Northern FD Awards launched to recognise outstanding finance leaders

Nominations are now open for the Northern Finance Director Awards, recognising the important, and often unheralded contribution finance leaders play in businesses across the North West.

As a result of the unprecedented peacetime social and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently Brexit uncertainty, the awards, across 14 categories, will recognise the enterprise, leadership, resilience, social impact and all-round excellence of the financial directors and chief financial officers in Northern businesses over the past 12 months.

Those FDs, who helped steer their businesses through the turbulent waters of the pandemic with particular skill will be recognised with the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Excellence award, while a Diversity and Inclusion Award has been added to the programme this year, reflecting the need to encourage and champion diversity in boardrooms.

Nominations are now open and can be submitted via Reflecting government social distancing guidance, this year’s awards will comprise of a Northern FD Power List to be announced in early July, followed by regional roundtables in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire later in the year announcing the winners, subject to restrictions being lifted.

The awards are open to finance directors in all industries, whether working for a fast-growing SME or an innovative PLC, as well as for the benefit of the wide region.

The categories are:

  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company up to £25 million
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company of £25 million – £100 million
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company over £100 million
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Listed Company
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Private Equity-backed Company
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Global Company (HQ in the North (Subsidiary))


Outstanding Achievement Awards

  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Growth/Scale Up
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Innovation
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Leadership
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – One to Watch
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Turn Around
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2021 – Deal of the Year

Celebrating Excellence

  • Diversity and Inclusion Excellence
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Response Excellence

Finalists will be invited to attend Zoom/ Microsoft Teams interviews, with the winners then selected by an independent panel of judges.

The awards are being sponsored by business advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP, global law firm Squire Patton Boggs and leading recruitment firm Michael Page.

Gareth Hitchmough, Partner at Grant Thornton in the North West said: “After a year of incredible change, challenge and uncertainty, it’s really important to celebrate the fantastic, and often unsung contribution to our region’s businesses of finance directors and chief financial officers.

“We’re increasingly seeing more complex demands and expectations being placed on FDs and CFOs as businesses look to grow with new products and services, enter new markets or look at strategic acquisitions. The role is so much more diverse and rewarding than it has ever been and we are delighted to be involved in these awards.

Giles Chesher, Corporate Partner, Manchester at Squire Patton Boggs said: “Finance Directors have battled through an incredibly difficult and unforeseeable year, in many cases demonstrating commendable leadership and stewardship in steering their respective businesses to safety and in many cases unprecedented growth. The Northern Finance Director Awards provides a platform to applaud and celebrate the successes of the FDs in the region.

“In light of the volatile year that we have experienced, and the changing landscape that we are navigating, we have added two new special categories to these awards; COVID-19 Pandemic Response Excellence, and an Inclusion & Diversity award.

“We are excited for the return of this campaign, and to honour the exceptional talent that resides in the North.”

John Halton – Associate Partner – Page Executive added: “This year in particular finance leaders in businesses both large and small have been relied upon more than normal as these difficult times have presented challenges for everyone.

“It is a privilege therefore to be involved in these awards and to recognise some of the exceptional FD and CFO talent across the region – who will have been directly involved in helping, and continuing to help, their companies navigate through COVID-19.

“We look forward to sharing some success stories and highlighting the ever impressive capability of the finance leadership across the North.”