The Solent Deals Awards returned to home turf last Friday (June 6) with a magnificent gala evening at St Mary’s Stadium in the heart of Southampton. The event, attended by some 200 guests, provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate the many successful deals and the strength of the corporate finance community across Southampton, Hampshire, Dorset and the wider Solent region.
There was applause as David Murray, publisher of The Business Magazine, opened proceedings and said he was “delighted” to return to Southampton, as for the past three years the Solent Deals Awards have been combined with the Thames Valley.
“There has been a buzz about splitting the events again this year – especially from law firms and advisers here in Southampton who are pleased to be getting their own moment in the spotlight,” he said.
“The south coast law firms are in good shape and there’s an abundance of good firms here in Southampton. The banks too, maintain a strong presence in the Solent region and are anxious to provide evidence that they are very much open for business, and supporting the local economy.”
At the same time however, he said there was a desire for more private equity involvement on patch on the south coast.
Recognising emerging trends in the CF marketplace and the rise in alternative lenders, Murray also took the opportunity to announce plans for two new awards next year – Alternative Funder of the Year and a category for Due Diligence Firm of the Year.
Acknowledging the extremely high standard of the deals which were nominated, he added: “Many of the top deals that have made the headlines here on the south coast in the past 12 months are showcased here this evening.
“The 200 nominations went before the judges and there was a good debate about which firms and which transactions stood out, who was making an impact, and where the deal originators were coming from.”
Thanking the judges for their hard work, Murray also paid a special tribute to category sponsors Bond Dickinson, Grant Thornton, HSBC, Lamport Bassitt, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Meridian Corporate Finance, PwC, Spectrum Corporate Finance and UBS.
Host for the evening was barrister, broadcaster and top comedy writer Clive Coleman, who entertained the audience with quickfire anecdotes from his legal and broadcasting career and kept proceedings running smoothly.
The chosen charity was Brain Tumour Research and the audience dug deep to donate £1,477, which will go towards funding for the charity’s dedicated research centre at The University of Portsmouth.
To find out details of the awards winners, please see below. Full details of the evening’s event will appear in the July/August issue of The Business Magazine. You can view images from the evening here.
The Solent Deals Awards results:
- Private Equity Firm – Inflexion Private Equity
- Lawyer of the Year – Stephen Porter (Shoosmiths)
- Corporate Finance Adviser – Darren Miller (RSM Tenon)
- Management Team – lnventif RMA
- Law Firm of the Year – Shoosmiths
- Bank of the Year – HSBC
- Corporate Finance Team – Meridian Corporate Finance
- Dealmaker of the Year – Darren Thompson (Meridian Corporate Finance)
- Deal of the Year (under £25m) – Haystack Dryers
- Deal of the Year (over £25m) – PIMS