As the judging day to decide the 2015 I&R Awards winners draws closer, Insolvencynews.com has conducted a series of Q&As with last year’s all-conquering entrants, to find out the effects of success on their companies.
Taking just a summary of their views, some of last year’s winners have described how the event was a vindication of hard work, the material commercial benefits that attending and winning has brought about, and how public recognition has reinforced their reputation and “opened doors” to new clients.
Neil Taylor, founder of Neil Taylor Insolvency, said winning last year’s award of Education/Training Provider has been “massively beneficial” to their business.
“To our fairly slow-moving and risk-averse market it shows that we stand up against ‘the big boys’ and can more than hold our own,” he said.
“The award was public vindication for all the hours of sweat, creativity and dedication I and my team of six people have put into our range of products and deeply-held educational values over two years.
“To us the award was so much more than a good dinner, a polite round of applause and a piece of acrylic. It was the glaze on the cherry on the icing on the cake. We have so many ideas about how to make education and the development of those in our profession truly ‘21st century’.
“The comments made about our business model as well as the feedback we have received since the award has left us glowing with pride.”
Taylor also described some of the benefits reaped by winning, and attending previous I&R Awards nights, adding: “We are proud to now serve more than 80 per cent of the training and education market, which from a standing start of 0 per cent at the end of 2013 is no mean feat.”
Richard Marlow, director at BTI Restart, is part of the team that won last year’s Corporate Recovery Firm of the Year – New start ups.
He said: “I have no doubt such recognition delivers us additional credibility in the eyes of our peers, contemporaries and clients.
“Winning an award was all the more important to us at Restart BTi because we were only just emerging from our start-up phase. We had all worked very hard to shape the right offering, long before it was possible to take a salary, and some vindication of the team’s efforts, especially from within our own industry was very welcome.”
Marlow described how BTI Restart has used the award, and its short-listing in three categories in 2015, to help get a crucially important message across to clients and potential clients – that the firm is a new, ethical, credible alternative in the market place.
He added: “This message was central to our launch publicity, and it was valuable to be able to back it up with an award voted for by our peers. All four directors of our business will be in attendance at this year’s awards evening, along with one of our highly valued banking customers.”
The I&R Awards scheme recognises the best up-and-coming talent across the profession, not just established practitioners.
Grace Jones, of Parker Andrews, who won the Rising Star Award 2014, said: “It is great to be part of an industry that welcomes and encourages young professionals to succeed and celebrates their achievements.”
Turnaround specialist Sean Sullivan, who trades as Morston, won last year’s Turnaround Practitioner of the Year Award, primarily for his work on The Winterbourne View/CastlebeckGroup turnaround.
He said: “The award showed that this is recognised by a far wider audience than the original stakeholders.
“The award does provide prospective clients with a sense of confirmation that they are dealing with a turnaround practitioner of the right calibre. One could regard the award as a form of door opener for some potential assignments.”
By Marcel LeGouais