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financeawards twothousand& fourteen

Presented by

Wealth & i

Richard Tyler International has consistently been named one of the top sales training and management consulting firms in the world. We take a look at the company and how its hugely successful “Commitment to Excellence”® Sales Immersion™ Program is helping people improve every aspect of their life, from more rewarding relationships to additional sales – in many cases millions of dollars. Richard Tyler - Richard Tyler International, Inc.® Award for Excellence in Sales Training - USA

RICHARDTYLER I N T E R N A T I O N A L Payerise, recently voted the UK’s no.1 contractor umbrella company, are specialist accountants for contractors and freelancers Merin Yilmaz - Payerise Innovation Award for Umbrella, Payroll & Finance Solutions - UK

“The award is not only a testimony of the good work we are doing at Afrinvest but also a vote of confidence on the Nigeria economy and especially the financial services sector.” Ike Chioke/Ola Belgore - Afrinvest West Africa Limited Best for Asset Management - Nigeria

financeawards Andrew Schupak, Managing Member, SGI Cambium and President of its broker dealer SGI Cambium Securities, told us more about the firm and its philosophy, and a major deal which he hopes will put his firm, and other boutique firms, firmly on the map Andrew Schupak - SGI Cambium Deal of the Year – Spirits Of St. Louis Basketball Club Recapitalisation & Best in Securities – USA

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Award for Excellence in Sales Training - USA Richard Tyler International, Inc.®

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Family Office Consultancy Of The Year - New York Family Office Metrics

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Best for Asset Management - Nigeria Afrinvest West Africa Limited

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Best Marketing/PR Firm in Wealth Management – UK GTH Communications

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Innovation Award for Umbrella, Payroll & Finance Solutions - UK Payerise

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Best in Risk-Controlled Investing - UK Kedge Capital

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Deal Of The Year - Spirits Of St. Louis Basketball Club Recapitalization & Best in Securities - USA SGI Cambium Securities

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Best for Audit & Assurance - Malaysia KC Chia & Noor, Chartered Accountants

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Investment Bank of the Year - Nigeria Ecobank Nigeria LTD

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Best in Marc Coms M&A - UK M&A Advisory

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Independent M&A advisors of the Year - Switzerland Milennium

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Securities & Investments Institution of the Year - Isle of Man Montreux Capital Management AG

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Best Renewable Energy Advisory Firm – UK Moroni & Partners

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Best for Norwegian Tax - UK Nicolson Accountancy

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Best Support for Alternative Asset Managers Oesa Limited

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Best for European Equity Trading Services OutSET Global LLP

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Best for Alternatives Asset Management - UK PwC

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Best for M&A Advisory - Illinois Ravinia Capital LLC

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SME Choice Award: Accountants of the Year - UK Rodliffe

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Best for Business Analytic Software - UK SAS Business Analytics software

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Best for Capital Markets Advisory Firm - UK STJ Advisors

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Best for Alternative Investment Solutions Sunrise Capital Partners, LLC

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Best Alternative Investments Service Provider - USA UMB Fund Services Alternative Investments

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Pharmacy & Life Sciences Lawyer of the Year - Austria Voelkl Rechtanwalte

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Finance Law Firm of the Year - Turkey Yazici Legal

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Best for Estate Planning - Washington Schilbach Capital Strategies Best Ultra High Net Worth Client Focused Wealth Management Firm - USA Stifel

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Best Niche Commodities Fund Of Hedge Funds Manager - New York AC Investment Management, LLC

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Best for Integrated Market Analysis - USA Avascent

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Best UK Acquisition Service - ACQUA Avondale Recognised Leader in Investment Banking - Cyprus AXIA VENTURES GROUP LTD

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Best for Risk Management - Australia BDO

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Best for Liquid Market Strategies - Canada Breton Hill Capital

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Recognised Leader in Biotech Corporate Finance - UK Camden Associates

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Best in TMT Corporate Finance - UK CAPSTAN CAPITAL PARTNERS LLP

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Best for Captive Insurance - Hawaii Char Hamilton Yoshida & Shimomoto

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International Taxation Advisor of the Year - India Chaturvedi & Shah

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Best for Property Rights Appraisal - China China Regal Assets Appraisal Co. Ltd.

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Best Boutique Wealth Management Firm - California ClearPath Capital Partners

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Best Management Consultancy - Turkey Dalfin Finansal Kurumsal Iletisim ve Danismanlik Hizmetleri Ltd. Sti.

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Award for Innovation in Female Focused Wealth Management Empyrion Wealth Management

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Award for Excellence in Sales Training - USA

RICHARD TYLER INTERNATIONAL

®

Richard Tyler International, Inc.® has consistently been named one of the top sales training and management consulting firms in the world. We take a look at the company and how its hugely successful Commitment to Excellence”® Sales Immersion™ programme, which has won the Award for Excellence in Sales Training – USA in the Finance Awards, is helping people improve every aspect of their life, from more rewarding relationships with friends, associates and loved ones to additional sales – in many cases totalling millions of dollars.

R

ichard Tyler International, Inc.® is one of the world’s top sales training and management consulting firms, with 25 years’ work throughout the globe.

Having earned a strong, global reputation for delivering powerful sales education programs and management consulting services, Richard Tyler International, which is based in Houston, Texas, teaches philosophies and techniques in a number of areas vital to success in any business. These include sales, leadership, management, customer service, marketing and quality improvement.

The company has been featured widely in the media, having been profiled on national television, as well as in articles in magazines and newspapers. Additionally, Tyler shares his success and “Excellence” philosophies with millions of individuals each year through keynote presentations, seminars, books, CDs and web-based programs. At the heart of the company is a group of proven professionals with extensive experience ranging from Fortune 100 companies to business start-ups; the team can increase growth and sales for large corporations, as well as small to medium-sized businesses. Richard Tyler, a highly acclaimed speaker and author, is CEO of Richard Tyler International, Inc., as well as a diversified family of highly successful companies and services. He has been called “The world’s top Sales Trainer and Management Consultant” by his clients, students and peers, earning a worldwide reputation for his powerful educational methods and motivational techniques, as well as his experience in all levels of business, corporate education and success training. Tyler’s background in sales, leadership, management, customer service and quality improvement has allowed him to become one of the world’s most sought-after consultants, lecturers and teachers. The Commitment to Excellence”® Sales Immersion™ programme A key part of the Richard Tyler International offering is the Commitment to Excellence Sales Immersion programme, which has won the Award for Excellence in Sales Training – USA in the Finance Awards.

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It’s one of the toughest, yet most rewarding, education programs available – and not for the weak of heart – but this education program aims to make average people good and, says Richard Tyler International, makes good people excellent. The concept of striving for excellence underpins everything Richard Tyler International does, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Commitment to Excellence Sales Immersion programme. During the programme, Richard Tyler International’s four decades’ worth of knowledge, experience, skills, expertise and success in sales and negotiations are distilled down to its essence; it is said that putting the programme’s teachings into practice will change not only the student’s professional life – but also his or her personal life – for the better. Graduates of the programme have said that, since completing the course, they have seen a marked improvement in every aspect of their life, from enjoying more rewarding relationships with friends, associates and loved ones to additional sales – in many cases, millions of dollars in additional sales. “You are completely absorbed into every aspect of what you are looking at, which is sales,” says past course participant Natalie, a Sales Executive from the UK. “You’re constantly talking with a variety of people from different parts of the company or backgrounds. You’re exchanging ideas, you’re discussing things from morning until night, for seven or eight days. When you put yourself into that, you’re eating, sleeping and breathing the subject, sales. So you can be focused on it completely.


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“Salespeople tend to go into sales and then they almost get stuck in a rut,” she continues. “They think, ‘I can sell,’ and then they go on doing the same things every day and don’t think about updating their skills. These are very current and topical, fairly recently-developed skills. As the marketing environment is changing you have to adapt the way you’re doing business.” They have also stated that their prospects were enhanced and their leadership, management style and communication skills were greatly improved.

READ RICHARD TYLER’S BOOK

SALES EXCELLENCE

Seven steps to achieving extraordinary SUCCESS in sales While Others Flounder in Mediocrity, You Can Flourish In EXCELLENCE.

But such personal and professional improvement does not come easy: students have to be prepared to step out of their comfort zone. During the course, Richard Tyler International teaches students to comfortably perform at levels at which they never previously thought they were capable. Any ineffective money and success inhibiting habits students may have are wiped out, and replaced with new, powerful skills. With these skills, students will never again find themselves in a selling situation where they do not know what to do. The Commitment to Excellence Sales Immersion Education programme is an extremely thorough course, and one which covers a wide range of fundamental skills – each one carefully developed by Richard Tyler for maximum effectiveness. First is “Tyler’s Communication Skills”. The purpose of this part of the course is to teach the necessary skills involved in opening and maintaining excellent communications. Of course, in sales, verbal skills are not enough, and so, in addition to skills in the tone and projection of voice and language, body language techniques are also covered. Ways to get involvement and gather information through open ended involvement questioning techniques are also taught.

Houston Downtown skyline Texas, USA

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Further lessons include learning how to receive and give feedback, and how to use impact and interest statements. Focusing techniques which help avoid distractions are taught, and the psychological reasons that cause people to respond or react are also covered. “Tyler’s Professional Selling Checklist”, the next part of the programme, develops in the student a common attitude about the differences between “order taking” and professional selling. This part of the course also develops salespeople’s self-esteem about their chosen career. Importantly, it identifies the many differences between a merely average salesperson and an excellent one. Appearance, attitudes, qualities and professional items. These are “Tyler’s Professional Tools of the Trade”, vital tools a sales professional should have or develop, which are also covered in the Commitment to Excellence Sales Immersion Education Programme. An integral part of the course is “The Tyler 7”. These are Richard Tyler International’s steps to sales success, and they include prospecting, contact with the customer, Wants and Needs Analysis™, Presentation/Demonstration™, resolution, agreement and follow-through. “The Tyler 4” – the four fundamentals (rapport-building, Wants and Needs Analysis, product knowledge and professionalism) that apply to all sales and the ways in which they apply to a specific industry or government sector – are also taught. Graduates of the course go out into the world of sales highly equipped to achieve success. But, as with any profession, sales skills need to be continually practised. “Tyler’s Excellence Workout” teaches the how and why of keeping skills sharp, and develops self-help training techniques.

