It has been said that bridging business was brought to a grinding halt on Monday, June 27th, as the crème de la crème within short term finance gathered at the Bridging and Commercial Awards 2011.
Esteemed lenders, top intermediaries, powerful distributors and those who excel in the valuation, service aspects of the sector descended into the moat of the Tower of London, greeted by a bevy of models, sultry Cuban music, a couple of interesting gold men and a (very) warm welcome by their host for the day, Mo Mulki.
Aldermore collect Best Commercial Lender 2011 award from NACFB CEO Adam Tyler.
The theme was Casino Royale and the limited edition Summer Pavilion venue was the perfect complement with its red carpets, lush grassy expanses and decadent dining room. During the summery drinks reception, time was spent alternating between soaking up the sunshine and heavily populating the Cheval-sponsored bar, marking just the beginning for certain distributors…
The atmosphere was exciting and filled with good old fashioned comradery, with people catching up with long-lost former colleagues and forging important new relationships.
The dining room doors were thrown open and 38 tables awaited nearly 400 eager guests. Mo started the day off with a thank you to those present for their contribution in making this thriving, viable industry what is it today.
A delicious three-course lunch was served, beers were brought in by the bucket-load and wine flowed with speculations raised as to who had won which award amidst such interesting competition. Indeed, certain nominees made their final efforts to secure their respective prizes, despite judgement having been made almost two months ago!
The moment all had been waiting for arrived, that in which those who have done the sector proud are honoured and commended for their hard work and dedication to the broker community. Hosted by Mo along with certain prominent figures within bridging and commercial finance and accompanied by an impressive display of production in video, music and lighting, the awards ceremony commenced.
It has to be said that the winners who appeared most thrilled were MT Finance, crowned Best Bridging Newcomer. Director duo Tomer Aboody and Joshua Elash collected the award on behalf of their firm.
Liz Locke presents Dragonfly Property Finance with the Best Product Range 2011 award.
Apprentice star turned bridger, Liz Locke, presented Dragonfly Property Finance with the award for best product range, celebrating their four self-proclaimed USPs: speed, agility, flexibility and transparency.
Two important awards, that of Best Legal Partner and Best Bridging Valuer, arguably the two areas which are closest to the heart of a good short term deal, were claimed by Brightstone Law and Aztec Property Valuers respectively.
Regentsmead collect the Best Development Lender 2011 award frpom Adam Tyler, NACFB CEO.
A very proud United Trust Bank team were presented with the title of Service Excellence, an award which represents a vote of confidence from brokers in the respects of trust, reliability and unrivalled case management. Alan Margolis, Head of Bridging, said: “We were thrilled to win the “Service Excellence” award at the hottest event of the year.
UTB’s bridging team knows the importance that brokers place on service and that is why winning this particular award means so much to us.”
Bridging Lender of the Year is the category most vied for and the competition was very tough amongst the five lenders nominated. With Cheval having held onto the title for two years running, could they make it three? Would Lancashire Mortgage Corporation’s willingness and flexibility come up trumps? Or perhaps Masthaven would emerge triumphant, a solid institution in whom brokers trust. West One’s dynamic approach and appetite to lend could mean a win… However, there could only be one. 2011 has seen this team immortalised in the headlines for completing a £2.5m deal in just 3 days, securing a quarter of a billion funding line and causing a veritable industry stir with their rebrand. Voting brokers and the judging panel agreed that Dragonfly Property Finance have set the standard when it comes to delivering a service which is market-leading.
Paul Aitken presents the Dragonfly team with Best Bridging Lender 2011 award.
Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Dragonfly Property Finance, said: “We’re delighted to have won the main award and also the Best Product Range award. We’d like to give thanks to all of our brokers and partners who have played a vital role in bringing us to this point and most importantly we’d like to thank our team for all their hard work.”
Four prize draws ensued with fantastic giveaways to the tune of a James Bond Omega Seamaster watch, a slick Mont Blanc pen set and Man United executive tickets.
The remainder of the event saw guests generously support our chosen charities by taking part in the casino, sponsored by Goldentree Financial Services, with a slightly alarming amount of prize claims submitted by a crowd with more than sufficient experience in placing bets, it seems…
As the heat began to relent, groups clustered outside, stocked up with beer and enjoyed the uncharacteristic weather and good company. A quick survey would tell you that the exclusive party gathered in the shade of the Tower, looking deservedly self-satisfied, represented an industry which was having somewhat of a moment. The day was a celebration of this ongoing success and a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. With leaders like these, this year is bound to be yet another prosperous one for the sector.