And the winner is…our Rainmaker of the Year Awards 2023
The winner of the North West Rainmaker of the year for 2023 is MHA Moore And Smalley corporate partner Andrew Feeke.
Even a fire alarm and evacuation late into proceedings couldn’t stop the fun.
On winning the award tonight at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, he said: “I am taken aback by this.
“We have done a lot of deals consistently and built the team out, who are doing really well.
“It has been a great year for us – last year, this year, and the coming year too.”
Around 400 corporate finance professionals gathered at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on Thursday evening (15 June 2023) for the 2023 awards, which were hosted by stand-up comedian and author Ian Moore. The awards were headline sponsored by Aquis Exchange and Michael Page, with sponsors Gilbanks, Hall Brown Family Law, and Vertu.
Changemaker of the Year was Nicola Merritt, founder of Cortus Advisory, who said: “It’s a personal award, but it’s a team award too.
“Referrals and relationships are key and everyone in this room tonight helps each other out. It feels like being amongst friends, old and new.”
Cortus won three awards on the night, collecting the M&A deal of the year for their efforts on completing RSK’s string of acquisition.
Michael Taylor, editor, TheBusinessDesk.com for the North West, said: “It was such a good night, and I really enjoyed meeting so many people from the region’s corporate finance community, proving once again that the region really is a powerful centre for funding and advice for the region’s risk takers and entrepreneurs.”
The event also raised money for the Ahead of the Game non-profit foundation formed in 2021 by Dave Bolton who had a terminal brain cancer diagnosis. The charity is supported by former Scotland football international Dominic Matteo and his wife Jess, and charity founder Dave Bolton, who were also there on the night.
All the winners were judged on a “one firm, one vote” basis following a shortlisting process in May held at Squire Patton Boggs.
Category winners and shortlisted
WINNER: Andrew Feeke, MHA Moore and Smalley
Pete Barclay, WestBridge
Mark Clephan, EY
Gary Davison, TDC
Dominic Orsini, Houlihan Lokey
Peter Terry, Grant Thornton
Changemaker of the Year
WINNER: Nicola Merritt, Cortus
Claire Alvarez, Foresight
Beth Houghton, Palatine
Rebecca Rennison, EY
Victoria Stewart, The Alchemist
WINNER: Jacob Leone, LDC
James Crossman, CMS Law
James Kennedy, Cowgills
Katy Philips, DWF
Laura Sisson, YFM Equity Partners
Alex Stewart, Cortus Advisory
WINNER: Addleshaw Goddard
Squire Patton Boggs
WINNER: Clearwater International
MHA Moore and Smalley
WINNER: Palatine Private Equity
Transaction Services Team
WINNER: Cortus Advisory
Knight Transaction Services
Dow Schofield Watts
Knight Transaction Services
Small Cap (under £15m)
WINNER: Maven’s acquisition of ProofID (Clearwater International, Maven Capital Partners)
Nanoco Group raised £5.65m through a share placing
NQ64 Arcade Bars secured £2.5m in growth capital from ThinCats
Browne Jacobson, Hill Dickinson LLP, ThinCats, Montane Finance, Pierce & Co
FourNet bought IT infrastructure business C>Ways
Palatine Private Equity, Gateley, Knight CF
Fletchers Solicitors acquired medical negligence specialist Minton Morrill
Addleshaw Goddard, Clarion Solicitors, Armstrong Watson CF, Dow Schofield Watts, Sun Capital
Biorelate secured £6.5m in a Series A investment.
Craig Corporate Management , Manchester Tech Trust, Maven, Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, Triple Point Ventures, YFM
Space48 owner Dark Matter Commerce acquired Brave the Skies
Berwins, TLT, Cowgills, Foresight
Private Equity Exit
WINNER: WestBridge took a majority stake in Alpine Fire Engineers, investing £18.7m, while Soho Square Capital exited.
