The shares of two of the 2016 winners have gone on to double over the past year; so as well as celebrating the achievements of this year’s award winners, it will be interesting to see how the class of 2017 performs over the coming period. The full list of winners is detailed below.
Exceptional shortlist of companies
Philip Secrett, Head of Public Company Advisory, Grant Thornton UK LLP and judge at the Awards observed that: ‘the judges had an extremely difficult task choosing the winners from what was an exceptional shortlist of companies. We need to continue to recognise the exceptional performances of the UK’s growth companies that contribute so much to a Vibrant Economy and the Grant Thornton Quoted Company Awards provide an excellent platform from which to do so.’
The 2017 Award Winners
- Chairman of the Year: Andrew Brode, RWS Holdings plc.
Andrew Brode joined the board of RWS in 2000 and as Chairman has built the company into a leading international translation business. The judges were impressed with his exemplary communication of the company’s strategy and performance throughout.
- Finance Director of the Year: Stephen Boyd, Finsbury Food Group plc
Stephen Boyd has done an excellent job for Finsbury Food shareholders. Food manufacturing is a notoriously difficult industry which has often seen competitors fall by the wayside. As well as keeping tight control of Finsbury Food’s finances he has overseen the successful integration of a number of acquisitions.
- Non-Executive Director of the Year: Andrew Wood, Stobart Group Limited
Stobart Group has been through a period of significant change and its transformation has been reflected in a strong share price performance. Andrew is the senior non-executive director on a board that has made some brave and bold decisions in recent years, with the company focusing on its infrastructure and support services activities.
- PR Firm of the Year: Walbrook PR
Walbrook is focused exclusively on small cap and AIM-quoted clients. It has grown its team of professionals and its client base during a period when the overall number of listed companies has been declining. The firm has a reputation of being highly responsive both to its client’s needs and to the requirements of journalists, private client fund managers and retail investors.
- Fund Manager of the Year: Dan Nickols, Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Focus Fund
Dan Nickols manages the Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Focus Fund. The fund has enjoyed a very good year and has established a consistent record of outperformance over the long term. Over the last five years Dan’s fund has returned 67 per cent more than the average for his peer group.
- IPO of the Year: Blue Prism Group plc
Blue Prism shares were floated last March at 78p and recently broke through the £5 barrier. The company is achieving very strong growth as an emerging leader in the world of robotic process automation software. Its maiden results showed sales growth of 59 per cent and a revenue run rate 143 per cent higher than the previous year.
- Broker of the Year: Liberum Capital Limited
The judging panel felt that Liberum was the broking firm to have made the most progress during the latest period. It has good quality research and has been adept at finding interesting new companies and ideas to present to its clients.
- Deal of the Year: Conviviality plc
Conviviality transformed its scale and business model through the bold acquisition of Matthew Clark. The integration is going well under a good quality management team and the risks involved with a transaction of this scale have been well handled. The company is now the UK’s largest independent drinks distributor and has an exciting future ahead of it.
- Tech Company of the Year: redT energy plc
redT has focused its business on its exciting vanadium flow battery technology. This is now being commercialised and holds the prospect of transforming the economics of renewable energy installations.
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Tony Best, AB Dynamics plc
Tony Best, Chairman of AB Dynamics is a true entrepreneur. He founded the company in 1982 and still owns 25 per cent of the equity. The company was floated on AIM in 2013 with a market cap of just £13 million. Its market value has now risen above £100 million as AB Dynamics has exploited strong demand from the global automotive industry for its R&D test equipment.
- CEO of the Year: Paul Fineman, IG Design Group plc
Paul Fineman became CEO at a time when IG Design was a troubled company with too much debt. Not only has he got the business fully back on track, it is now at a point where it is achieving strong international growth in a highly competitive industry. Over the last three years IG Design’s shares have risen 220 per cent to value the company at £155 million.
- Innovator of the Year: Yü Group plc
Yu Group is an innovator which is disrupting the energy supply industry to corporate customers by taking on the ‘big six’ suppliers. As a start-up business it has impressively overcome significant technical hurdles to launch its platform and has managed its financial resources very effectively during its first year as a public company.
Congratulations again to all the winners. Thank you once again to all the event sponsors: Grant Thornton, Argus Vickers, Dorsey and Whitney, Perivan Financial, Redleaf, Newgate Communications, Travers Smith, White Water Group, WH Ireland, What Investment, and Zeus Capital.