Winners of the Inaugural Finance Awards Wales Announced


Friday night saw the winners of the inaugural Finance Awards Wales – sponsored by Recruit 121 – revealed at a lavish ceremony held at City Hall and hosted by BBC presenter Sian Lloyd.

The Awards are the first of their kind to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Wales’s burgeoning Finance sector – the fastest growing in the UK and home to some of the most exciting and innovative players in the industry.

With over 400 people in attendance on the night, 11 awards were handed out with Hodge Bank winning the Financial Services Team of the Year award.

Admiral Group scooped the award for Medium/Large Finance Team of the Year, while Caerphilly-based Aerfin, the fastest growing aerospace company in Europe, won the Small Finance Team of the Year award.

Matthew Hyde, managing director of Finance Awards Wales, said:

“The Finance sector in Wales is simply huge, and it’s getting bigger.

“Yet despite growing by almost 11% since 2014 and supporting some 54,000 jobs, it rarely receives the recognition it deserves. That’s what these awards are all about.

“The standard and number of entries received defied expectations and those who walked away with their awards are deserved winners.”

Che Hooking, managing director of headline sponsors, Recruit 121, said:

“We are delighted to have been involved in these awards, and to have the opportunity to play a part in celebrating the very best Finance businesses and individuals in Wales.

“By shining the spotlight on the many achievements within the sector over the last 12 months, our hope is that more and more people will recognise the outstanding contribution of the Finance sector which in turn will spur its continued growth over the next 12 months and beyond.”

The awards recognised those companies and individuals who have enjoyed significant success over the last 12 months and made a significant contribution both to the Finance sector and to the wider Welsh economy itself.

The judging panel, Chaired by Ken Poole, Head of Economic Development, City of Cardiff Council, included Mike Fowler – Group Finance Director Leekes Retail and Leisure Group; Mark Tweed – Deputy European CFO and Interim Head of Legal at Opel Vauxhall Finance; and, Emma Peterson – Director, Recruit 121 Finance & Accounting Solutions

On the launch of the Awards, Ken Skates, Wales’ economy & infrastructure cabinet secretary, said:

“A skilled workforce is vital in driving a strong, growth economy and in Wales our finance professionals play pivotal roles across all industries and sectors.

“These new Finance Awards Wales will recognise the very best talent and will show that Wales has the skills to compete at the highest levels of world business.”

The Winners of the Finance Awards Wales 2018 are:

Accountant of the Year sponsored by Bibby Financial Services

  • Lauren Palmer, Principality Building Society

Accounts Assistant of the Year sponsored by Recruit121

  • Olivia Evans, Tiger Cardiff (Flying Tiger Copenhagen)

Chief Financial Officer/Finance Director of the Year sponsored by Grant Thornton

  • Hannah Heath, JoJo Maman Bébé

Credit Team of the Year sponsored by Bluegg

  • Sonovate

Finance Controller of the Year sponsored by D&G Office Interiors

  • Flexicare Medical, Vicky Williams

Financial Services Finance Team of the Year sponsored by Juno Moneta Group

  • Hodge Bank

Medium/Large Finance Team of the Year sponsored by Recruit121

  • Admiral Group

Rising Star of the Year sponsored by Henry Howard Finance Group

  • Gwenno George, Acuity Legal

Small Finance Team of the Year sponsored by Grant Stephens Family Law

  • Aerfin

Young Finance Director of the Year sponsored by Grant Thornton

  • David Landen, Hodge Bank

Highly Commended

  • Financial Services Finance Team of the Year – NatWest
  • Medium/Large Finance Team of the Year – JoJo Maman Bébé
  • Rising Star of the Year – Sally Avery, Retail Merchandising Services
  • Small Finance Team of the Year – Guardian Global Technologies
  • Young Finance Director of the Year – Bridgend College, Sarah Foster

Outstanding Contribution to Finance

  • Andrew Probert

For information about the Finance Awards Wales, please visit


Over the past 6 years, Rachel has been working specifically within the digital marketing space and has worked with some of the country’s top brands. During this time, Rachel was a key attribute to the success of our sister product, Recruitment Buzz, which has firmly established itself as one of the leading publications within the Recruitment sector. Drawing on her knowledge and experience, Rachel has developed a genuine understanding of how content can engage and compel an audience.

Having a passion for travel and culture, Rachel left her hometown of Cardiff to pursue studies and travel and after several years away, Rachel returned to Cardiff and firmly established herself within the development of Business News Wales. Rachel is now responsible for every aspect of web management, marketing and overall production of the Business News Wales brand.

Having learnt some invaluable skills within the marketing industry, Rachel is often called upon for her skills and knowledge of WordPress, HTML, email marketing software, Photoshop design and social media tools.


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