Yorkshire Finance Director Awards celebrate a decade of success

The Yorkshire Finance Director of the Year Awards which last night celebrated its 10th anniversary, honoured the region’s leading Finance Directors at the prestigious awards ceremony held at Rudding Park, Harrogate.

This year’s Yorkshire Finance Director of the Year Awards seek to recognise the key contribution and exceptional performance of the region’s top Finance Directors and their ability to adapt to changing market conditions. The past ten years has certainly seen some major changes in the demands of the role which were highlighted at the event.

Compered by David Parkin from TheBusinessDesk.com, the event is the leading competition of its kind in Yorkshire and is sponsored by Ernst & Young, Santander Corporate Banking, Sewell Recruitment Group and Squire Sanders Hammonds.

Gary Verity, Yorkshire Tourist Board’s Chief Executive, was the main speaker and presenting the awards this year were some of last year’s winners, including David Gaskin of Premier Farnell Plc (Best FD of a Plc), Nick Manning of Cooper Lighting & Safety Ltd (Young FD of the Year) and Darren Bryant of Card Factory (Best FD of a PE backed business).

Amongst the winners were Andrew Fisher of Provident Financial who was presented with the evening’s outstanding achievement award and Chris Johns of Northern Gas Networks for the Deal of the Year award. The judges unanimously agreed that Andrew proved to be outstanding across all judging criteria and categories. He was commended for being an excellent team player and reading the market correctly. Johns was a key figure in the acquisition of the UK electricity distribution businesses of France’s EDF for £5.8billion; the largest M&A deal in 2010. The deal also represented the largest ever Hong Kong investment into Europe.

Other 2011 winners include:
Best Finance Director of a PLC – Tony Quinlan, Drax Group plc
Best Finance Director of an SME (up to £20m turnover) – Sue Laverick, Chapter Eight Limited
Young Finance Director of the Year – David Shann, GMI Construction Group plc
Best Finance Director of a Private Equity Company – Paul Devlin, Fletchers Bakeries Ltd
Best Finance Director of a Ltd Company – David Hanny, Go Outdoors Ltd
Best Interim Finance Director – Graham Hill

David Buckley, senior partner at Ernst & Young in Yorkshire said: “After 10 years of the FD Awards, it was good to see such a strong representation of Yorkshire’s best Financial Directors being rewarded for their contributions last night. As successful, and key, individuals in businesses, it’s important that we properly recognise their achievements.”

Neil Williams, Regional Director for Yorkshire at Santander Corporate Banking, added: “Tonight’s awards give us the opportunity to recognise a number of very talented individuals and reward Finance Directors for the part they’ve played in the success of their respective businesses”.

Cliff Sewell, Chief Executive of Sewell Recruitment Group agrees: “After been involved in the awards for 10 years it is excellent to celebrate our biggest awards dinner to date and acknowledge the impressive work the regions Finance Directors have undertaken in these challenging times”.

Mark Simpson, Partner at Squire Sanders Hammonds concluded: “Once again I have been impressed by the strong case that all of the candidates made. Tonight's winning finance directors faced tough competition and it is good to know that Yorkshire's businesses can count on such dedicated and talented individuals”.

Financial Director of the Year Awards winners 2011
Financial Director of the Year Awards winners. Left to right: Graham Hill - Interim FD, Award, David Shann of GMI Construction PLC - Young FD, Andrew Fisher of Provident Financial - Outstanding Achievement, Paul Devlin of Fletcher Bakeries - PE Backed FD, David Hanney of Go Outdoors - Best FD of a Ltd Company with Sue Laverick of Chapter Eight - SME FD.

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