When considering any kind of decision, a client will have in his or her head a number of motives. “Tyler’s Tips” teach how to determine what the investment or buying and decision motives are of any client, developing an understanding of how these motives were formed and the essentials of working with them. Psychology is of course a major part of sales: people rarely come to a decision without having gone through numerous thought processes. “Tyler’s Major and Minor Investment and Decision Motives” teach the primary and secondary motives behind all human actions and how they affect the investment and decision process. Richard Tyler International’s Wants and Needs Analysis™ takes the form of questions that, the company says, every professional should have at their disposal. The importance of these questions and how to gather essential decision making information is taught, as is how to develop additional questions that may be appropriate. “One of the most important aspects of this course has been determining the Wants and Needs of my clients,” says Tony Karns, a US Sales Executive and past participant on the course. “I now have a much, much better understanding of how to go in and approach those people now because they are already on board, and I realise they are my best prospect in mining additional income for my company. “I have no question or doubt in my mind that I’m going to be a better salesman as a result of this.” An important, and often tricky, part of the sales process is getting from analysing a client’s wants and needs to having them ask for a presentation or demonstration. The course covers how to cross this bridge. A proper approach is vital to the rest of the business development process. The next part of the course, “The Tyler Approach” – “Excellence from the Start”, teaches students how to start every sales process in the best possible way. Customer greetings, Icebreakers™ and additional rapport skills are taught. The programme’s “Presentation/Demonstration Phase” gives an in-depth view of how to develop a Presentation/ Demonstration™ that utilises the features, advantages and benefits (FABs) of a product or service in the way which is most meaningful to each client. “Tyler’s R & R Tips” address a client’s responses and reactions. During an FAB Presentation/Demonstration, the client will most likely display a range of responses and reactions. The programme teaches participants to use these responses and reactions to optimal effect. Richard Tyler identifies three essential keys to effectiveness: involvement questions, Anchors™ and Testers™). Course

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participants will learn and how to correctly use these keys, “The Tyler 3”, in a Presentation/Demonstration. The next part of the course teaches what Anchor Phrases are, and how, when used properly, they can gain Agreement on multiple minor points in a Presentation/Demonstration, thereby making a major “YES” the outcome. How to use Anchors as Testers to isolate concerns is taught. Clients will often voice concerns during the sales process. Some of these will be real, while others are merely “stated” concerns. This part of the programme explores the most common types of concerns and how to handle them. “Road Blocks” are another obstacle to be overcome by a salesperson. The course teaches how to identify and overcome them. The Commitment to Excellence” Sales Immersion programme also teaches the “The Tyler 6”, a six-step process (listen to the concern, give the concern back, investigate the concern, resolve the concern, verify the answer, disengage) of answering customer concerns. Each step is fully explored. The psychology of each step is examined. The importance of fully utilising each and every step to achieve resolution is taught. Next, “The Tyler 12” cover the 12 most common do’s and don’ts to improve the percentages of getting the customer involved with a particular product or service. The course then teaches participants how test questions should be utilised in a Presentation/Demonstration to gauge the feeling of the customer and subsequently move resolution into the final agreement sequence. Many average salespeople miss opportunities to reach agreement with their customers. And so the course identifies eight specific situations that signal when it is time to ask for agreement. These are “Tyler’s ‘Agree Now Tips”. There are five steps that exist in the Final Agreement Sequence™. The Commitment to Excellence Sales Immersion Education programme identifies the specifics of each step and the skills necessary to make each step progress smoothly to the next. More reasons for failure are examined and the ways to avoid failure are explained. What is the aim of any salesperson during negotiations? The answer is, of course, agreement. “Tyler’s Power Methods for Reaching Agreement” are techniques that address the most common types of concerns or fears customers have. How to move from one technique to the next is also taught. “Tyler’s Negotiation Keys” improve the student’s working knowledge of a key concept: that negotiating is always taking place in every sale or decision. How to create “Tyler’s Triple Win” is also explored.


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Finally, any good salesperson knows that using negativity is never an effective tactic in sales. And so the course teaches ways to subtly, but effectively, create feelings of uneasiness about the competition – without using negative statements or actions. These ingenious methods are known as “Tyler’s ‘Land Mines’ For the Competition”. It is clear that this is a comprehensive programme. But, it is worth it. It must be, because upon graduation 100 percent of the participants over more than 25 years would recommend this training for others. A truly remarkable testament to the enduring value and timelessness of Richard Tyler’s success philosophies. In conclusion, the Richard Tyler International six-day “Commitment to Excellence”® Sales Immersion™ Sales Training Program helps the dedicated salesperson develop the attitudes, skills, and tools to turn a sales plan into incredible achievement. And, when the attributes and strategies for success taught during the course are put into practice, one thing is guaranteed: career excellence.

®

RICHARDTYLER I N T E R N A T I O N A L Address: Richard Tyler International, Inc.® 5773 Woodway Dr., Suite 860 Houston, TX 77057-1501 USA Tel: +1 713 974 7214 Website: www.RichardTyler.com Website: www.SalesImmersion.com

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Best for Asset Management - Nigeria

AFRINVEST Afrinvest Asset Management Limited is a subsidiary of Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited, a management majority-owned securities firm involved in investment banking, securities trading, asset management and investment research with a focus on West Africa. Ike Chioke, Managing Director (pictured left), told us how the firm is helping its clients make the most of the region’s vibrant economy.

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frinvest Asset Management Limited (AAML) is licensed by Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria as a Fund/Portfolio Manager. AAML is a subsidiary of Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited with over two decades experience in investment banking, securities trading, and investment management. AAML offers tailored asset management services to its target high-net worth, institutional and retail clients with products structured along three key focus areas: privately managed accounts; mutual funds; and general investment advisory. Lagos, Nigeria

AAML’s asset class coverage consists of: fixed income; equities and money market instrument; and real estate. “Our daily activities revolve around gathering of market intelligence to align clients’ portfolios appropriately,” says Ike Chioke, Managing Director. “We are to be in tune with governmental policies and their implications on our managed portfolios or asset classes.” Clients find Afrinvest’s flexibility and excellent client service delivery to be the best points about working with the company, says Chioke.

“Our services are customised for our clients, and where generic products or services are available, we are still able to accommodate their peculiarities by tweaking these products and services to meet them. “Since people remain our core asset, our twice-a-week knowledge sharing sessions and in-house trainings guarantee that we continue to meet our commitment to human capacity development. Our philosophy is based on integrity and transparency. Clients are the reason we are in business and they have options so we must provide them quality services to keep us in business.” The Nigerian economy is currently in the throes of an economic downturn, occasioned by a 40% decline in oil prices and its attendant adverse impact on the value of the Naira and on foreign reserves, says Chioke. “Consequently, the outlook for the financial services sector in 2015 is negative, with additional regulatory pressure and heightened political tensions (arising from the forthcoming 2015 general elections) expected to further dampen sentiments. Whilst the consensus view suggests that 2015 will be a challenging year, we believe that with the right mix of skills, knowledge and expertise, the current players in the financial services sector can successfully navigate the turbulence, especially for those who recognise and leverage on the power of technology.” There are many opportunities in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, Chioke says. “Given Nigeria’s favourable demographics (with a population of over 170 million people, of which more than half are below the age of 20) and considering its relatively low level of banking penetra-

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tion (more than 70% of money in circulation is within the informal sector), a well-focused and innovative company is well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities and record tremendous success. “Of course, there are inherent risks to doing business in these parts but with careful thinking and discipline approach to risk identification and mitigation, the long term prospects remain bright.” Technology continues to transform the global business landscape – and companies failing to keep up do so at their peril, says Chioke. “Any organisation not open to change is certainly poised towards extinction. And by the way, opportunity no longer knocks, it beeps/clicks. Given recent advances in computing power, development of smart devices and the ubiquity of mobile technology, we reckon that the business model for the entire financial services industry has been irrevocably disrupted. We are therefore keeping track of these advancements with a view to providing financial services that are at the cutting edge of modern technology, as you can see from afrinvestor.com, which provides our clients online and real-time trading access to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

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Afrinvest was recently named Best for Asset Management – Nigeria in the Finance Awards. “It is reassuring to note that our efforts in the area of financial inclusion through product innovation and the promotion of a savings culture amongst Nigerians are being recognised with this award,” says Chioke. “The award is not only a testimony of the good work we are doing at Afrinvest but also a vote of confidence on the Nigeria economy and especially the financial services sector.

Clients and Employees Chioke feels that a good business must always prioritise employees needs and utmost satisfaction as they represent the basis for sustainable, long term future growth. “As already stated, our employees are our greatest asset, hence our recruitment processes are thorough and our commitment to on-going training. Our working practices are in strict accordance with our corporate governance codes and in keeping with our regulatory requirements.”

“We are therefore delighted to be recipients of this prestigious award. “The ability to successfully wade through crises is a major indicator in measuring an entity’s resilience. Having emerged stronger from the market crises of 2008/2009, which saw many of our competitors ultimately close shop, reaffirms our then uncommon resolve to abide by strict operational standards of compliance and corporate governance codes. “This, coupled with the performance of our mutual funds - the Nigeria International Debt Fund (NIDF) and the Afrinvest Equity Fund (AEF), both listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), we believe are contributory factors to winning this award.”

Company: Afrinvest Asset Management Limited Name: Ola Belgore Email: obelgore@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com Address: 27, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. Phone: +234 1 270 1680


AMC Group financeawards twothousand&fourteen

Top Mortgage Broker of 2014

171 Syon Lane, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 5PZ Tel: 020 8560 0901 Email: adel@amcgroup.org.uk


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Innovation Award for Umbrella, Payroll & Finance Solutions - UK

PAYERISE

Payerise, recently voted the UK’s no.1 contractor umbrella company, are specialist accountants for contractors and freelancers.

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rom its inception in 2007, Payerise has gone from strength to strength, and today dominates the umbrella industry.

We offer an established umbrella company solution and also offer a full Limited Company service (PSC) for contractors who are looking for the higher potential returns than running their own Limited Company can offer. We work closely with recruitment agencies across the UK, both small and multi-national, providing a fully compliant service, allowing agencies to concentrate on what they do best. Our broad base of blue chip commercial experience is leading the business development team toward our goal of becoming the most professional, the most responsive and the most reliable team in the Financial Solutions marketplace.

Payerise was originally formed to provide employment opportunities for workers in the health and social care sectors. It has now expanded across a whole array of business sectors and can provide advice to its employees about a whole range of issues. When you join Payerise you become a direct employee of the umbrella company and undertake various roles to suit your experience. As your employer, the umbrella company also provides you with all your employment benefits and protection, plus the reimbursement of approved business expenses. Give yourself a Payerise today. Payerise umbrella companies are a totally legitimate, well tried and tested route of managing and maximising your pay. We’re 100% compliant.

Unfortunately, some umbrella companies operate questionable expense practices leaving their contractors open to retrospective investigation from the UK tax office. Payerise is renowned for our rigorous, ethical approach ensuring all our contractors payment affairs fall within accepted government guidelines.This applies in particular to our expenses policy. With Payerise you have total security that your claims are 100% compliant with HMRC regulations. Adhering to strict tax and legal guidelines, Payerise Umbrella Companies process temporary workers’ wages as efficiently and profitably as possible. Payerise benefits: • Access to online portal • Continuous employment • Fast, accurate payment • Insurance cover • Finance and tax services • Same day payroll • Dedicated Account Manager

Address: 1st and 2nd Floor 84 Coombe Road, New Malden, KT3 4QS Phone: 08443 711 977 Email: agency@payerise.co.uk Web: www.payerise.co.uk

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Deal of the Year – Spirits Of St. Louis Basketball Club Recapitalisation & Best in Securities – USA

SGI CAMBIUM

Andrew Schupak, Managing Member, SGI Cambium and President of its broker dealer SGI Cambium Securities, told us more about the firm and its philosophy, and a major deal which he hopes will put his firm, and other boutique firms, firmly on the map.

