You are the good guys!01/12/2017
Firstly, this was an awards ceremony that knew how to keep up the pace. Gyles Brandreth addressed the problem of interminable events up front, telling his audience ironically that “the first hour goes swimmingly...there tends to be a bit of a lull in the second hour.” He added, “No speeches. We are not interested.”
As a result, there were no detectable lulls and the evening, with its 1920s speakeasy theme, raced by.
The other difference this year was the fact that the Association had held its AGM earlier the same day, giving brokers an additional incentive to make the trip and so contribute to the largest ever crowd. In this venue it has historically been tricky to grab and maintain the full attention of the audience throughout. Mr Brandreth did an exceptional job there, but credit too to Aaron James, Chairman Paul Goodman, CEO Graham Toy and MD Norman Chambers.
The guest speaker opened the evening and closed it with sincere-sounding words of encouragement, telling his audience that they played a crucial role in the funding of UK SMEs and then following that train of thought all the way to tax collection and the funding of the NHS. Gyles Brandreth said, “You are the good guys. You can sleep easy tonight!” Mind you, having seen the late queues at the bar, we’re certain that not everyone did sleep easy at the speakeasy.
All last night’s award winners follow:
Buy-to-Let: Shawbrook Bank
Leasing and Asset Provider: Hitachi Capital
Development Funder: Aldermore
Business Bank: NatWest
Commercial Mortgage: Lloyds
Factor and Invoice Discounter: Bibby Financial Services
Most Innovative Lender: Atom Bank
Small Funder: Roma Finance
Specialist Lender: Together
Newcomer: Atom Bank
Hamilton House Award: LendInvest
Lifetime Achievement: John Heron