Northern Financial Director Award winners revealed

The winners of the 2023 Northern Finance Director (FD) Awards were announced last night at the celebratory gala dinner at The Radisson Edwardian, Manchester.

Over 150 guests attended the awards night, from leading Finance Directors and their teams to business professionals from across the North of England.

The awards, spanning 12 categories and sponsored by international business advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP, global law firm Squire Patton Boggs, global bank Barclays and recruitment firm Page Group, paid tribute to the enterprise, leadership, resilience, social impact and all-round excellence of financial leaders and their teams in Northern businesses over the past 12 months.

The event was hosted by renowned comedian Shappi Khorsandi and attendees heard from Northern FD Awards winners both past and present throughout the night.

Highlights on the night included Lucy Bolton of Camira winning the ‘Best Northern Director’ in the ‘Leadership’ category. Camira is a global leader in contract fabrics who make fabrics for commercial spaces from offices to universities and hotels to hospitals.

Other winners included Eoghan Johnston of Huddersfield-based iamproperty taking home the ‘Best Northern Finance Director’ for the ‘Growth/Scale Up’ category, and Matthew Gallacher (D A Languages Limited) and Alex Cook (Nexus Rental) sharing the prize for the ‘One to Watch’ category. Both winners demonstrated to the judges that they had shown remarkable professional development in a short space of time whilst making substantial contributions to operational outcomes.

The full list of winners is:

  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company up to £25m – Ryan Stephenson-Brown – Evolve B G Limited
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company of £25 million – £100 million – Rob Jobbins – 26 – an MSQ agency
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Limited Company over £100 million – Chris Stefani – DWF Group plc
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Private Equity-backed Company – Jon Furber – Mobica Holdings Limited
  • Best Northern Finance Director of a Family-Owned Company – Jo Boardman – Alcedo care Group
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2023 – Turnaround – Rebecca Shellard – Esselle Retail Limited t/a Arthouse
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2023 – Growth/Scale Up – Eoghan Johnston – iamproperty
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2023 – Leadership – Lucy Bolton – Camira
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2023 – One to Watch – Joint winners: Alex Cook – Nexus Rental and Matthew Gallacher – D A Languages Limited
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2023 – Deal of the Year – Paolo Benedetto – Formerly St Pierre Group Ltd
  • Northern Finance Director of the Year 2023 – Team of the Year 2023 – Burberry Group plc
  • Celebrating Excellence – ESG Champion 2023 – Danielle Davies – Revolution Bars Group plc

Emma Davies, Partner at Grant Thornton in Yorkshire said: “It was great to gather with the North of England’s finest Finance Director’s and share in celebrating the success stories of the previous year.

“It has been no secret that the last year has presented its fair share of challenges for the region’s Finance Director’s, however due to the North’s great determination and agility, results have gone above and beyond. The awards have proved a brilliant opportunity to step back and acknowledge, as well as celebrate their outstanding achievements. A huge congratulations to all those involved.”

Hannah Kendrick, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs in Yorkshire, said: “This year’s winners and finalists represent just a fraction of the incredible talent that resides in the region; of those that are worthy of praise and recognition for their tremendous efforts in directing their respective businesses to success.

“The judging process was challenging, with many candidates worthy of taking home the prize, and tonight we celebrate all of those who are deservedly listed as finalists. The exceptional talent witnessed at these awards is just one of the many reasons that Squire Patton Boggs proudly sponsors the Northern Finance Director Awards.”

Debbie Mullen, Head of Region for Barclays in the North, said: “The North of England is home to some exceptional talent so these awards are a great way to recognise and celebrate FD’s, CFO’s and Finance teams from across the region.

“We know that the North of England is home to some brilliant FDs who help steer companies through a multitude of challenges and these awards are a real opportunity to showcase and celebrate all that they, and the North, has to offer. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists, each of who have shown their exceptional dedication and commitment to their business and our region.”

John Halton, Partner, Page Executive added: “Once again we have seen a list of outstanding winners who have shown the undoubted talent of the FD/CFO community in the North.

“No two years in business are ever the same and different challenges this year have shown once again the adaptability and breadth of business understanding that these finance leaders possess. They are great examples of what the modern board level finance professional now has to be capable of to help steer and add value to the businesses they work for.”

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