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GI Cambium is a global boutique merchant bank focused on unique domestic and cross-border investment opportunities. In certain circumstances, SGI Cambium acts as strategic and/or financial advisor to its network of investors and clients. The company was formed by the 2011 combination of Schupak Group, a strategic consultancy and merchant bank, and Cambium USA, a special situations merchant bank.

The firm’s clients appreciate the fact that it is able to draw from deep experience as business owners and advisors of companies across a broad spectrum of industry sectors, sizes and phases of evolution, he says. “We have been in their shoes in one form or another, which differentiates us from most financial advisory firms, particularly firms of our size. In addition, we can often utilise experiences from outside a client’s sector to generate results for them.”

The principals of SGI Cambium, which has been named Best in Securities – USA in the Finance Awards, include owner-operators of companies that have enjoyed success in developing business strategies to transform companies to create value and achieve financial marketplace rewards. “As a result, we work with owners and managers of companies that are experiencing business challenges that do not have obvious solutions who are seeking advisors that can play a role as adjunct strategy, operational and finance management to assist in addressing those challenges and develop and execute innovative ways to fix, improve and finance their businesses,” says Andrew Schupak, Managing Member. “Accordingly, many of the financings that we have completed by necessity create new precedents in the financing markets.”

Schupak himself has 25 years of investment banking and private equity experience, spanning leveraged finance, restructuring, capital markets and M&A in sectors as varied as gaming, hospitality, real estate, professional sports, food and consumer products.

Schupak says SGI Cambium has a pedigree of being directly invested in the companies with whom it works. “The way that shows up is we approach our assignments as if we were owners of the companies with whom we work – and frequently we become financial stakeholders in these companies before, during or after a transaction. As a small firm, we frequently need to collaborate with a select group other firms to complement our capabilities or resources. We approach our management and choreography of these other firms as if we were adjunct company management. As a result, the reflex to align the interests of all parties in a transaction is one that develops among professionals who work for us or with us.”

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He was President of merchant banking firm Schupak Group, and provided financial advisory services to clients through affiliate Esopus Capital Management. Among his many accomplishments with Schupak Group/Esopus Capital, he structured, capitalised and managed a joint-venture with a €1.4bn revenue Spanish branded food company in the acquisition of the second-largest rice producer in the US. Previously, he founded and ran the Financial Sponsors Group at Wasserstein Perella & Co. After the company’s sale to Dresdner Kleinwort in 2000, he served as a Managing Director, ran the Private Equity Advisory Group and served on the firm’s operating and fairness committees. He also integrated their European private equity activities to successfully implement cross border and international transaction development and execution. In January 2014, Schupak oversaw the financing of a major deal – one which has roots going back 38 years. Until 1976, the United States had two basketball leagues: the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the American Basketball Association (ABA). That year, the ABA merged with

the NBA. Four of the ABA’s teams – the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, New York Nets and Denver Nuggets – were absorbed into the NBA, while the remaining two teams, the Kentucky Colonels and the Spirits of St. Louis, were left out. The Colonels’ owners took US$3m from the NBA to fold their team, while the owners of the Spirits, accepted just US$2.2m – along with an agreement that they would to receive one seventh of the national TV revenue that each of the four former ABA teams would receive, for as long as the NBA existed. Coinciding with a huge rise in cable TV coverage – and the increased revenues it would provide – it was a deal that, to this day, is frequently cited as the greatest in sports history. In January 2014, the Spirits’ partners (who up to that point had received around US$300m as a result of the deal), the NBA and the four former ABA teams announced a conditional recapitalization that would see the Spirits’ partners receive the proceeds from a US$510m financing, featuring a private placement of senior secured notes and a complex tranche of short-term sub debt, thus reducing their collective interest to a minority share and separately settle a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Spirits’ partners that demanded additional compensation from sources of television revenue, including foreign broadcasting of games, that did not exist in 1976. Financing the recapitalization required a unique level of coordinating complex tax, M&A and financing issues, Schupak says. “The ability to have a strong enough mastery of the issues in each of these areas to structure a transaction that met all of the stakeholders objectives was critical. More critical was the ability to balance all of these masters through the many twists and turns that always develop over the course of negotiating and executing a transaction that had as many constituents with different or competing objectives. Also, each of the various constituents had their own tax, M&A and other professionals. The ability to choreograph and lead everyone as issues presented themselves


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was critical. In addition, this transaction was completed under the overhang of ongoing litigation and in the face of a media contract that was expiring in three years.” “Managing the tension and uncertainty added by those conditions along with all of the other factors is what in my mind makes the successful completion of this transaction worthy of acknowledgment. While I hope that not every transaction we work on in the future is as complicated, we would like to showcase our ability to create value and successful outcomes in difficult, multi-constituent situations in competing for or developing future transactions. While we as a firm, and I as a professional, tend to focus more on situations as opposed to industries, this transaction was a premiere media and sports transaction. There are not many firms, particularly boutiques, that have the in depth experience in these areas and capital markets that we have and I expect that we will have an opportunity to exploit that going forward.” The successful completion of the deal, Schupak says, is proof that often-overlooked smaller firms are just as able as the financial industry’s big names to carry out the most complex transactions. “From the perspective of SGI Cambium Securities – a small boutique firm – it seems that there is a serious bias toward large and mega-firms among clients who distribute advisory roles in large and complicated transactions, particularly highly public ones,” he says. “There are a lot of highly creative, experienced and competent professionals that can bring to bear innovative solutions to complex deal issues that don’t get the call because they don’t have the brand name recognition.” “From my perspective, working with top level professionals representing the various constituents: Rothschild, Simpson Thacher, Davis Polk and Proskauer on deal structuring and negotiation and JP Morgan and BAML on securities distribution, was an important component of this successful transaction. The ability of our boutique to play a leadership role while collaborating with these household names amidst the considerable folklore and press interest helps us develop our own brand for bringing leadership and creative execution to complex transactions and potentially casts a halo over other boutiques with similar capabilities.”

SGI Cambium Address: 595 Madison Avenue, 19th Floor New York, NY 10022 USA Phone: +1 212 582 4210 Fax: +1 212 262 1031 Email: info@sgicambium.com Web: www.sgicambium.com

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Investment Bank of the Year - Nigeria

ECOBANK NIGERIA The dual objective of Ecobank Group is to build a world-class pan-African bank and to contribute to the economic and financial integration and development of the African continent.

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ncorporated as a public limited liability company on October 7, 1986, Ecobank Nigeria Ltd is a subsidiary of Africa’s leading independent banking group, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI). Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Following the successful acquisition of Oceanic Bank International by the Ecobank group, Ecobank Nigeria has become a top tier bank in Nigeria in terms of assets, customer base, deposits and branches. The bank currently operates a consolidated on-line, real time branch network in over 500 locations across the country. Ecobank had previously acquired the deposit liabilities and customers of the defunct All States Trust Bank Plc, Hallmark Bank Plc and African International Bank Plc (AIB). Ecobank Group - How it all started Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, a public limited liability company, was established as a bank holding company in 1985 under a private sector initiative spearheaded by the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry with the support of ECOWAS. In the early 1980’s the banking industry in West Africa was dominated by foreign and state-owned banks. There were hardly any commercial banks in West Africa owned and managed by the African private sector. ETI was founded with the objective of filling this vacuum. The Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce promoted and initiated a project for the creation of a private regional banking institution in West Africa. In 1984, Ecopromotions S.A. was incorporated. Its founding shareholders raised the seed capital for the feasibility studies and the promotional activities leading to the creation of ETI. In October 1985, ETI was incorporated with an authorised capital of US$100m. The initial paid up capital of US$32m was raised from over 1,500 individuals and institutions from West African countries. The largest shareholder was

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the ECOWAS Fund for Cooperation, Compensation and Development (ECOWAS Fund), the development finance arm of ECOWAS. A Headquarters’ Agreement was signed with the government of Togo in 1985 which granted ETI the status of an international organization with the rights and privileges necessary for it to operate as a regional institution, including the status of a non-resident financial institution. ETI commenced operations with its first subsidiary in Togo in March 1988. The Group today Today, Ecobank is the leading pan-African bank with operations in 36 countries across the continent, more than any other bank in the world. It currently operates in countries in West, Central , East and Southern Africa, namely Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group also has a licensed operation in Paris and representative offices in Beijing, Dubai, Johannesburg and London. Business Segments The Ecobank Group is a full-service bank focused on Middle Africa. It provides wholesale, retail, investment and transactional banking services to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, local companies, SMEs and individuals. Ecobank’s services are delivered by three customer-focused business segments, Corporate Bank, Domestic Bank and Ecobank Capital all of which are supported by an Integrated IT platform operated by eProcess, the group’s technology subsidiary. Corporate Bank provides financial solutions to global and regional corporates, public corporates, financial institutions and international organizations. Products focus on pan-African lending, trade services, cash management, internet banking and value chain finance.

Domestic Bank provides convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services to retail, local corporate, public sector and microfinance customers, leverages an extensive branch and ATM network as well as mobile, internet and remittances banking platforms. Ecobank Capital provides treasury, corporate finance and investment banking, securities and asset management solutions to corporate and governmental customers. There is also a Research team within Ecobank Capital in key markets, providing unique information support capabilities. The Brand Ecobank operates as “One Bank” with common branding, standards, policies, processes to provide a consistent and reliable service across its unique network of 1,305 branches, 2,426 ATMs, and 13,800 POS machines servicing over 10 million customers. The bank has an integrated information technology platform, with all of its operations successfully migrated onto a single core banking application: Oracle Flexcube. With 19,565 employees as at end of March 2014, the Group is the largest employer of labor in the financial sector industry in Middle Africa. Sustainability Sustainability is at the core of Ecobank’s mission and vision of building a world-class pan-African bank that contributes to the integration and socio-economic development of the continent. It takes the view that the long-term success of Ecobank is intertwined with the sustainable development of the economies, societies and environment that it operates in. In 2012, the Group adopted an integrated and comprehensive approach to sustainability and created a common framework. The framework depicts sustainability such that the bank’s business operational model ensures effective, efficient and sustainable utilization of economic, social, human and natural capital. This framework reflects a commitment to drive economic transformation in Africa while protecting the environment by being a socially responsible financial institution.


