Talent and creativity in the fund industry are burning brighter than ever.

That's why we are the 9th Annual Fund Operations Awards have a new name: The NOVAs, as in innovation.

The new name recognizes the tremendous innovation in fund operations as asset management companies strive to become both more efficient and effective in serving their clients. But it is not the only exciting change to the program, produced by Money Management Executive in conjunction with the National Investment Company Services Association.

This year, all nominees-and winners-will come strictly from inside asset management firms.

We decided to limit the universe of nominees to asset management firms to recognize their achievements each year in improving the operations of their firms and the industry in which they operate.

However, while nominees are limited to individuals employed directly by asset management firms, the nominations can come from anywhere. Asset management firms, service providers and technology partners all are encouraged to submit nominations.

If you are proud of what your company has achieved, nominate that executive or leader of the team that produced the great results.

If you are proud of the technology or service your company produces, nominate the executive or leader of the team that produced great results with it.

You now have more ways to show the results that have been achieved. We have expanded the program to include a fourth category, Creativity in Marketing Operations.

The four categories of awards now are:

* Visionary Leadership

* Innovation in Customer

Experience

* Innovation in Back Office

Efficiencies

* Creativity in Marketing

Operations

The NOVAs will rightfully honor those asset management firms that excel in any of these four areas and are certain to be a great success this year.

The deadline for entries is July 11. Winners will be honored at NICSA's Oct. 6 General Membership Meeting in Boston.

Instructions and forms are conveniently available online at: www.mmexecutive.com/nova_awards.

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