A short history of Global Custodian’s Industry Person of the Year award

Global Custodian editor Jon Watkins looks back at the creation of the Industry Person of the Year Award and some of the previous winners.

Global Custodian has always honoured individuals in the securities services industry, be it through our Hall of Fame or our prestigious Lifetime Achievement award. But back in 2017, we decided there was a gap where amazing individual feats throughout the year were overlooked or only recognised through accolades handed to the entire organisation. 

What we also realised is that there were standout candidates each year when it came to deciding a shortlist. Though it might seem difficult to pick four people from the many thousands in the industry, prominent nominees always presented themselves. 

You know the people: making an impact both within their organisations and to the wider industry. Those behind new deals, products and innovations. People visible on the circuit of conferences and panels, providing thought leadership to their peers and clients.

What we wanted to make clear from the very beginning was that even making the shortlist was an incredible accomplishment. After our editorial panel decided on the nominees, we left it down to our global audience to select the winner.

The award was initially split into North America during our Industry Leaders awards in November and Rest of the World during Leaders in Custody in March. 

Debuting in 2017, Justin Chapman scooped the inaugural award in March, before Peter Cherecwich made it a Northern Trust double by winning the honour in New York in November of that year. Just shy of 10,000 votes were cast in each of those processes.

In year two of the award, Pervaiz Panjwani, head of custody and fund services, EMEA at Citi came away with the accolade in London during March 2018, while the first non-custodian bank winner was crowned in New York through Kelly Mathieson of Digital Asset Holdings.

In 2019, Deutsche Bank’s global head of securities services and chief country officer for Ireland – at the time – Fiona Gallagher triumped by the narrowest of margin from Maria Cantillon of State Street in what was the closest vote in the award’s short history.

That winter, Stephanie Miller, the former chief executive officer of fund administrator Intertrust won in another close-fought vote in New York, just ahead of Northern Trust’s head of front-office solutions, Melanie Pickett, and BNY Mellon’s, head of digital, Roman Regelman.

We didn’t know at the time, of course, but that award proved to be the last Industry Person of the Year vote for a while due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We took a break from handing out the award during 2020, feeling like we didn’t want to pick out individuals at a time when teams were very much fighting together both on a professional and personal front. 

But this year the vote is back! And we’ve got quite a line-up for you. Going forward we will be dividing the awards into Custody (March) and Fund Services (November) regardless of geography.  

You can read the profiles of our candidates by clicking here. And don’t forget to log on to https://www.globalcustodian.com/leaders-in-custody/ during the week of 7 June to cast your vote. 

Here’s this year’s shortlist, congratulations to all those nominated: 

Caroline Butler, global head of custody, tax and network management, BNY Mellon 

Donna Milrod, executive vice president, head of global asset managers segment and global clients division, State Street 

Sudhir Nairmanaging director, global head of Aladdin, BlackRock Solutions 

Naveen TV, managing director, global head of extended enterprise, securities services, JP Morgan