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Finance heroes of Yorkshire honoured at 15th FD Awards

Walker Morris co-sponsors prestigious FD Awards 2017

Over 100 business leaders gathered to celebrate the talent of the region’s top Finance Directors at the 2017 FD Awards held at last night.

The awards, which were open to all FDs working in limited companies, plcs, private equity businesses and the public sector, recognised the important contribution of Finance Directors to the Yorkshire business community.

Following an interview and judging process, 23 Financial Directors were selected as finalists with 8 winners being announced on the night, including the coveted ‘Outstanding Achievement by a Yorkshire Finance Director Award’, which was presented to Damian Taylor of AAK.

The leading FD awards were jointly sponsored by law firm Walker Morris, accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, insurance brokerage Lockton Companies and executive recruitment specialist VRS Executive, with Yorkshire Post as media partner.

Garry Wilson, co-founder of Endless LLP, was the guest speaker at the awards and spoke of the important role FDs play as a perfect wingman to CEOs. Garry Wilson along with co-founder, Darren Forshaw, launched the turnaround investor in 2005 with a small team of accountants in Leeds and transformed it into one of the UK’s most successful private equity houses.

Debbie Jackson, partner at Walker Morris and one of the judges of the awards, commented:

“We’ve been delighted to help celebrate the achievements of the Region’s FDs and the vital contribution they make to Yorkshire’s economy and success. As a corporate finance lawyer, I’ve seen first-hand the talent we have within Yorkshire’s finance community and the impact that good FDs have on the success of an organisation.

“Thanks to Garry Wilson for his great keynote speech. Garry draws on his knowledge over many years of working with FDs in successful Endless turnaround companies and was able to share some great insight into his experiences.”

The winners on the night were:

  • Best Finance Director of a PLC – Graham Smith, Symphony Group
  • Best Finance Director of a Non PLC (less than £50m turnover) – James Foster, Eddisons
  • Best Finance Director of a Non PLC (more than £50m turnover) – Tim Hall, Bayford Group
  • Best Finance Director of a Private Equity Backed Company – Susan Allan, Willerby Group
  • Best Finance Director in the Public Sector – David Pullein, Leeds College of Building
  • Best Finance Director of an International Business – Martin Gratton, Brenntag UK Limited
  • Best Contribution to Yorkshire – Nick Edwards, Scarborough Borough Council
  • Outstanding Achievement by a Yorkshire Finance Director – Damian Taylor, AAK