A great night celebrating success in the City

Allister Heath
LAST night was an occasion to remember: City A.M.’s annual awards celebrating the best and brightest of London’s business, financial and investment communities. Over 500 guests from dozens of the City’s leading firms attended the celebration, held at the Grange Hotel in St Paul’s. There was great food, music and company, as well as a superb speech by Lord Digby Jones. I wish to extend my thanks to Saxo Bank, our headline sponsor, and also to British Airways, who sponsored the reception.

Our winners, profiled in these pages, were chosen in unique fashion. Each was initially selected after feedback and responses from professionals working across the City. We then held a meeting of our expert panel of judges, which as you can see from their profiles include many of the most influential people in Britain’s business community. The winners were announced last night to a packed room, chaired superbly as ever by ITV’s Katie Derham.

Like last year, we examined a broad range of sectors spanning the financial world in all of its forms, including banking, law, accounting, fund management and trading, among others, with the aim of singling out the highest achieving businesses, teams and individuals as well as the most promising new kids on the block. Selecting the best was far from easy – but our winners are all outstanding. They are at the forefront of developing new and better business models that will help Britain return to prosperity.

We are going down a dangerous road in today’s Britain. Success in business is increasingly reviled, even when it is arrived at fairly and without bailouts. This is completely wrong. We need a thriving capitalist sector to help create jobs and finance Britain’s massive public sector. We need successful firms and people.

It was a wonderful evening – and proof that despite the Eurozone crisis, there is more to economic life than just doom and gloom.