial Education Campaign of the Year


Integrated Campaign of the Year

Vanguard Australia

Marketing Campaign of the Year – Consumer


Marketing Campaign of the Year – Industry

Pendal Group

Marketing Team of the Year


Print Campaign of the Year – Consumer


Print Campaign of the Year – Trade


Product Launch of the Year

RARE Infrastructure

Public Relations Agency of the Year

BlueChip Communication

Social Media campaign of the Year

Australian Ethical


Website of the Year

Vanguard Australia

/Public Release.