Addleshaw Goddard, Pinsent Masons, BDO, Blick Rothenberg, Clearwater International. Grant Thornton, Jamieson Corporate Finance, Soho Square Capital, WestBridge and Shawbrook.
Sykes Cottages acquired Forest Holidays Group from existing investors Phoenix Equity Partners and LDC.
Burness Paull, Eversheds Sutherland, Hogan Lovells, Mayer Brown, Travers Smith, Clearwater International, FTI Consulting, Harris Williams & Co, Liberty Corporate Finance, Springboard CF
ECI Partners acquired IT support services company BCN Group from Beech Tree Private Equity.
DLA Piper, Squire Patton Boggs, Clearwater International, EY, PwC, Beech Tree Private Equity, ECI Partners.
TriSpan acquired a stake in Mowgli Street Food Group from Foresight.
BDO, Grant Thornton, Rising Stars LP, PwC, Foresight, TriSpan, OakNorth Bank.
LDC led a secondary buy-out of Horsefly from Mercia.
Brabners, Slater Heelis, Squire Patton Boggs, Grant Thornton, PwC, LDC, Mercia Fund Management.
Marlin Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Cloud Technology Solutions from Northedge Capital.
Mayer Brown, Squire Patton Boggs, Marlin Equity Partners, NorthEdge.
Greene King bought Hickory’s Smokehouse from Piper Private Equity.
BDO, RSM, Piper Private Equity.
WINNER: RSK made seven acquisitions of consultancy businesses around the UK in six weeks.
Dow Schofield Watts, Cortus Advisory, DWF.
APEM acquired GoBe Consultants, supported by a £25m refinance from Virgin Money.
Capital Law, Wallace, BDO, Dow Schofield Watts, Virgin Money, WestBridge.
JD Sports Gyms bought Bolton-based Total Swimming.
Gateley, Hill Dickinson, Cowgills.
EG Group / Asda bought the fuel retail operations of Co-operative Group in a deal worth £605m.
Addleshaw Goddard, Rothschild.
Management buy out of Inprova Group.
NVM Private Equity, Shawbrook, DWF.
LDC acquired recruitment firm Talos360.
Houlihan Lokey, Addleshaw Goddard, DWF.
WINNER: Fishawack acquired American healthcare advisers Avalere Health.
US private equity firm Silver Lake took a further 4.1% share in City Football Group, worth around $200m.
China Media Capital, Silver Lake.
RSK Group acquired Irish company Dermot Casey and French company ADEV Environment.
Dow Schofield Watts.
BluprintX bought American technology business IO Integration.
Distology acquired German technology firm Squareball Digital.
Catalyst Clinical Research, based in North Carolina, USA, bought Aptus Clinical.
Squire Patton Boggs.
WINNER: Sun European Partners bought K3 Capital Group for £270m.
Houlihan Lokey, Numis Securities, EY.
AO World raised £40m in a share placing.
Jefferies International, Numis Securities.
Tatton Asset Management acquired 50% of 8AM Global in a £7m deal, with half paid as new shares.
BDO, Zeus Capital, Singer Capital Markets.
Redx Pharma raised £34m through a share placing.
Panmure Gordon Corporate Finance, SPARK Advisory Partners, WG Partners.
Norcros raised £18m to support the £92m acquisition of Grant Westfield.
Eversheds, Shepherd & Wedderburn, Grant Thornton, Numis Securities, EY.
Dechra Pharmaceuticals raised £184m in a rights issue to support the purchase of American company Piedmont Animal Health for $210m.
EY, DLA Piper, Investec.
WINNER: The Modern Milkman raised £50m in its Series C funding round.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher, ETF Partners, Insight Partners, Praetura Ventures.
ITS Technology Group secured £100m of funding from Aviva Investors.
BDB Pitmans, Dow Schofield Watts, RSM, Aviva Investors.
KPMG and Acceleris Capital formed a joint venture, focusing on businesses in technology, life sciences and ESG-related sectors.