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Adetola Oshomah, Head Brand and Communications Phone: +234 8022226353 Email: aoshomah@ecobank.com Austen Osokpor – Media Relations Phone: : +234 8023877699 Email: aosokpor@ecobank.com Head Office Ecobank Nigeria Ltd, Plot 21, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria Web: www.ecobank.com

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SCHILBACH CAPITAL STRATEGIES, LLC AN INDEPENDENT FIRM

Address: 800 Fifth Avenue Suite 4100 Seattle, WA 98104 Tel: +1 206 447 1367 Fax: +1 206 447 1369 Email: ivo.schilbach@raymondjames.com

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Best for Estate Planning - Washington

IVO SCHILBACH

Independent Financial Advisor, Ivo Schilbach helps clients transfer their wealth to their heirs in ways that will truly benefit them, while also upholding their values.

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ccording to Ivo Schilbach, Financial Advisor, the opportunities for independent financial specialists today are numerous. “I feel like our time has come,” he says. “Families are looking for conflict-free advice and since I run my own business, I automatically identify with my clients as a fellow business owner and can offer them a wider range of options for achieving their wealth management goals. “I definitely see the industry evolving to include the impact of family dynamics and multiple family generations in their wealth management processes. Recent studies have shown that non-financial components are primary drivers of performance. When you think about it, this makes so much sense! So we are doing everything possible to stay on the forefront of this development. It’s also a much more authentic way to serve clients because we understand their family culture and their needs at a completely different level.” Increasingly, families are asking Schilbach to do more than just advise them on their investments. “They are expressing the need for help with transitioning their wealth to their heirs in ways that will truly benefit them while also upholding the client’s values,” he says. “This is not always easy to do! Expanding this conversation to include how the conceptualised estate plan will actually affect the lives of heirs creates a context within which real communication can occur and the necessary structures and processes will more directly support the client’s desires and objectives. “As an independent RIA, I can offer consultative services like estate planning, wealth transitioning, and other services that complement traditional wealth management. I can also help families coordinate their teams of advisors, making sure that the services they receive are not in conflict with each other. “It’s important to all of my clients for the rising generations to be well educated about wealth management matters.

One of the things I enjoy most is facilitating that education and grooming rising generations for leadership.” Recent technological advances have been a boon for both Schilbach Capital Strategies and the wider industry, says Schilbach. “Technological advances have become our best friend. Since so many traditional service components have become commoditised, it frees us to spend more time on what’s important to our clients – their quality of life during retirement, how they will transition leadership and wealth to their heirs – even how they can start a new business during their retirement and explore new challenges. “As a firm, Schilbach Capital Strategies is committed to providing efficient and effective service. Keeping up with technology is a significant factor in enabling us to do this.” Schilbach says it is an “honour” to be named Best for Estate Planning – Washington in the Finance Awards. “I hope this increased visibility will enable me to be of greater service to more families who wish their legacies to be an authentic benefit to their heirs. Estate planning is such an important process for multi-generational success. The greater our industry can demonstrate excellence in this area, the more likely family estate plans will truly benefit heirs rather than become a source of conflict.” “It is always humbling to be recognised by one’s industry for high quality service,” he continues. “The fact that we come from a place of greater authenticity as we serve our clients and also that we are willing to go above and beyond what might be considered traditional services to make their lives easier truly distinguishes us. Families of wealth deal with great complexities—it’s a way of life for them. Our goal is to simplify those complexities so they can enjoy the gift of their wealth in a more robust manner.

“In light of this, we are giving greater attention to developing relationships with our clients’ rising generations, helping to educate them and groom them for future leadership. So, not only are we focused on integrating each component of their wealth management strategies, we are also giving significant attention to the impact of family relationships and family interaction on the decisions they make about their wealth. “Another objective we have is to build an advisory team that will work together for our clients like a true family office rather than separately within their particular specialties. We believe this will offer the client more of a 360-degree view of how every component of their wealth is working for them.” Schilbach says it is important today for a firm to be focused on the needs of its clients – “as our clients see them, not as we see them”. And, he says, although it is important to have a broad range of product and service offerings, it’s even more important for those products and services to be the right fit for the client. “If we view what we do from the client’s eyes, we’ll have much greater success and we will create a service model where everyone wins. When clients are more successful, that success automatically flows back to the advisors.” In any business there are always challenges to be faced and overcome. But rather than view them as obstacles, Schilbach says he sees such challenges as opportunities to further improve the standard of service he provides. “The challenges I see in the industry today are actually very exciting. I feel I’ve already overcome quite a few of them by taking the initiative to go out on my own and serve my clients in the way I’ve learned is best for them. I’m much freer to do this as an independent practitioner. Over the next 12 months I see an opportunity to really expand that service to a much more robust wealth management paradigm and I’ve hired consultants to help me do that. So it’s a very exciting time for me and for my business. I also feel it’s a very exciting time for my clients, as a result!”

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As Stifel Financial Advisors, Stephen Brown and James Goetz can help you assess your current financial situation and tailor a plan to help you pursue your financial goals. Stifel Financial Corp. is a diversified financial services holding company that conducts its business through several wholly owned subsidiaries. Its primary broker-dealer subsidiary, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, is a full-service wealth management and investment banking firm established in 1890.

financial objectives so that we can develop a strategy specific to your needs and long-term financial goals. Whether you want to plan for retirement, save for your children’s college education, reduce your tax bills, or increase your income to meet monthly expenses, you can expect personalized, professional service and advice.

At Stifel, we believe in doing business face to face. We want to understand your unique

As a part of Stifel, The Brown Group, can help you assess your current financial situation

and tailor a plan to help you pursue your financial goals. Together, we can identify an appropriate asset allocation strategy and choose investments that are consistent with your objectives and your risk tolerance. If you like personally knowing the individual guiding your investments, please call, stop by, or send an e-mail, and let The Brown Group show you how Stifel can serve your individual investment needs.

The Brown Group Stephen Brown

Manager Director/Investments stephen.brown@stifel.com

James Goetz

Senior Vice President/Investments james.goetz@stifel.com

(585) 939-7580 | (844) 233-8607 510 Clinton Square | Rochester, New York 14604 Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated | Member SIPC & NYSE | www.stifel.com


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Best Niche Commodities Fund of Hedge Funds Manager - New York

AC INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, LLC

AC Investment Management, LLC is a private New York-based investment advisor specialising in focused niche fund of hedge funds. We spoke to Ernest Scalamandre, Principal and Managing Member, about the firm and its philosophy.

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ounded in 2006, AC Investment Management, LLC (ACIM) is a niche commodities fund of hedge funds manager that manages domestic and offshore investment funds. “Our day-to-day business involves researching and monitoring discretionary commodity hedge funds, both those with which we are invested and the universe as a whole,” says Ernest Scalamandre, Principal and Managing Member. “Active portfolio management is another primary function.” ACIM’s clients consist mostly of large, established pension funds, says Scalamadre, adding that ACIM’s corporate structure is relatively flat, with all team members encouraged and incentivised to participate actively in decision making. ACIM is pleased to be recognised in the Finance Awards, as winner in the category of Best in Discretionary Commodity Hedge Funds, Scalamandre says. “Our focus on strong

risk-adjusted returns, the active management of sector exposures based on future expected volatility and manager selection have all been factors in our success. This has always been a core philosophy for ACIM and we expect to continue this focus going forward.” Scalamadre believes that, for fund managers, transparency is key. “In addition to registering with appropriate regulatory bodies and complying with standard business practices established by these institutions, we believe that a good business in our sector places a strong emphasis on both transparency and alignment of interests,” he says. Fund managers have been working in a challenging environment in recent years, says Scalamandre. “Many managers with which we’ve been invested have struggled over the past several years in an environment of low volatility and sharply increased asset flows from long-only investors, which (for fundamental investors) presents a challenging Victoria Lipov / Shutterstock.com

trading environment. This has translated into muted returns for the ACIM funds. However we believe that as we progress towards the conclusion of what we term the ‘commodity unwind,’ during which much of the long-only assets will continue to flow out, the markets will once again behave based on traditional supply and demand fundamentals. We have already begun to see this, and in addition volatility has increased across many of the commodities markets.” Recent technological advances have had an effect on businesses throughout all the financial industries, and ACIM is no different, says Scalamandre. “The most prominent way in which technology has impacted our business is in the area of risk management. Because the majority of ACIM’s investments are made via managed account, we have daily, full transparency into the underlying trades of the managers. Technological advances in recent years have spurred the development of user-friendly, interactive, and customizable systems that allows for more comprehensive and active risk management. Together with the transparency from the managed account framework, we are able to see information (such as true exposure to a particular commodity or sector) at the portfolio level that was previously not possible for a fund of funds.”

Address: 1350 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2300, 10019 New York USA Tel: +1 212 245 8200 Email: info@acimfunds.com Web: www.acimfunds.com

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Best for Integrated Market Analysis - USA

AVASCENT

Avascent is the leading independent strategy and management consulting firm serving clients in government-driven industries. Timothy R. Garnett, Managing Director, told us how the company’s client-centric approach is reaping rewards. Avascent is the leading US provider of buy and sell-side due diligence services in the aerospace, defence and government industries, supporting the leading private equity firms, investment banks and top 100 ADG corporate development teams. “As a traditional management consultancy, we have somewhat of a pyramid structure,” says Timothy R. Garnett, Managing Director at Avascent. “However, we have an incredibly flat organisation driven by highly collaborative team environments. We are also driven by a servant leadership philosophy, which is critical to creating and maintaining our unique corporate culture. We recognise that in order to attract and retain the best people, we need to lead by example and provide opportunities for personal growth and development.” As a provider of domain/industry specific (ADG) advisory services, Avascent is perhaps more exposed to narrow market dynamics than other, more general firms, says Garnett.

Washington, DC

“That said, during the government downturn of 20122013, we had to hustle a lot more, broaden our range of services and be more creative and flexible in structures – all of which I think ultimately made us a stronger firm. Looking ahead, I think there are a few cycles running in parallel (growth and value) in ADG which are creating the potential for significant deal volume in 2015.” Advances in technology are a key focus of Avascent’s internal investment priorities, Garnett says. “We recognise that in addition to great human capital talent, you need differentiated, proprietary data. Over the last two years we have invested heavily to create the most comprehensive and detailed aerospace and defence forecasting tool in the industry. We use it both as a foundation for analysis as well as an ongoing subscription service which allows us to serve a wider set of customer service delivery needs.“

Avascent was recently named Best for Integrated Market Analysis – USA in the Finance Awards. “Recognition for our hard work is always incredibly fulfilling, and we greatly appreciate it,” says Garnett. “Given the pace at which we are running on a day to day basis, we rarely have the opportunity to sit back and reflect on our accomplishments as a firm. Awards like this one are a fantastic reminder.” Garnett says there are three factors that drive Avascent’s success: passion, knowledge and attitude. “On passion, we care about the industries, we care about our clients, and we care about their success. We are fully aligned with our clients on success metrics and as a result passionately support their needs. On knowledge, we are truly industry geeks – we are the guys that grew up with posters of airplanes and tanks in our rooms and read the US defence budget for fun – that knowledge keeps us fresh, excited and eager to continue to learn to stay ahead of the curve. And you can’t fake or replicate that knowledge or attitude.”

