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
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
Young Finance Director of the Year sponsored by Grant Thornton
- David Landen, Hodge Bank
- 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 https://www.financeawardswales.com/