Founded in 2018 to celebrate creativity, innovation, effectiveness and customer service in the retail and B2B financial industry, today Holiston Media now hosts 6 international Awards.
What sets us apart is that all our award winners will have been voted for by either the public or professionals that are regular 'users' of the services and products we are looking to champion. It means all the winners of our Awards will have one thing in common.... they will have been chosen by real investors, traders and business customers from around the globe.
We believe that to be named a winner of one of our awards will help businesses to:
• Benchmark their success against their peers
• Reward their staff for their hard work
• Impress potential new customers
• Boost existing client comfort and loyalty
• Demonstrate workplace attractiveness to potential employees
We spoke to Michael Boydell and Archie Humphries, Directors of Holiston Media, about the success of its industry awards, the need for transparency in the retail and B2B financial industry and what’s next for the business.
When was Holiston Media established and why did you launch?
We set up Holiston Media in 2018 to celebrate creativity, innovation, effectiveness and customer service in the retail and B2B financial industry. Today we host three annual international awards with plans in the pipeline to expand even further in 2022.
What makes your awards different from others in the sector?
What sets us apart is that we do not ‘pick and choose’ who can and cannot enter into our awards, nor do we choose the winners ourselves.
We don’t for instance insist on long-winded evidence-based support materials for companies to enter into any of our awards and we try and keep the nomination process as simple and straightforward as possible.
When it comes to choosing the winners in each awards category, we put that decision process in the hands of the public/professionals; they are after all the ones who have had direct experience of each company and their products and services.
Doing it the ‘Holiston’ way ensures that we continue to offer a level playing field for all companies wanting to be involved and our transparent and easy to navigate 3-step process (self-nomination period, voting period, and winner announcement) means we have hundreds and hundreds of new and repeat entrants each year.
Why are awards useful in the finance and trading industries?
They are of huge importance. If a company is chosen as a winner of an award, it definitely helps them to stand out amidst their peers and competitors, which in turn, enhances loyalty with their existing customers and clients, and enables growth from a new client acquisition perspective too.
The voting engagement levels from the companies in the running for awards has grown incredibly year-on-year. With social media channels now being the go-to method of engagement, companies up for nomination have utilised these mediums superbly to promote awards and they’ve seen the success. Response levels and voter numbers are higher now than they’ve ever been and we are seeing more and more mentions of our awards than ever before in the wider business and trade press.
Something else that is often overlooked and, in our opinion, just as important, is how award success can reflect back on existing staff members of a company. When the public or professionals vote for their preferred choice of company from the list of nominees, the person voting will have different parameters in their mind that they work to in order to choose who they are voting for.
To them the utmost importance might be about trading value and execution, maybe it’s the customer service and trading experience they receive, or it could be about education and trading tools. There’s no one reason why people vote for who they do. What this tells us is that all moving parts of a company can be equally important as each other when it comes to attracting votes from customers or clients. If one part of a business is strong, but others not so, then chances are the total number of votes that company achieves probably won’t equal success. If all parts are strong and working harmoniously then there’s a far better chance they could win. In our view, awards reflect how well a company as a whole is doing. They show that all parts of that company are doing a great job and therefore the staff involved with a company should take pride in the part they have played.
How has the industry changed since you launched?
There’s not been a dramatic change, however, we have seen a rise in the number of organisers entering the awards space. This is on the face of it both a good and bad thing.
It can be a 100% a good thing when another well-run organiser, who offers an independent, transparent process similar to ours, enters the arena; they help to raise the overall profile and importance of awards in the financial industry. However, flipping this on its head, organisers that are running their processes in a different way and offer no transparency, voting processes or a clear and systematic fair way of selecting winners can be a problem. It means that the award system can be abused and companies and customers can get their fingers burnt.
What plans do you have for the future?
In quite a short space of time we have built three well-established and respected awards in the Holiston annual roster; Global Forex Awards Retail, Global Forex Award B2B and the Professional Trader Awards. Our plans for the remainder of this year into early 2022 is to launch two new awards; The Electronic Money Awards and the Global Crypto Awards.
The Electronic Money Awards will celebrate the best performing e-money issuers and payment service providers on a Global level with an aim to highlight the best and most innovative e-money products and services amongst payment institutions, banks and payments schemes. There will be award categories covering; merchant accounts and cross-border money transfers to elite payment cards and the private banking approach to corporate clients.
The Global Crypto Awards will celebrate the best performing AI, blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital assets and distribute ledger technology providers on a Global level.
Holiston Media has an exciting 12 months ahead!
Mike Boydell - Director
Mike has had considerable experience as a senior executive in a number of business sectors. He has had hands on experience of building businesses which have subsequently been sold or listed on the London Stock Exchange.
In 1999 Mike co-founded ADVFN Plc (the world's leading private investor website) becoming Managing Director. The business was successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2000.
In 2002 Mike left ADVFN and joined MSM Media, the established publisher, as Managing Director. He created MoneyAM, an online news and financial and forex data portal, which complimented their established weekly magazine ‘Shares’ and their Financial Awards & Events business. In 2012, AJ Bell (the well-known financial services business) bought MSM and Mike became Managing Director of AJ Bell Media. AJ Bell successfully listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2018, at a market capitalisation of £651 million.
Archie Humphries - Director
With more than 20 years experience in media and advertising, Archie has built a level of expertise that ensures client expectations are always considered, but more importantly always met. Over the past 13 years Archie has built up sales and sponsorship teams in the live events and awards sectors. These have included large consumer events (both in the UK and overseas), smaller niche trade events and industry awards. The past 8 years have been firmly focused on financial events and awards for Archie - firstly at MSM Media and then AJ Bell Media.
In 2012, whilst in charge of all events, conferences and awards at MSM Media, Archie had an idea to launch the UK Forex Awards. Since their inception, the UK Forex Awards have gone on to become firmly established as one of the leading and most respected awards businesses in the FX sector. Alongside the UK Forex Awards Archie was also tasked with delivering the extremely popular and respected Shares Awards as well as the UK Stock Market Awards.