The countdown to Custody’s own Academy Awards is on

Global Custodian editor Jonathan Watkins gives an editorial trailer for the securities services industry’s own Oscars in June following last night’s much-talked about Academy Awards.

With last night’s Oscars providing a day of talking points across the mainstream media, I couldn’t help but strike comparisons with our upcoming Leaders in Custody awards – dubbed (probably) as the Academy Awards of the securities services industry.

The similarities of the traditional in-person affairs were easy to depict: black-tie affairs with coveted honours handed out and presenters – in Ricky Gervais and myself – who had plenty of jokes that went straight over the heads of the audience.

But in this unprecedented year (where people continue to use the word ‘unprecedented’ profusely) the comparisons are more in adapting to a world in which we cannot welcome the community from our respective industries into a room together.

In 2020, we took our time to assess the best replacement for an in-person Leaders in Custody awards and delivered our Custody 2020 documentary, which we felt was a ground-breaking production in this space. 

For 2021, you may have seen that we’ve expanded this to a digital content festival across five days, to further accommodate our aforementioned community through recognitions on more levels than just our sub-custody focus of 2020.

This year the event will also cover Network Management, ETF Administration, Projects & Partnerships, while we’ll also bring back our Lifetime Achievement and Industry Person of the Year awards after a year break from those. 

I use the word ‘adapting’ to describe last year’s production because that’s very much what it felt like. Much consideration went into striking the balance between recognition without a drop in quality for the output. But this year is much more than just ‘adapting’, it goes well beyond that.

Our 2021 on-demand event includes five long-form digital features, along with daily podcasts, presentations and other new features such as polls, discussion forums and technology & innovation TED-style talks. It’s going to be quite a week.

With the Oscars welcoming a handful of guests back into the room, our own development in this regard will be some in-person filming (fingers crossed) for some of the productions, though our biggest hope is a return to a full room in March 2022.

There’s no need to sign up to our Custody Oscars, but for more info and to set a reminder, do visit our dedicated page here.

If all goes to plan, we hope to receive our very own Best Picture nod at next year’s Academy Awards.