IFR has been giving out awards for more than a quarter of a century, but the glittering event we now host is in its 17th year. Almost 1,200 people packed into the Grosvenor House Hotel in London to attend this year’s dinner, which has become the marquee event in the global capital markets calendar. We have printed a selection of photos from the evening in the following pages.
The presentation of the IFR Awards makes this an important evening for capital markets professionals, but it is also one of the most important dates on the calendar for IFR’s charity, Save the Children. The famous IFR tombstone – during which we syndicate a live bond deal to raise money for the global children’s charity – raised £1.26m on the night, taking the total raised by attendees at the IFR Awards event to more than £20m.
This is a truly remarkable achievement. As Douglas Rouse, the charity’s director of corporate partnerships writes in this supplement: “For Save the Children, the generous donations made by the investment banking community during the prestigious awards over the past 17 years have put the sector squarely in the middle of the philanthropic hero role.”
That’s a good place to be, particularly in light of the extremely negative coverage investment banks and bankers have suffered from the mainstream media and beyond since the onset of the global financial crisis.
The IFR Awards evening, taking place as it does near the beginning of the year, is a great opportunity not only to look back over the successes and achievements of the previous year, but also to look ahead at the challenges and opportunities ahead. The past half-year in particular was tough, and there are some testing times ahead in 2012, too. But capital markets professionals are nothing if not creative. Even in last year’s tough markets, the industry put together and pulled off some amazing deals.
As a whole, the IFR Awards reflects achievement throughout the world. They are awarded to banks – and their clients – that are best able to navigate the complex headwinds that confront the industry at any one time.
In this supplement we also take a look at some of the IFR Awards history. As IFR Awards represents the best of the best in any given year; over time they also provide a unique picture of firms that have truly been driving the industry over a period of years. And, as everyone likes league tables we’ve put together some awards league tables using data going back to 1990, which, in financial markets parlance, is at least a couple of generations. As well as a record of who has been at the helm of accomplishment, the very names of the winners over 20-plus years reflect an industry in the constant flux of institutional evolution.
And, on the basis that awards are by definition backward-looking, we offer a slightly light-hearted look at the some of the awards that have subsequently become noteworthy, for reasons other than the grant of the awards. Did someone say Lehman Brothers?
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