Address: 1615 L Street, NW #1200, Washington, DC 20036 USA Tel: +1 202 452 6990 Email: info@avascent.com Web: www.avascent.com

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Best UK Acquisition Service

AVONDALE

Avondale has one of the largest and longest established, specialist corporate teams in the UK, with experienced professionals specialising solely in the sale of businesses. With a dedicated lead advisor, backed by research and marketing teams, driving acquisitions from concept to completion, the firm’s acquisition service, actively identifies the right acquisition. Tim Hardman, Managing Director, tells us more.

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stablished in 1991, Avondale are masters in business sales, acquisitions and strategically increasing shareholder value. Avondale have genuine business acumen are not only able to provide outstanding transactions but practical solutions and guidance to achieve, if not exceed their clients’ expectations. The firm’s work is predominantly obtained via recommendation – a reflection of their technical abilities, strong service ethos and principles led approach. On the firm being named Best UK Acquisition Service in the Finance Awards, Tim Hardman, Managing Director of Avondale, states, “We are delighted with the award. We have won several awards for our business sales service this year, including “M&A Advisor of the Year” and “Deal Maker of the Year” voted for by Acquisition International. “It is

wonderful to see that our acquisition service is seen in the same light; it is a genuine reflection of our reputation within the industry. The past year has been a record breaking year for us with exceptional deal values and volumes and, most crucially, our success rate hitting 81.6%. We would like to thank Wealth & Finance International magazine and their readers for their recognition.” Providing trusted advice is a key part of Avondale’s culture and also crucial to our success. Our advisors have genuine business acumen and work closely with clients to ensure they maximise transaction value. Our acquisition service goes above and beyond finding the right company and ensuring the best deal. Where relevant our business strategists work with clients to ensure that acquisition is the most effective route to strategic growth and, if so, ensure

Innovation has always been key to Avondale in providing the ultimate M&A service to clients. Some of their key milestones include: l l l l l l

1991 – first M&A specialist in SME sector 1997 – first M&A online portal 1999 – international specialist research & partners 2007 – Value BuilderTM – coaching, significantly increasing exit value 2013 – Highest success rate in the industry – 81.6% 2014 – Awarded “Best UK Acquistion Service – Acqua” by Wealth & Finance International Magazine, “UK M&A Adviser of the Year” & “Deal Maker of the Year” by Acquisition International Magazine.

that they are targeting the right type of companies. The Avondale deal leader will then drive the transaction through from initial contact to successful completion protecting our clients’ time at all times. The business strategists can then offer invaluable guidance to ensure that the acquired company is fully integrated to maximise return on investment. At Avondale we have witnessed deal activity back to pre-recession levels accelerated by genuine economic recovery. The valuation gap between sellers and buyers is reducing as economic risk decreases and projections become more concrete and as a consequence funding has become far easier. Going forward, we can only see M&A activity further increasing. The business community feels happier about the world with economic growth becoming a reality and no longer optimistic green shoots. In Avondale’s recent Business Growth survey conducted amongst UK business leaders, 67% said that they were in growth mode rather than survival. 20% considered acquisition as their key route to growth and 35% were considering an acquisition in the next 2 years.

Name: Tim Hardman, Managing Director, Avondale Tel: 01737 240888 Email: av@avondale.co.uk Web: www.avondale.co.uk

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Recognised Leader in Investment Banking - Cyprus

AXIA

AXIA Ventures Group Ltd, headquartered in Nicosia, Cyprus, is an international investment banking firm with local presence in Nicosia, Athens, New York and London. Antonios Achilleoudis, Group Managing Director, and Omiros Pissarides, General Manager, told us how the firm helps its clients solve their important strategic issues while optimising growth.

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XIA is a leading, independent investment banking firm founded with the primary aim of bridging global capital with regional opportunities by bringing people, capital and opportunities together to achieve our clients’ objectives. “Our primary focus is to provide clients with quality, value-adding, independent advice that is tailored specifically to their individual circumstances and requirements,” says Antonios Achilleoudis, Group Managing Director. “To this end, we service a wide variety of clients who come to us for advice on their most important strategic issues. We have considerable experience in executing large transactions while at the same

time rising to the challenge of helping smaller clients optimise their growth and business strategy.’’ “Leadership and development is of paramount importance to us, as reflected in AXIA’s team of people who offer a comprehensive spectrum of financial advisory services, based on their institutional background, deal and sector expertise, judgment, creativity and intellect.” The European periphery (including Greece and Cyprus) has experienced economic difficulties over the last few years, which

have resulted in both legislative and political changes. “The regional uncertainty following the financial crisis in the European periphery has been a challenge, but it has not deterred us from reaching the stage we are at now,” says Omiros Pissarides, General Manager. “Moving forward, the situation is expected to normalise while certain risks will persist,” says Pissarides. “The financial specialists that will survive and grow are the ones who, like AXIA, understand the need to enhance client value during changing and challenging times.” The firm was “delighted to have been named a Recognised Leader in Investment Banking – Cyprus in the Finance Awards”, says Pissarides. “We believe that it is a testament to the merits of our business model and our business approach.” Pissarides feels that a firm in the investment banking industry should have the mission, and the relevant working practices, to create value in each one of its dealings with all agents. “We believe this is well reflected in our Greek name, ‘AXIA’, which, when translated, emphasises the principles of value, merit and worth.”

Address: Head Office – Nicosia, Cyprus 10 G Kranidioti St., Suite 102, 1065 Nicosia, Cyprus Tel: +357 22 74 2000 Fax: +357 22 74 2001 Email: info@axiavg.com Web: www.axiavg.com

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Best for Risk Management - Australia

BDO

BDO was established as an association of firms in Australia in 1975. Today, we are one of Australia’s largest associations of independently owned accounting practices, with offices in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.

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t BDO Australia, we provide our services to a diverse range of clients, from large corporate organisations to private businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals across a broad array of industry sectors. We enjoy outstanding relationships with our clients by focusing on what is important to them, adopting a partnership-style approach, being responsible and reliable, keeping our promises and maintaining open and frank communication.

Our approach to relationships allows us to partner with our clients and really get to know them and their organisation. Using this insight, we look for innovative ways to help our clients maximise growth opportunities, improve processes and avoid pitfalls. The end result is that we meet – or exceed – our clients’ expectations. Our risk advisory services BDO’s Risk Advisory team works closely with clients to assist in the management of risk and the achievement of strategic business objectives through proper internal control systems.

Our professionals provide the value-added risk management capabilities needed to mitigate business risk, support business strategies and continuously improve operational performance. Our risk advisory capabilities include internal audit, information technology, fraud, and transaction analysis and recovery. Key business issues • Internal Audit – Is your Internal Audit function adding value to your organisation? • Risk Management – Do you have a process for identifying risks and prioritising them? • Corporate Governance – As a Board Member, are you aware of the key issues impacting your organisation? • Information Technology – Are hackers your only mechanism for discovering security vulnerabilities? • Fraud, Risk and Investigations –Do you need assistance with developing an anti-fraud strategy?

Name: sean.pascoe@bdo.com.au Address: Level 11, 1 Margaret Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia Tel: +61 2 8221 2225 Email: sean.pascoe@bdo.com.au Web: www.bdo.com.au

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Best for Liquid Market Strategies - Canada

BRETON HILL CAPITAL LTD. Breton Hill Capital Ltd. is an alternative asset management firm focused on liquid market strategies.

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reton Hill Capital was founded in 2011 by a team with a long history of managing capital and building businesses together: Ray Carroll (CEO), Simon Griffiths (Quantitative Research & Development), and Frank Maeba (Portfolio Management). Our Private Investment Funds Our flagship macro funds were launched in 2011 with an anchor investment from one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated public pension plans. We seek to provide our investors with long-term capital appreciation and absolute Toronto skyline

returns that do not rely on rising equity or bond markets. We focus on identifying trends in equities, currencies, and commodities, and adding value through active risk management, trading and security selection. Our Public Investment Funds Our public fund business was launched in 2013 through a strategic partnership with Purpose Investments. We seek to bring innovation to the market by leveraging our existing institutional investment processes to deliver risk management, portfolio construction, and security selection techniques that have traditionally been beyond the reach of public fund investors. Our Registrations Breton Hill is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment advisor, with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a commodity pool operator, and with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in the categories of Investment Fund Manager, Limited Market Dealer, Portfolio Manager and Commodity Trading Manager.

We Preserve Capital Our culture is focused on risk management because we believe long term success is achieved by controlling short term drawdown. We take risk when there is sufficient expected reward, and where we have risk management tools that give us an edge. We Invest Quantitatively We are dedicated to rigorous quantitative research and maintaining state-of-the-art technology to aid investment decisions. We believe an investment edge comes from marrying quantitative tools with experienced market practitioners. We Build Best-in-class Infrastructure We established institutional-quality operations, from market-leading fund governance through to robust daily trade processing. We are committed to people, processes and technology, and service providers that can increase operational integrity and reduce client risk.

Breton Hill is a member of The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA). Funds are based on our core investment principles: We Invest with Macro Trends We specialize in identifying trends across different markets, so we can tactically shift capital to markets with attractive opportunities, and shift capital away from risk. We Unlock Value Macro trends create our opportunity set, but we find value from fundamental security selection and active position structuring that captures micro-inefficiencies.

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Breton Hill Capital Address: Breton Hill Capital Ltd. 1881 Yonge Street, Suite 704, Toronto, Ontario M4S 3C4 Canada Tel: +1 647 347 9371 Email: information@bretonhillcapital.com


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Recognised Leader in Biotech Corporate Finance - UK

CAMDEN ASSOCIATES Camden is a corporate finance house with a particular specialty in international financing and a special emphasis on the following sectors: biotech , medtech and tech. Jean-Claude Gonneau, Managing Director, told us more about the firm and its work. Tell us a little about Camden Associates. Our business is advisory. It is about gaining a detailed understanding of our clients’ needs and objectives. This is achieved through detailed analysis of their business and numerous meetings with management.

When we work on a deal it is a genuine team approach which prevails from the valuation onwards. We consider coaching the client is an integral part of our package.

What issues do you most commonly deal with on a day-to-day basis and what kinds of clients do you work with? We have in the last two years worked mostly with biotech companies. This implies making sure a simple story emerges from these day to day or rather week to week meetings. At the end of the day investors buy a story and this story needs to be supported by facts and the coherence of the company’s approach.

Tell us about the environment for financial specialists in your region at present. We are not really affected by any technological change in the industry in particular. Biotech companies are all after disruptive discoveries and technologies which will affect not only their business but that of the competition at large. Our job at Camden is to work with the very idea of technological change in mind. So may it be 2014 or 2015 it is the same competitive landscape. What has changed though in the last 2 years is the realization by a number of fund managers that Biotech shares were an asset class of its own and a particularly well performing asset class.

