Bubbly, Boris and banter all sparkle at our 2012 awards

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<p>To the Grange Hotel in the heart of St Paul’s last night for City A.M.’s third annual awards ceremony.</p>

<p>After a day of glorious autumnal sunshine, 500 of the City's best and brightest worked the red carpet and were greeted in the atrium of The Grange with glasses of bubbly at the champagne reception, sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, as the Siren string quartet played in the background before dinner began.</p>

<p>Tables were in high demand for the annual event, with City big shots including professional services firms PwC and Deloitte, Brunswick PR, law firm Norton Rose, as well as representatives of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies, among other banking giants.</p>

<p>Welcoming guests to the ceremony, City A.M. editor Allister Heath summed up the spirit of the evening: "Tonight is an evening for joy, celebration and optimism. We celebrate people who win. We are an optimistic publication. And here we are celebrating success, growth, innovation, job creation."</p>

<p>He then introduced the evening’s surprise guest of honour – Mayor of London and City champion Boris Johnson, who, fresh from winning friends up north at the Tory party conference was obviously on a roll as his delivered a rousing testimony to the capital’s financial services industry.</p>

<p>Johnson addressed the audience in typical BoJo style: “I speak as the proud winner of one of your first awards, it’s in my office. Granite or some such. But I digress...I want to congratulate my favourite newspaper, City A.M.! You were right about the euro, you were right about infrastructure and aviation. And Allister is right, London is the greatest city on earth!”</p>

<p>And on a more serious – dare The Capitalist suggest – hustings-esque note, Boris continued: "Readership of City A.M. has gone up by an incredible 30 per cent" and couldn’t resist suggesting: "No doubt it is up by this amount because it is by exactly 30 per cent that we have increased the capacity of the Jubilee line!"</p>

<p>Thrilled to be back compering the awards for a third year running was the BBC's Katie Derham, who confessed: "I didn’t offend anybody last year so I must try harder. Especially after Boris Johnson - what a hard act to follow! Last time I did that Boris declaimed an ode in Ancient Greek."</p>

<p>All eyes soon shifted from the night's delicious dinner to the evening’s winners. </p>

<p>Those taking home trophies included Norton Rose for Law Firm of the Year, with chairman Stephen Parish taking to the stage to receive the trophy, Driss Ben-Brahim – until recently at GLG Partners – for Trader of the Year, Mark Sorrell of Goldman Sachs for Dealmaker of the Year and the most popular category (measured by audience applause) which turned out to be Analyst of the Year - won by Clive Black of Shore Capital.</p>

<p>Lord Sebastian Coe, who deservedly swooped the Personality of the Year trophy to a rapturous audience reception said: "I would like to thank City A.M. for its rock solid support and understanding about what we were trying to deliver during the Olympics. The first mistake I made during our campaign was never follow Boris Johnson onto any public platform, so luckily I have avoided making the same mistake twice tonight!"</p>

<p>As one dinner jacketed reveller, wine glass in hand, informed The Capitalist as they headed toward the hotel's dancefloor: "They nailed it in terms of awards. Pretty damn good".</p>