The IFT Annual Awards, the most prestigious awards to celebrate business turnaround and the UK’s world class turnaround experts, recognises individuals and companies.
The winners are as follows:
Large Company Turnaround of the Year – PwC for Travelex. This was a multi-year turnaround, with an emphasis on leadership. The team were persistent, adapted when required and shared their energy and motivation across the company. The case showed determination, resilience and commitment to deliver the turnaround plan, which was shared by employees, shareholders, the Barclays led lender group and PwC, leading the business back to profitability.
Mid-market Turnaround of the Year – Rcapital for Cluttons. he judges stated that this was a truly remarkable turnaround, transformation, and exit. Facing challenging trading conditions, Cluttons embarked on a journey to return to growth through successful financial restructuring, strategic repositioning, and technological innovation alongside a commitment to ESG principles. Cluttons is a heritage brand, and the turnaround enabled it to respond to the contemporary environment, echoing the IFT’s message: Adapt, Transform, Succeed.
SME Turnaround of the Year – Barclays for Salvatori Group of Companies. The judges remarked upon the resilience showed by this historically successful business in overcoming the challenges associated with a premises move, overrunning costs and profitability issues. The submission showcased the rock-solid dependability of the business support team, which enabled the management team to guide their own return to profitability
Community Impact Turnaround of the Year – BDO for HCT Group, a social enterprise and registered charity providing a range of vital community transport services. This turnaround presented a challenging case, with a lot at stake for the communities served. The judges remarked on the commitment of the leadership team, and differing skills displayed by those members of our turnaround community who were involved. The turnaround enabled the continued provision of essential services to vulnerable groups, and saved over 1,000 jobs.
DLA Piper picked up Legal Adviser of the Year. This firm has long been known for its breadth of expertise across sectors. The cases and programmes cited in their submission indicated a commitment to turnaround outcomes, and engagement across stakeholder groups. DLA Piper demonstrated that they are working at the leading edge of turnaround practice by championing Part 26a Restructuring Plans and securing notable sanctions.
Alvarez and Marsal has achieved remarkable growth and delivered exceptional solutions for clients, including as an early pioneer of Part 26a Restructuring Plans, to win in the category of Turnaround Adviser of the Year. Their submission demonstrated a spread of sector activity and great engagement with stakeholders.
Enact Fund has continued to cement its position as a leading transformational investor in the UK lower mid-market and wins Special Situations Private Equity Provider of the Year. Enact have established a strong operating model, enabling portfolio companies to drive success, with a clear commitment to sustainability and ESG practice. The team evidenced strong outcomes across portfolio companies, predicated on turnaround excellence – demonstrating the IFT brand: adapt, transform, succeed.
Blazehill Capital picked up the award for Special Situations Debt Provider of the Year. As a relatively new entrant, the marketplace has taken note and Blazehill are already recognised for their skill in both origination and managing problems. Their profile as a flexible lender, providing more choice for UK mid-market companies, is combined with a commitment to social causes.
Bringing together leading independent turnaround directors and the best lenders, investors, advisory and legal firms in turnaround, we are also delighted to celebrate individual successes.
The winner of Independent Turnaround Adviser of the Year for this year was Donald Muir. Donald is well known as a turnaround leader and his most recent large turnaround showcased his outstanding leadership skills, his ability to inspire others to excellent results and the trust he builds with stakeholders.
This is the first year The IFT had independent advisers and a boutique apply to win the independent adviser award, which prompted the judges’ decision to make two awards, with Taiga Associates taking home Independent Boutique Adviser of the Year. The judges recognised the technical excellence and EQ of all team members and their commitment to the turnaround cases they approach, no matter how big, small or challenging. Taiga support a range of companies across different sectors, and are able to provide a blend of skills to support privately owned smaller businesses, PE backed mid markets and Plcs.
Finally, our Rising Star Award went to Nashiba Shafiq of PwC, who has worked across a range of projects with a variety of stakeholders – and her personal impact came across very compellingly in her citations. Starting as a school leaver, she shows maturity beyond her years in her ability to lead, to influence change and to make a difference for future generations.
Andy Leeser, Chairman of The IFT said: “I am delighted to congratulate all our winners and showcase some of the projects our members and partners are involved in.
They work hard at restoring value to organisations in very difficult situations. Since 2020 businesses have faced a rollercoaster of disruption and the pressure is showing in the insolvency rate, which rose 27% in June 2023 compared with a year earlier, taking it to the highest level since the 2008-9 financial crisis.
The work of our members and corporate partners will remain pivotal.”
Milly Camley, CEO of The IFT said:
“I would like to congratulate all the winners in a year of highly competitive submissions demonstrating what an incredible job all our members have been doing over the last year. The quality and impact of that work was reflected in the number of quality of submissions we received for the awards this year.
Those contributions are also reflected in the findings of our recent societal impact survey, which estimated that IFT accredited members saved in excess of 55,000 jobs and £2.6bn in shareholder value in the year 2022-23. When we factor in the work of our partners the number of jobs saved rises to just shy of 150,000.”