Also, give us some insight into your working practices and philosophies. Define your corporate structure and describe the importance you place on leadership and development. Our structure is very simple: three professionals supported by associates and analysts.

How have advances in technology affected your business and wider industry in recent times? We are committed to accepting and dealing with technological change. It is a fact of life in financing and there is no alternative but to adapt to it. It is the very essence and challenge of our business.

How did it feel to be named Recognised Leader in Biotech Corporate Finance – UK? Very happy. It is a great satisfaction to see your hard work recognised. It is a great morale booster. In your opinion, what does a good business in your sector look like? We have no lesson to give our competitors. We are just trying to advise our clients as well as we can in a fairly competitive environment. Not rocket science, mostly hard work, and mostly team work. What are the major challenges you’ve needed to overcome to claim this award. Do you foresee any opportunities or challenges over the next 12 months? A deal takes a long time to complete. It might be three months it might be more depending on how you count and what you factor in. Therefore one of the main challenges is to keep your team upbeat and focused on the current assignment. A strong dose of enthusiasm and competitive spirit normally does it.

Address: 27 Hill Street, London W1J 5LP Tel: +44 207 290 9812 Web: www.camdenassociates.co.uk

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Best in TMT Corporate Finance - UK

CAPSTAN CAPITAL PARTNERS Hamish Shah, Partner at London-based corporate finance advisory boutique Capstan Capital Partners, tells us more about the firm and its philosophy.

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apstan Capital Partners, a Mayfair-based corporate finance advisory boutique, is delighted to receive this prestigious award which is an important industry endorsement of our ability to consistently generate superior shareholder value and deal certainty for our clients in sell-side M&A mandates across multiple industry sectors. In a highly contested and fragmented advisory landscape, the Finance Awards allows us to demonstrably differentiate ourselves as advisors who can leverage our industry knowledge and negotiation skills to genuinely crystallise premium valuations for our clients. Capstan also focuses on fund raising mandates across asset classes where the senior team is able to utilise its networks of investors from ordinary equity across the continuum to senior debt to rapidly position and successfully place capital tranches for the firm’s corporate clients. Hamish Shah, Partner at Capstan Capital who leads the

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firm’s technology and media practice summarises what it takes for small independent investment banking houses to succeed in the technology sector: “Success in financing requires advisers to be able to skilfully gauge the contemporaneous investor environment for different types of investment products and to be highly selective in deciding which mandates to accept and which to decline. “Our philosophy for success focuses on creating long term relationships with our clients by providing the right advice, sometimes at a short term disadvantage to ourselves. We feel it is critical to craft a relationship based on integrity and trust so that Capstan is perceived as the “go-to” advisor whenever a client requires objective, impartial and unconflicted advice. “Recent legislation and regulatory changes have caused a material increase in the number of advisory boutiques and, although this is exacerbated somewhat by the higher

volume of mandates migrating over from the bulge bracket advisers, we see a challenging environment moving forwards due to the heightening level of competitive intensity for high quality mandates.”

CAPSTAN CAPITAL PARTNERS Name: Hamish Shah Address: 57 Grosvenor Street Mayfair, London W1K 3JA Tel: +44 20 7101 7530 Email: hshah@capstan-capital.com Website: www.capstan-capital.com


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Best for Captive Insurance - Hawaii

CHAR HAMILTON YOSHIDA & SHIMOMOTO Char Hamilton Yoshida & Shimomoto is a Honolulu, Hawaii law firm representing clients in family law, captive insurance, business transactions, insurance regulatory and immigration matters in Hawaii, the rest of the United States and in various foreign countries. Gerald C. Yoshida, Director, told us more.

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har Hamilton Yoshida & Shimomoto serves clients from a wide variety of industries and sizes. “The main philosophical precepts that we seek to embody in our work is to always provide meaningful value in the work that we do on behalf of our clients and to treat them as we would like to be treated as clients,” says Gerald C. Yoshida, Director. “To that end, our structure and working practices are geared to the cost efficient utilisation of our professional staff, always seeking to maximise the value proposition for our clients.” Theodore Trimmer / Shutterstock.com

Char Hamilton Yoshida & Shimomoto is a very specialised practice that demands that its lawyers are able to effectively work with the other financial specialists both inside and outside the region, says Yoshida. “Legislation and politics at the state, federal and international level invariably affect our industry and will continue to do so in the future. It is a matter of the industry being a part of the process as well as being able to evolve with the changes that occur.”

Yoshida says the firm was pleased to be named Best for Captive Insurance – Hawaii in the Finance Awards. “Prestigous awards such as the Finance Awards are greatly appreciated as recognition and validation of the work we perform on behalf of our clients, as well as the larger value of the captive insurance industry as a whole. “Probably the factors and philosophies embodied in all of the foregoing responses contributed to our winning the award,” he continues. “Going forward we will continue to see how we can better serve our clients as their respective needs and circumstances change.” Asked how a good law firm should operate, Yoshida’s answer is simple: “Simply do what is right, and in a professional manner.” As for the future, Yoshida says the firm’s focus will always be on its clients. “It is, and will always be, a self-imposed challenge to serve our clients in the best (read: value) manner possible.”

Address: Pacific Guardian Center, 737 Bishop Street, Suite 2100, Honolulu, HI 96813 USA Tel: +1 877 234 9119 Fax: +1 808 523 1714 Web: www.charhamilton.com

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International Taxation Advisor of the Year - India

CHATURVEDI & SHAH Today Chaturvedi & Shah is one of the leading firms of Chartered Accountants in India, having a national presence through its head office in Mumbai and branches in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Jamnagar. Krupal Kanakia, Partner, tells us more about the firm.

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haturvedi & Shah (C&S) has been a power house of superior talent and experienced. The firm was founded in the year 1967. C&S has helped manage portfolios of large business houses in the field of Assurance, Taxation, Business Advisory Services, Corporate Finance and Investment Banking. Our clients include some of India’s biggest business houses. Each of them are leaders in their own segments. Our working practices and philosophy predominantly involve trust, integrity, innovation and knowledge.

C&S Team consists of 14 Partners, 100 plus qualified Chartered Accountants, 200-plus semi qualified Chartered Accountants and 50 plus admin and support staff. The focus of the firm is to create leaders from each of our staff. C&S has always been one of the top firms as far as Assurance and Audit Practise is concerned. Our foray into taxation got more aggressive in 1998 when our Partner, Mr Rajesh Chaturvedi took the reins of the Taxation in his hands. Since then we have diversified into all the segments relating to tax and have excelled in the space of Litigation

Support and International Taxation. We are now considered as one of the top firms in the field of Taxation as well Being named International Taxation Advisor of the Year – India is recognition of our hard work and relentless efforts to excel in the field of taxation. This award means a lot to C&S. To our employees this award is a reassurance of the efforts and hard work they have put towards making this firm a world class firm. It is also a testimony of our services and a reassurance to our clients and industry at large that they are being served by the best.

Chaturvedi & Shah Address: 714 - 715, Tulsiani Chambers, 212, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021 India Tel: +91 22 30218500 Email: cas@cas.ind.in Web: www.cas.ind.in Mumbai skyline

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Best for Property Rights Appraisal - China

CHINA REGAL ASSETS APPRAISAL CO., LTD. China Regal Assets Appraisal Co., Ltd. (“the Company�), under China Regal International, specialises in financial assets assessment (including appraisal for captial market business), forestry appraisal, intangible assets appraisal, enterprise value assessment and foreign-related investigation.

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hina Regal Assets Appraisal Co., Ltd.’s customers include listed companies, large -scale central-government owned enterprises, SOEs, private enterprises, multinationals, wholly foreign owned companies, and joint ventures. In the recent years, the Company has accumulatively completed over 5,000 assets appraisal businesses with total value of over RMB350bn, covering over 300 projects related to listed companies and over 20 regarding forestry resources appraisal.

Chinese assets appraisal industry. However, shortage of professional appraisal talents and poor operating environment are still the pressing problems to be solved.

Chinese reformation of state-owned economy has significantly enhanced development of assets appraisal business. With deepening and improving reform of Chinese economic system, Chinese assets appraisal industry has achieved significant development as an independent and professional market brokerage service industry. Economic globalization has created opportunities for internationalization of

In the modern age of internet information, the Chinese internet industry is also experiencing rapid development. The emerging WeChat, Weibo, Cloud Data and other technological platforms have significantly enhanced development and business promotion of the appraisal industry. The collection and processing of information and data have significantly improved working efficiency. As it were, in-

The Company believes that business shall be judged by difficulty rather than advantage. For whatever business, the company will work hard for the best result, constantly improving its professional service qualities, and establishing better or closer relationship with the customers.

ternet information has also driven appraisal industry into a new era. The emerging of new technology provides better path for business promotion of the company. Just for our development strategy of network information promotion and application of new technology (database technology, internet technology, etc), we can secure a leading position in the industry. In the next 12 months, China Regal says it will meet the challenge of slow market development and the growing cost of talent. In terms of geographical layout, the Company says it shall increase the strength of the existing institutions, enhance their competitive strength in the local areas, and expand/recruit excellent teams; secondly, it will integrate operations nationwide for core competitive strength; thirdly, it will further improve management system of the company and make it more standardized, transparent and systematic; fourthly, it will speed up the international development of China Regal International for more brand influence; and finally, most significantly, it will expand business into new industries, new services and new markets.

Address: Maples International Center Tower A, Room 1608, XiZhiMen North Road No. 32, Haidian District, 100082 Beijing, China Phone: +86 010 66553366 Fax: +86 010 66553380 Web: www.crcpv.com

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Best Boutique Wealth Management Firm - California

CLEARPATH CAPITAL PARTNERS Specifically designed to meet the unique needs of innovators and entrepreneurs, ClearPath helps secure, preserve and grow the wealth of the tech elite. Paul Boyd, Managing Partner, told us more about the firm. Tell us a little about ClearPath. ClearPath’s clients are the entrepreneurs, founders and executives driving the new economy. We regularly deal unique client situations around helping them secure, preserve and grow their wealth. Our team thinks creatively to deliver unique and superior investment alternatives. Outstanding service is a core value of our business and it comes with the exceptional efforts by all team members. Clients’ interests are put first as we act with integrity and with a commitment to excellence. Our commitment to intellectual honesty is realised in our focus on research within our circle of competency. What’s the environment like for financial specialists in your region at present? The US West Coast has diverse business with the Northern areas having concentrations in Technology and venture backed innovation and the southern areas now catching the innovation wave to compliment Hollywood, the new content creators and other traditional businesses. The competition to provide financial services to this landscape is fierce. As we head into 2015, many financial service providers are setting up shop or planning to expand their presence in the West.

