2022 Rainmaker Award winners revealed

Dominic Orsini, Rainmaker of the Year 2022

The winners of the 2022 North West Rainmaker Awards have been revealed with Houlihan Lokey’s Dominic Orsini named Rainmaker of the Year.

Orsini described Houlihan Lokey’s takeover of GCA Altium as “an eye opener which really put us in a good position”.

“The quality of the industry in this region is phenomenal,” he said.

“It’s a really good place to be at the minute, some great deals being done, the quality is brilliant – as the deals we have seen tonight have shown.

“Now the next two to three years is about what we can do looking forward.”

The awards celebrated and highlighted the work of the individuals and teams in the corporate finance sector who have enjoyed a strong year.

As with previous years, the awards were judged on a “one firm, one vote” basis following a shortlisting process in May.

The winners were revealed at a special summer party hosted by comedian Zoe Lyons at the Midland Hotel, Manchester.

More than 350 people attended the awards which are sponsored by Michael Page, CMS, Artorius, A2E and Oxygen.

Shelina Begum, North West editor at TheBusinessDesk.com, said: “It was another fantastic night for our North West Rainmakers celebrating the ongoing success of the corporate finance community.

“This was our eighth annual awards ceremony and it was great to see more than 350 people turn out to celebrate with us.

“Congratulations to all the shortlisted and our winners, we look forward to bringing this summer party back in 2023 and being able to once again celebrate the fantastic work being done from across the region.”

The event also saw the community raising money for The Teenage Cancer Trust, with donations collected both physically and digitally during the evening to support the charity’s work to improve the cancer experience of young people aged 13–24.


2022 North West Rainmakers Winners are:



Winner: Addleshaw Goddard
Hill Dickinson
Pinsent Masons
Squire Patton Boggs


Corporate Finance

Winner: Houlihan Lokey
Grant Thornton
Clearwater International
MHA Moore & Smalley
Zeus Capital


VC/Private Equity

Winner: Foresight Group
ECI Partners
Palatine Private Equity



Winner: Tosca Debt Capital 
OakNorth Bank
Shawbrook Bank



Deals under £15m

  • Winner: Apprentify acquired Netcom Training, backed by £5m investment from BGF
  • Arete made a significant investment in education digital platform Vivify
  • Fintech business BankiFi secured £2.2m from Praetura Ventures and GMCA
  • Connect 2 Cleanrooms acquired by US-based Angstrom
  • APEM bought Irish business AQUAFACT, its second acquisition in seven months

Private Company Deal

  • Winner: Matillion raised $150m in a funding round led by General Atlantic
  • LDC took a minority stake in healthcare specialist PAM
  • AI company Peak raised $75m in Series C funding
  • Prime Global bought HCD Economics following investment from Levine Leichtman Capital
  • LDC invested £25m for minority stake in CTI

Public Markets Deal

  • Winner: Victorian Plumbing floated on AIM, raising nearly £300m
  • Wejo joined the NASDAQ through a deal with special purpose acquisition company Virtuoso Acquisition
  • Identity specialist GB Group bought American group Acuant, supported by a £305m placing
  • musicMagpie floated on AIM, raising £110m
  • LadBible owner LBG Media raised £111m as it floated on AIM

Private Equity Exit

  • Winner: DA Languages was bought by IK Partners, with Foresight exiting
  • Seneca Partners exited Wejo when the tech company joined the NASDAQ
  • Palatine achieved a 3.7x return from Verdant Leisure, when it was sold to Pears Partnership Capital
  • BGF exited Kids Planet with a 3x return when it was bought by Fremman Capital
  • LDC exited SRL Traffic Systems, when it was sold to 3i Infrastructure

M&A Deal

  • Winner: Inflexion bought ANS, to combine with existing investment UKFast
  • EG Group and TDR Capital’s £6.8bn takeover of Asda
  • Just Childcare was sold to Kids Foundation, with Phoenix exiting
  • Confused.com owner RVU bought Manchester-based Mojo Mortgages
  • Daisy Group acquired XLN Telecom in a £210m deal

International Deal

  • Winner: Blue Prism was acquired by US fintech giant SS&C for £1.24bn
  • Chemical manufacturer Sentinel Performance Solutions was bought by Dutch company Aalberts
  • US group Acuant bought identity verification specialist Hello Soda
  • Radius Payment Solutions acquired Californian insuretech business Modus
  • Identity specialist GB Group bought American group Acuant, supported by a £305m placing



Rising Star (under 35)

Winner: Pete Barkley – WestBridge
Hayley Brightmore – Knight Transaction Services
Harry Jones – BGF
Jacob Leone – LDC
Lizzy Tindall – Eversheds Sutherland


Winner: Beth Houghton – Palatine Private Equity 
Claire Alvarez – Foresight Group
Nicola Merritt – Cortus Advisory
Charlotte Potts – Rickitt Mitchell
Jill Williams – Mercia


Winner: Dominic Orsini – Houlihan Lokey
Mark Clephan – EY
Neil Inskip – BGF
Dale Alderson – LDC
Oliver Tebbutt – Deloitte


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