• 56 finalists recognised across 13 award categories including Growth Investor of the Year, Financial Adviser of the Year and Wealth Manager of the Year
  • Winners to be revealed at black tie awards dinner at Marriott Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London on Thursday 3 November
  • Visit http://www.growthinvestorawards.com/shortlist for details of the finalists

The most innovative and impactful investment managers, platforms, financial advisers and wealth managers specialising in alternative investments have today been revealed as finalists for the 2016 Growth Investor Awards alongside top performing businesses that have best optimised growth capital to scale up.

Representing all regions of the UK, the Awards recognise all those involved in putting investment to work in UK SMEs and enabling them to realise their full potential to create jobs and wealth. A new award for 2016, Growth Champion of the Year, also recognised top performing SMEs that have best optimised growth capital to scale.

Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership, which organises the Growth Investor Awards, commented: “It’s great to see so many new finalists this year and such a strong shortlist of industry leaders. The finalists of our new Growth Champion of the Year award are among the UK’s best performing scale up SMEs – and their story of impact beyond investment really brings the Growth Investor Awards campaign to life.”

Talent was once again identified as a key enabler of growth in investee companies, from strengthening boards with a new management team to securing specialist directors or non-executives. Mentoring, access to partner networks and introductions to vetted suppliers were also highlighted as key areas of support.

Technology was the other growth enabler, with managers recommending a range of solutions to improve efficiency and organisation – from accounting software to collaboration tools.

The Awards are supported by partners including the BVCA, EISA, UKCFA, Centre for Entrepreneurs, The Entrepreneur Network and The Supper Club.

The awards programme is guided by an Advisory Board including angel investor and entrepreneur Sherry Coutu CBE, Co-founder of the Scale Up Institute; Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners; Claire Cockerton, Founder and Ambassador of Innovate Finance; Tim Hames, Director General of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA); Emma Jones MBE, CEO of Enterprise Nation; Simon Devonshire OBE, Entrepreneur in Residence at BIS; and Michael Hayman MBE, Co-founder of Seven Hills.

Commenting on the economic importance of schemes like EIS, and recognising the impact of the investment management industry through the Growth Investor Awards, Luke Johnson said: “Incentives like the Enterprise Investment Scheme have supported Britain’s economic recovery by enabling high growth businesses to scale – creating jobs and wealth while generating tax revenue for infrastructure that we all benefit from. The SME investment management community plays a vital role in ensuring that investment is best deployed – in talent, technology and R&D. The Growth Investor Awards provide an important national platform to demonstrate the value of this impact.”

Commenting on the new Growth Champion of the Year award, which recognises scale up businesses that have best optimised growth capital, Simon Devonshire OBE said: “Britain has more engaged investors and a more active eco-system than anywhere else in Europe and Growth Champions bring this story to life. It’s important to show how growth capital is being used to scale and transform the country’s economic landscape.”

Daniel Kiernan, Research Director of Intelligent Partnership, who headed up the shortlist, commented: “The Growth Investor Awards were designed in consultation with the industry to create accolades they really want to win – with a robust judging process that enhances credibility and prestige. It’s clear that those shortlisted last year have used their Feedback Reports to strengthen their entries this year. It’s also good to see a lot of new entrants helping to raise the standard even further. Once again, the shortlist demonstrates real innovation and impact in the SME investment management industry.”

A total of fifty six industry leading businesses and individuals have been recognized for awards including Financial Adviser of the Year and Wealth Manager of the Year for those best applying research and education in alternative investments to add value for clients diversifying their portfolios; Best Investment Platform, for equity crowdfunding and investment aggregation sites with the best user experience and product innovation; Industry Game Changer, for a revolutionary product, service or model; and Best EIS / SEIS / BPR / VCT and the new AIM Investment Manager awards for those demonstrating innovation in product development, adviser engagement, and impact on SME growth.

Jonothan McColgan, runner-up for Financial Adviser of the Year in 2015, had this to say on the awards, “The Growth Investor Awards are certainly worth entering. An Advisory Board and a panel of 35 independent judges make these Awards credible and prestigious – and (as an appreciative father of two boys under 3) the ceremony was a cracking but unfortunately rare night out indeed. It was good to see the Growth Investor Awards adding value with its PR support – both in the run up to the ceremony and afterwards. Helping to create a great opportunity to update your clients of your success. All applicants also get a Feedback Report to let them know where your application was strongest and weakest which also sets it apart and will hopefully help me to win this year.”

Octopus picked up two awards last year, including the top accolade Growth Investor of the Year, Anna Pollins commented, “The Growth Investor Awards stand out for several reasons – the independence and credibility of the judging process, the criteria that looked not just on investment performance but areas such as innovation, adviser outreach and impact on how investment has supported UK smaller companies, all of which is core to our values as a business. It is clear that Guy and his team were passionate about creating something different in both the theme and delivery of these awards, and this passion came through in all of our engagement with the team who were professional from start to finish and in the event itself.”

Finalist entries will now go to a second round of judging to determine the winner in each award category. An independent panel of judges for each category is drawn from within and outside the industry – to bring a range of perspectives and level the playing field. The winner of the Industry Champion Award will be voted for by the Advisory Board later in the year. Winners of the new Growth Champion of the Year award will be determined by combined votes from a judging panel and a public voting campaign.

Guy Tolhurst commented: “As this industry grows there is a growing need for new and established players to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the advisory community and investors. By telling the story of how they are putting investment to work in UK SMEs, the Growth Investor Awards are helping the best in the industry to set themselves apart.”

The 2016 campaign of the Growth Investor Awards is supported by a family of sponsors including Smith & Williamson, Bovill, Bates Wells Braithwaite, LGBR Capital, Mainspring, RAM Capital Partners, MICAP, and RW Blears.

Winners will be revealed at the Growth Investor Awards black tie dinner held on the evening of Thursday 3 November at the Marriott Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, London. Visit www.growthinvestorawards.com/shortlist for a full list of all finalists and information on how to attend the event.

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