Last Friday our very own Stephen Burns attended the judging panel to decide the winners of Bridging & Commercial’s 10th awards ceremony.
Two panels of industry experts met at the London Marriott Hotel in Marble Arch to select the winners of 18 different categories ahead of the awards ceremony – held in association with Masthaven – on 7th June at the Hurlingham Club, Fulham.
The broker panel met in the morning to judge the lender awards and were followed by the lender panel, which deliberated over the shortlisted broker candidates in the afternoon.
After spending time looking over the supporting documentation from the shortlisted companies and individuals in the bridging, commercial, development, alternative finance and specialist banking markets, the judges voted for who should be named the winners and highly commended.
The broker and lender panels were chaired by Adam Tyler, executive chairman at FIBA, and Nicola Firth, CEO at Knowledge Bank, respectively.
Commenting on the judging process, Nicola said: “I found the mix of judges on the panel to be a perfect balance, with each person bringing a unique perspective from their area of the market.”
Nicola explained that there was a thorough discussion around each of the companies shortlisted.
“Interestingly, there were a couple of occasions when the judges thought they knew from the outset which way they would vote, but were swayed by some very persuasive anecdotal evidence.The debate each discussion sparked was invaluable for the judges to make their decisions. The process was entirely fair and was fuelled by the quality of the debates and the calibre of the judging panel.”
“This year’s judging broker panel was a lively affair attended by members of some of the top brokerages from across the UK.
The winners and highly commended come from the testimonials of the lenders themselves, combined with the knowledge and expertise of the august judges in attendance. There will be some surprises along the way, as lengthy debate was needed on more than one occasion to reach the right conclusion.”
Rob Jupp, CEO at Brightstar – who sat on the broker judging panel – added:
“I’ve been a judge for four of the previous five years and I can say, without hesitation, that the 2018 cohort of broker judges were the strongest to date. The debate was always robust but never personal and decisions were often changed and shaped on the day by the power of the written testimonial and ensuing debate. I’m confident that the 2018 winners will be the rightful ones and not shaped by commercial influence or conjecture.”
James Bloom, managing director of short-term lending at Masthaven – who sat on the lender judging panel – said:
“As always, the day was very well organised, making the judge’s task as easy as possible. The debate was lively and healthy, and it contributed to a fair and well-reasoned outcome for the awards. The session was well chaired, and everyone’s voice was heard to ensure we got a broad spectrum of views across the market. Overall, a thorough and highly resilient process and I hope to be part of the panel for many years to come.”
While the winners have been selected, the names of the successful companies and individuals will be kept a closely guarded secret until 7th June.