Roll up to cheer the firms back from the brink

ROLL up, roll up to the Bloomsbury Big Top. The central London circus tent was the venue for the Institute for Turnaround (IFT) annual awards do.

The ceremony recognises companies that have faced financial difficulties but have transformed their businesses to come out stronger than before.

Topping the winners’ list was Kate Swann for her transformation of WHSmith, and Jaguar Land Rover for posting profits of over £1bn in 2011 following significant losses in 2008.

Other winners were National Express for Listed Company Turnaround, Barclays business support for Turnaround Financier 2012 and Pinsent Masons for Turnaround Legal Adviser of the year.

Master of ceremonies was Radio 4 presenter Jim Naughtie, who used his podium time to make gags about colleagues at the BBC: “Listening to [Robert] Peston is like listening to Wagner. You listen for an hour and a half, look at your watch and you’re only 10 minutes in.” Shame poor Peston wasn’t even there to defend himself.