• Thoughtonomy beat off very strong competition to scoop the Growth Champion of the Year trophy
  • Jenny Tooth, chief executive of the UKBAA, crowned Industry Champion
  • Albion Capital named Growth Investor of the Year
  • 16 prestigious awards presented to the UK SME investment community luminaries
  • Kevin Hollinrake MP and  Caspar Craven, serial entrepreneur and adventurer, delivered keynote speeches at the exclusive black-tie ceremony


Hundreds of leading lights in the SME investment community came together at The Royal Lancaster in London this evening to celebrate the winners at the 2018 Growth Investor Awards. The panel of expert judges had their work cut out to select the 16 highly deserving movers and shakers in the UK SME investment community from more than 80 impressive finalists that competed for the trophies.

The BBC’s Claudia Winkleman hosted the glittering exclusive black-tie gala dinner a veritable who’s who of industry leaders that are helping the UK to become one of the greatest markets to start and scale a business today. Before the winners took to the stage, Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton and serial entrepreneur and adventurer Caspar Craven shared their insights and experiences in keynote speeches on exactly what it takes to be successful entrepreneur.

2018 Growth Investor Awards highlights

Thoughtonomy claimed the top prize in the Growth Champion of the Year award. Award sponsor Guy Rigby, head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson, presented the accolade for the blue-ribbon award. Automation platforms developer Thoughtonomy impressed the judging panel with stellar results achieved with relatively little investment received compared to other finalists. The impressive shortlist for the highly coveted accolade featured other eight high-growth SMEs: runner-up Depop, one to watch AVID Technology, ASI Data Science, Gousto, Monica Vinader, Push Doctor, Quiqup and Revolut.

Jenny Tooth, chief executive of the UKBAA, was handpicked by the awards’ advisory board as the 2018 Industry Champion. Guy Tolhurst, managing director of Intelligent Partnership, was thrilled to present the prestigious trophy. Jenny was praised for her stellar role in tirelessly representing many thousands of investors in the UK, enthusiastically promoting the angel and early-stage investor communities that are helping UK SMEs to scale to success.

Last year’s runner-up Albion Capital scooped the Growth Investor of the Year award. Henry Whorwood, senior consultancy associate at Beauhurst, sponsor of the category, presented the award. Beating off a strong competition from seven valiant investment managers, Albion claimed the top prize for its strong investment returns across its portfolio, its committed focus on technology markets, and its continuing support for rapidly growing companies with international ambitions.

Stephen Jones of Clear Solutions won the Financial Adviser of the Year crown. Award sponsor Jack Rose, head of Tax Efficient Investments at LightTower Partners, presented this prestigious award that recognises great financial advisers. Last year’s one to watch Jones won considerable plaudits for its approach to education and a strong sense of client engagement and continuous interaction.

Barclays Wealth Management came out on top in the race for the Wealth Manager of the Year award. Award sponsor Christian Elmes, a partner at Kin Capital, awarded the winner with the prestigious trophy. Barclays Wealth Management won praise for its principled approach to offering its clients access to alternative investments. The expert judges also valued the company’s outstanding growth numbers as well as the ample resources Barclays has at hand.

Presenting the investment providers winners

A select group of leading companies shone through to take some of the most highly contested awards categories. In the Best BR Investment Manager award, Octopus Investments took the top prize in the AIM category, while the 2017 runner-up TIME Investments scooped gold in the non-AIM field. Award sponsor Martin Auger, director of Reyker Securities, presented both awards.

Last year’s runner-up Calculus Capital claimed the title of Best EIS Investment Manager, presented by sponsor Natasha Head, a sales director at Mainspring Fund Services. Symvan Capital won the Best SEIS Investment Manager title – award sponsor Roger Blears, a senior partner at RW Blears, awarded the trophy.

Octopus Investments scooped the Best VCT Investment Manager prize, presented by sponsor Rhodri Whitlock, head of Financial Services & Investment Funds at Crowe UK LLP. Close Brothers claimed the Best AIM Portfolio Service title, with sponsor Gary Butcher, CEO of Exact Financial Systems, presenting the accolade.

Wealth Club beat off last year’s winner Downing Crowd in the intense race over the Best Investment Platform award – Eloise Ellis, business development director of Aston Lark, presented the trophy. Ingenious took the Most Impactful Investment award for Mindful Education, with judges’ high praise for its enormous level of support beyond investment and very impressive returns that surpassed targets. Sponsor Gillian Roche-Saunders, a partner and head of BWB Compliance, presented the award. Par Equity’s outstanding 75x return on investment and great support to its investee companies made the company the deserving winner in the Exit of the Year category, presented by Alex Evans, programme director at The Supper Club.

In the Industry Game Changer category, last year’s winner Seedrs held off the competition to win the prestigious title again. The 2017 Industry Champion Mark Brownridge, director general of the EIS Association, presented the award. Seedrs stood out among its competitors thanks to its strong innovation and vision, particularly related to its introduction of a secondary market, which the judges noted would allow for potential expansion.

Following intense competition for the Best Angel Syndicate award, last year’s runner-up Oxford Capital Co-Investor came out on top. The judges praised Oxford for investing in disruptive businesses and the unfailing support for investee companies. The judges were also impressed with a strong network of expert angels boasting an impressive number of deals of a significantly larger calibre than other entrants. The 2018 Industry Champion Jenny Tooth, chief executive of the UKBAA, presented the award.

The winners in 15 categories were determined by a minimum of three judges drawn from an independent panel of 37 judges. The winner of the Industry Champion was hand-picked by the advisory board while public vote made up 20% of the final scores of the Growth Champion finalists. Each finalist received a detailed and personalised feedback and benchmarking report.

Launched in 2015, the Growth Investor Awards have consistently showcased the resounding successes of investment providers, growth companies and financial intermediaries in the UK SME investment ecosystem. Together, they support impressive outcomes for high-potential SMEs, striving to bridge the productivity gap, and creating jobs and wealth across the UK.

At Intelligent Partnership we’re passionate about small businesses. We know that they are a vital part of the economy: creating jobs, developing new products, opening up new markets and fuelling regional and national growth.

We want to play our part in promoting the SME sector and, in particular, highlighting the investment and support available to small companies. Putting ourselves at the centre of the wide-ranging capital debate, we want to encourage more people to start their own businesses.

Through our campaigning, research, content, events and awards initiatives, we want to encourage more small businesses to secure vital investment and associated support to scale up and become great businesses.

Visit growthinvestorawards.com/winners/winners-2018/ for the list and gallery of all the winners and runners-up.

Leave a Reply