Have advances in technology impacted on your business and wider industry in recent times? The advances in technology for our industry have dramatically improved productivity and efficiency. The ability to analyse investments, monitor and rebalance portfolios and stay in touch with clients has all been made easier. ClearPaths’ focus on serving the Tech Elite requires us to stay a step ahead in the analysis and deployment of technology in our business. We are always looking for and researching the latest tech offerings to determine their usefulness in our business model. What specific factors do you think played the biggest part in your winning this award? We have a strong focus on putting our clients first and believe that sets us apart. We made efforts to focus on the specific needs of founders of companies. This focus has lead us to find a number of unique strategies, one is particular is the early sale of founders ( clients) stock to late stage venture capital. How do you feel a good firm in your industry should behave with regards to its customers, clients, colleagues, employees and working practices? A business in our industry, above all else, should uphold the fiduciary standard to their clients. It means never compromising on the client’s best interests and the client’s needs come first. To foster this outcome requires a culture in the workplace and a determination by employees and leaders to make this a core goal. How does it feel to be named Best Boutique Wealth Management Firm – California? It’s a great honour. To be recognised out of more than 5000 Registered Investment Advisors in California sets us apart in our industry. It highlights the work we have accomplished in our field and sets a precedent that will help to facilitate our rapid growth.

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What would you say are the major challenges you’ve needed to overcome to claim this award? What opportunities and challenges do you foresee over the next 12 months? Wealth Management is a competitive space. Navigating the market place, the regulatory landscape, and the changing business development metrics are always a challenge. There are potentially disruptive forces at work today and the opportunity ahead is as great as it has ever been. The choices we make in the next year will determine whether the challenge ahead develops into a tailwind or headwind while we are on course.

San Francisco (HQ) 222 Front St., 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111 USA Phone: +1 415 682 6900 Los Angeles 6033 W. Century Blvd., Suite 150, Los Angeles, CA 90045 USA Phone: +1 310 694 3054 Email: info@clearpathcapital.com Web: www.clearpathcapital.com


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Best Management Consultancy - Turkey

DALFIN

Dalfin Financial and Governance Solutions, in Istanbul, focuses on financial communication, risk management and management consultancy. We spoke to Bahadır Dalkılıç from the firm to find out more about the services it provides. Tell us a little about your business. We provide consultancy services to the Turkey’s leading companies for IPO, IR, M&A and Risk Management. One of our business philosophy is building long-term partnerships with our clients. Because we believe in responsive, flexible, orginal, sustainable benefits type of relationship. Assist our clients for their strategic targets by combining local dynamics and conditions with international standards. Despite of other consultancy companies, we have only senior partners who have more than 20 years working experience with advance skills. Our clients always get in touch directly with our partners instead of junior or mid-level consultants. Therefore we can have a chance to understand their needs without losing time and act earlier than their competitors. Tell us about the environment for financial specialists in your region at present. How do you see the industry evolving as we move into 2015 and beyond?

Risk management is a key factor to maintain profitability and will keep importance for the future. We anticipate that board and top management need more support than ever in 2015 about risk management and corporate governance for their strategic targets. Therefore our Fusion methodology would be the key solution for their needs. In your opinion, what makes good business in your sector? We believe that focusing the client’s targets is the first priority. We ensure the strategic response of client chose has a clear and rigrously validated economic rationale by providing them a team of experts brought together. Our experts help CEOs and other business leaders across many sectors to grow their organisations and create lasting impact. We constantly strive not simply to meet our clients’ needs, but to exceed them and impress with the rigour and quality of our work.

How does it feel to have won this award and what successes like this mean to your business and to your wider industry? Why do you think you won? The report we wrote about Turkish Real Estate Sector Report (Review of The Real Estate and Housing Industry) praised by local and international related parties. We are very proud of their interest and appreciation. We think that our report is may be the best answer against the allegation of asset balloon in Turkey. We believe that our analytic study based objective and concrete data about Turkish Real Estate Sector. Therefore our study goes beyond an assessment of the situation and it has become a reference source for industry. We aim to make it periodically. What opportunities and challenges do you foresee over the next 12 months? We anticipate funding needs of Turkish companies will increase in the coming period. We aim to assist them by designing their fund strategy. Also lenders can feel safer with our company risk monitoring service.

Address: Dalfin Financial and Governance Solutions Gumussuyu cd. No:5 Meral Plaza K:9 Tepeustu, Umraniye, Istanbul 34771 Tel: +90 216 572 30 22 Fax: +90 216 900 10 22 Email: info@dalfin.com.tr Web: www.dalfin.com.tr

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Award for Innovation in Female Focused Wealth Management

EMPYRION

Empyrion Wealth Management combines proven academic portfolio design with a thorough understanding of its clients’ values and goals to create a personal investment plan for financial stability and peace of mind. Kimberly Foss, Founder and President, tells us more.

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veryone at Empyrion Wealth Management, the firm I founded in 1989, is honoured and humbled by this award. I’d like to share a little about what makes Empyrion unique. As a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) specializing in long-term investment strategy and dynamic portfolio design, I strive to maximize the probability of achieving all that’s important to my clients. Our diversified portfolios are based on Nobel Prize-winning research and designed to minimize expenses and taxes and withstand market fluctuations. Dedicated to upholding the fiduciary code, I am 100% committed to always acting in my clients’ best interests. In fact, our entire staff is committed to providing world class client service. I believe that building true wealth isn’t about making money, but about creating freedom of choice for my clients. And, for more than 30 years, I’ve provided the expertise Mumbai, India

and support clients need to define their goals and make smart, purposeful decisions to create choice in their lives. Working with women in transition and ultra high net-worth clients, my areas of expertise include: • Investment Management • Transition Planning • Retirement Planning and Income Strategies • Philanthropic Strategies • Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer • Multi-generational Financial Education • Tax Management Today, with corporate greed, lax risk management policies at the nation’s largest financial institutions and high-profile Ponzi schemes having eroded trust from Wall Street to Main Street, finding a financial advisor who is trustworthy may seem more complicated than ever.

In a word, you want an advisor who is a fiduciary. So look for an RIA. Federal and state law holds only RIAs to a Fiduciary Standard that requires them to act solely in the best interest of the client, even if that interest is in conflict with their own financial interest. Further, as RIAs, we must disclose any conflict or potential conflict to the client prior to and throughout a business engagement, as well as adopt a Code of Ethics and fully disclose how we are compensated. Other “financial advisors” practice at a lower standard. Rather than recommend the best investment choice for you, brokers only have to recommend a “suitable” investment option. Bottom line? Two professionals who sound alike and both call themselves financial advisors may recommend two very different portfolios and provide two very different types of services. What’s more, your expenses may vary significantly. Therefore, the most important question you can ask an advisor you are considering working with is: “Are you a fiduciary?” At Empyrion, we welcome the opportunity to answer that question – and all your questions.

Name: Kimberly Foss, CFP® CPWA® Address: 3741 Douglas Blvd Suite 130 Roseville, CA 95661 Tel: +1 916 786 7626 / +1 800 787 7634 Fax: +1 916 773 3287 Web: www.empyrionwealth.com

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Family Office Consultancy of the Year - New York

FAMILY OFFICE METRICS

We spoke to Jon Carroll about how his firm, Family Office Metrics, has become the premier consultancy for family offices.

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amily Office Metrics, LLC is the premier consultancy for family offices. The firm creates, manage and enhance offices across the world and educates its industry with a wide-range of events throughout the year. Family Office Metrics, headquartered in New York, NY was conceived in 2001 when Jon Carroll left the multi-family office where he had worked for seven years previously. Since then, Family Office Metrics has worked with over 140 clients on 200+ projects to deliver total solutions to business, operations and technology problems – solutions designed to evolve with your business. Family Office Metrics is built upon the experience and expertise of our partners and consultants. While each of the firm’s professionals specialises in a specific practice area, each also brings a range of experience working directly in family offices and in businesses that serve family offices.

Carroll feels the most important thing any consultancy in the family office industry must adhere to is always putting the client first. “Specifically for Family Office Metrics, our goal is to educate as many people as we can through our papers and webinars in addition to our expanding client roster. To give the best advice and direction to offices we also

work tirelessly to stay up to the second on new technologies and best practices currently shaping our industry.” Carroll says it is “immensely gratifying” to be recognised by peers for the work Family Office Metrics does for family offices. “Our goal is to ‘make family offices work better’, and to be noticed for doing just that is quite satisfying.” Family Office Metrics’ focus on family office risk, in addition to its marketing outreach, have been two factors the firm has concentrated on in 2014, says Carroll. “Making sure clients understand exactly how you can be of service and positively impact their office and clients is one of the biggest challenges facing any consultancy. We’ve just completed a large survey around risk with Crystal and Co. that will be launching in 2015.”

Address: 424 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor New York, New York 10017 USA Phone: +1 212 847 7450 Fax: +1 212 847 7459 Email: info@familyofficemetrics.com

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Best Marketing/PR Firm in Wealth Management – UK

GTH COMMUNICATIONS We caught up with Toby Hall, Founder and Managing Director at gth communications, to find out how the firm is helping great companies and ideas stand out. t its core, gth communications is about discovering great companies and ideas – whether already on the public markets or before they list – and then making them relevant, making them stand out.

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“And when a business finds its purpose, and then articulates it in a way that resonates with the wider market-place, momentum can start to build. And not just the flash in the pan kind – but long-term, profitable growth.

“gth is kind of different,” says Toby Hall, Founder and Managing Director. “We focus exclusively on early stage businesses that we believe have the ability to transform the sector in which they operate and in turn return value to their stakeholders.

“To explain, when we talk about purpose, we’re talking about tapping into the issues that count today: For example, rebuilding a nation’s wealth; creating jobs that give individuals and communities hope/a clear sense of direction; creating products that genuinely help.

“Over the last 20 year we’ve played our part in helping raise over £500m for essentially pre-revenue businesses and generating US$billions in terms of market value for shareholders at given points. Historically, much of this revolved around recognising emerging sectors or technologies before the pack and then positioning our clients as leading lights in that wave.”

“Robert F. Kennedy famously said, ‘The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.’ It’s an adage that certain entrepreneurs and business heads had lost sight of pre-financial crash and one which the winning businesses today are rapidly learning to reconnect with.”

Hall says gth recently was fascinated by a new start wealth management company, European Wealth, that had at its premise the concept of “treating each customer individually”. “We were captivated,” he says. “It did not want to use technology and platforms as its differentiator but the notion that people that have worked hard to save their money should not be commoditised but be treated as intelligent adults and have access to their own wealth managers and financial advisers who were not simply going to push them into pre-set house stock. And the fact that it was launching in the height of the post financial crisis environment when enmity towards all those in the financial sector was at its height, made it all the intriguing. Four years on, and close to a billion sterling under management – it is proving businesses based on traditional values, underpinned by leading edge technology systems, can gain real momentum.”

On being named Best Marketing/PR Firm in Wealth Management – UK in the Finance Awards, Hall says, “It’s a genuine honour to have been spotted. As a media relations firm, we focus on promoting our clients, not ourselves.”

The main challenge facing gth over the next 24 months, says Hall, will be keeping people’s feet on the ground as western economies improve – and reminding the next generation of where irrational exuberance can lead.

