Awards show that small can be beautiful

THERE WAS mass exodus from the Square Mile last night, as fund managers, brokers and advisers donned black ties and headed to the home of Bafta in Piccadilly for the first ever Small Cap Awards.

The newly-christened awards ceremony was held to recognise the best performing companies and individuals in the small and micro-cap community. And who better to host the night than Risk Capital Partners chairman Luke Johnson. Having served as chairman of Pizza Express, Gail’s Bakery, Patisserie Valerie, Giraffe and co-founded Strada Johnson has unquestionably earned his reputation as “serial entrepreneur.”

Johnson told the audience he gave up a career in medicine to pursue his entrepreneurial passions – and it all started from having too many parties in his room at Oxford. With the threat from the Dean of being sent down, he started running his own club nights outside the college instead and never looked back.

Small cap adviser of the year went to Panmure Gordon, who greedily scooped a second award as George O’Connor took home analyst of the year. The mining and resource company award went to West African Minerals Corporation and Downing partner Judith Mackenzie.

However attendees were holding out for a hero – as the Small Cap Hero award was saved until last – and awarded to veteran fund manager Patrick Evershed for having best promoted the case for small cap firms.