Celebrating the best of the City

David Hellier
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Mayor of London Boris Johnson snapped up the most prestigious gong at CityA.M.’s inaugural awards ceremony last night.

A panel of judges, made up of some of the most influential members of the Square Mile’s financial community, voted unanimously for Johnson to be personality of the year, saying that he was a “wild personality” and “larger than life”. They praised him in particular for repeatedly speaking out as a lone advocate for London’s financial services community in what has been one of its toughest periods.

Accepting the award last night, the mayor told the 450-strong audience gathered at the Grange Hotel, St Paul’s, that he was honoured by the recognition. “I’m glad we are sticking up for financial services and I will continue to do so as long as I am Mayor and as long as I have breath in my body,” Johnson said.

The panel was also unanimous in voting for Burberry as CityA.M.’s company of the year in 2010. Best known for its upmarket fashion products with a peculiarly British slant, Burberry recently edged up full-year profit expectations after achieving 18 per cent sales growth. Chief executive Angela Ahrendts said yesterday that Burberry focused on “style, structure and values” to make Burberry “the great company it is”. Burberry finance director Stacey Cartwright collected the award on behalf of the company.

Other winners of awards included the Arsenal Football Club chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who won an award as the rising star of the year. Gazidis, who recently announced record-breaking profits at Arsenal, was voted as a rising star because he has shown that spending your way to the top is not the only way to achieve success in the ultra competitive world of Premier League football.

JP Morgan Cazenove was deemed by the judges to be the investment bank of the year. The judges said the bank continues to perform very strongly, with its influence felt across most major deals of the year.

Summing up the evening in his opening speech, CityA.M. editor Allister Heath said it was an “evening of festivity and optimism – two commodities that have been far too scarce in recent times.”