Today, the environment has changed, Hall says. “For us, the waves that are now building are not simply based around a technology, a sector, or financial instrument but are far more closely linked with a business’s underlying ‘purpose’.

Name: Toby Hall Email: tobyh@gth.co.uk Web: www.gth.co.uk

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Best in Risk-Controlled Investing - UK

KEDGE CAPITAL Active successfully since 2002 in risk-controlled investing including Hedge Funds and Private Equity, Kedge Capital currently manages over US$6bio of assets on behalf of a select group of investors.

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edge Capital invests exclusively with blue chip established managers, with strong risk management culture and demonstrated alpha generating skills. Alignment of interests and operational excellence are key elements of our manager selection process. Our portfolio construction primarily aims at diversifying away downside risks. Our asset allocation is strategic in nature and long-term focused. Tactical asset allocation is delegated to the underlying fund managers, but closely monitored and analysed by us. Quantitative tools and research are used whenever necessary to enhance our investment approach. Our team members have authored a number of publications in this space.

Our investment universe currently spans four risk buckets: • Multi-Strategy / Event-Driven (credit opportunities, merger arbitrage, event driven situations, convertible arbitrage, and distressed securities). • Global Equity (fundamental and systematic long short equity managers). • Global Trading (global macro, managed futures). • Long Term (opportunistic investments with higher volatility and/or longer lockups).

These risk buckets are available as standalone portfolios or can be used as building blocks for multi-strategy portfolios, with various degrees of concentration and liquidity. Our investors Since 2004, a number of European pension funds, banks, family offices and high net worth individuals have invested with us. They particularly like the fact that we act as a long-term buy-side investor and not merely as a distributor of financial products. To ensure a strong alignment of interests, our shareholders and employees are co-invested in the same strategy and the same funds as our clients, and they represent the majority of the capital being managed.

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Best for Audit & Assurance - Malaysia

KC CHIA & NOOR

Established in 1985, Kuala Lumpur-based with 3 branch offices, KC Chia & Noor has grown steadily over the last 29 years to become one of the local leading and most progressive and dynamic professional accounting and advisory firms in the region.

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C Chia & Noor is an integrated accounting firm providing audit and assurance, taxation, corporate recovery, corporate finance and business advisory services for the local and overseas clients ranging from SMEs, government- linked agencies, MNCs to public listed entities with unsurpassed quality for the accounting profession, adding values to our clients meet with their expectations. “Our firm specialises in IPOs and mergers and acquisitions activities since 1980s and renders advice on corporate finance and financial reporting for local and overseas clients, if in need,” says the firm’s KC Chia. “We foresee a decreasing trend for such activities due to the slower economic growth in the region as a result of the dip in oil price, possible changes in political leadership and the implemen-

tation of GST in the second quarter of 2015 for Malaysia; heavy lobbying for jobs and price under-cutting will be proliferating next year. Under such circumstances, we have to strive to provide better quality works by capitalising our competitive niche.” The firm was recently named Best for Audit & Assurance – Malaysia, in the Finance Awards. “We feel grateful and regard this as a great honour for us in winning this remarkable award,” says KC Chia. “We reckon that this reward would propel us to work even harder and strive to reach a new height for our business in terms of professionalism, quality, innovation and integrity in rendering our services and expanding further the new spectrum, scope or range of value-added services in our wider scope of industry.”

A good accountancy business should display steady growth with lucrative profits, says KC Chia. “It must have adequate resources such as partners, staff, professional personnel with professional ethnics and competence and enough capital to support and cope with such growth and its delivery. As such, the firms must have a clear cut vision, missions and a good corporate culture to promote and propel such growth. Communication and have a good understanding with clients and a fair profit sharing scheme between personnel of the firm such as colleagues and employees to ensure such steadily success.” Over the next 12 months, the firm will “continue to provide quality and value-for-money services to be rendered to existing and potential clients and update and keep in breast with the changes in legislation and Financial Reporting and Auditing standards, ”says KC Chia,“ and vigorously revamp the existing operations to become one of the best in the region in terms of services, technical knowledge, competency and capabilities in the profession.”

Address: Lots 20.01 & 20.02, 20th floor, Menara KH (ex Promet), Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +60 3 92843102; +60 321420201; +60 321430201 Fax: +60 3 92847952; +60 3 21421201 Email: kcchia@kcn.my Web: www.kcn.my

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Best in Marcomms M&A – UK

M&A ADVISORY

With a 17-year heritage, M&A Advisory offers specialist advice on company sales with a focus on the marketing and communications sector. We caught up with David Blois, Managing Partner, to find out more about the company.

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&A Advisory is a London-based specialist advising on company sales, mergers and acquisition both in the in the UK and internationally. Marketing Communications is a global industry and we are set up to support this with formal relationships in place across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the USA. The team at M&A Advisory are drawn from diverse backgrounds in finance and business, having held senior positions with Saatchi and Saatchi, Reed Elsevier, Morgan Stanley and Results International. This offers an advantage, says David Blois, Managing Partner, in that the firm can leverage its team’s past connections. “And in terms of deal making,” he says, “the team’s combined experience means that we have an innate understanding of what clients require at the business end of the transaction as well as covering all of the corporate finance angles.”

The current M&A market, says Blois, is buoyant. And in terms of trends, he says smaller companies are seeing activity, as well as larger companies. “The world is changing and businesses continually need to evolve their offering to clients. They are looking to develop themselves by going into new geographies, technologies and markets, and that is driving demand for M&A.” Asked what are the biggest mistakes companies make during the M&A process, Blois says there can be a number. One of them is failing to recognise that, in order to function effectively, everyone needs to be on the same page. “Parties to a deal need to have good chemistry between them and a compatible culture – that it’s a people business,” he says. Furthermore, when selling their company, Blois says, vendors often make the mistake of waiting for an approach from a buyer. “Sellers lose out on optimal timing of when to sell their business, the choices of buyer that a formal pro-

cess might bring as well as putting themselves in a weaker negotiating position in respect of the deal itself due to lack of options.” Selling too late can also be a mistake, he says. “Vendors often tend to wait until near the top of the market as instinctively they feel that they will receive the highest value for their business. As a result they could potentially lose out on maximising the earnout which can provide significant additional value.” Blois says M&A Advisory were delighted to be named Best in Marcomms M&A – UK. “We’re pleased that we’re making a difference for our clients and to an industry where the UK still plays a significant role globally.” Looking to the future, over the next 12-24 months the market is going to be favourable for M&A, says Blois. “There’s a continuing requirement for businesses to evolve to suit the changing needs of their clients. That fundamental is unlikely to change. In addition there are interesting and disruptive ad-tech opportunities and new entrants emerging which may be more revolutionary.”

Email: davidb@mandaadvisory.com Tel: 0207 6809849 Web: www.mandaadvisory.com Address: M&A Advisory 23 St Hilda’s Wharf, 160 Wapping High Street, London E1W 3PG

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Independent M&A advisors of the Year - Switzerland

MILLENIUMASSOCIATES MilleniumAssociates is an independent M&A and corporate finance advisory firm, based in Switzerland and the UK. Ray Soudah, Founder and Chairman, tells us more.

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illeniumAssociates AG is an independent international M&A and Corporate Finance Advisory firm based in Switzerland and the UK. The firm supports clients through two focused business lines: the Entrepreneurs & Corporates Practice, which specialises in supporting corporates and entrepreneurial business owners all over the world with their M&A needs, and its Financial Services Practice, which focuses on transactions for the global financial services industry, in particular the global wealth, asset management, private banking and private equity sectors. “Our high calibre team of M&A experts offer independent and non-conflicting advice with regard to the strategic development, mergers, acquisitions or disposals of companies,” says Ray Soudah, Founder and Chairman. “The team is supported by a Global Advisory Board of independent senior professionals with significant international experience and an extensive relationship network.”

Whilst based in Switzerland and the UK, MilleniumAssociates operates on a global basis, and its clients can be local, regional or international. “The company is structured to ensure we are not restricted by sector or geography and the team has successfully worked on transactions in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Middle East as well as international trade centres,” says Soudah. Soudah says the firm was thrilled to be named Swiss Independent Firm of the Year in the Finance Awards, “as it is a clear testament to MilleniumAssociates’ commitment to focus on understanding our clients’ needs and delivering exceptional service and client shareholder value.” MilleniumAssociates is noteworthy in the market place, Soudah says, in that it manages the most complex assignments by leveraging its expertise, global reach and investors’ network, whilst its independence and lack of conflicts

allows the firm to offer totally impartial advice. “Also, our professional network and nimble approach enables us to be suitably responsive to clients’ needs and be creative in finding them most appropriate strategic solution.” MilleniumAssociates’ clients can be global, regional or national organisations, and often require a strategic solution that involves a global perspective. Therefore, over recent years, we have developed and enhanced our exceptionally broad professional worldwide network,” says Soudah, “ensuring that we have extensive network of institutional and private investors as well as direct personal contact to a large number of decision makers of local and international financial firms, including leading private equity houses and important sovereign funds. “Over recent years this network has been augmented with a number of similarly independent and unconflicted global strategic partnerships, giving us exceptional access into the key growth regions of the world and strengthening our local and regional coverage as well as supporting our service offering.”

Address: MilleniumAssociates AG Kreuzstrasse 54, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland Contact: Ray Soudah Tel: +41 58 710 47 00 Fax: +41 58 710 47 20 Email: info@milleniumassociates.com Web: www.milleniumassociates.com

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Securities & Investments Institution of the Year - Isle of Man

MONTREUX CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AG

Founded in 2010, Montreux Capital Management is a Swiss investment firm specialising in boutique, alternative funds. With a global institutional client base, Montreux Capital Management’s investors benefit from a specialist fund range which bears low correlation to the wider market, managed by our experienced partners. Introducing funds to some of the world’s most respected global institutions and other well-informed, professional investors, Montreux understands the importance of a

disciplined and sustainable approach in the investment process. By focusing on specialist asset classes and strategies, Montreux Funds aim to consistently generate returns regardless of movements in Equities, Bonds and the wider property markets.

Montreux Capital Management currently advices a brace of Healthcare Funds with agency over C.180M GBP worth of assets which are predominantly Institutionally subscribed and a short cycle, actively traded commodity strategy; the size of which has quadrupled in the last year.

Montreux Capital Management’s proposition is to offer a range of Funds that bear minimal correlation to traditional Securities. In wake of continuing global uncertainty in the market place, we offer investors the opportunity to realise returns regardless of economic and monetary movements. Though our Fund offering is diverse, certain elements remain consistent throughout all Montreux Funds. They all boast strong corporate governance, solid fundamentals, high levels of investor protection and the ability to achieve sustained returns, whatever the wider climate.

Oliver Harris, Managing Partner of Montreux Capital Management explained. “Our Funds offer something different and compelling to investors, our Isle of Man Healthcare Fund, for example; is the only one on the market which owns and operates assets of this nature.” Oliver added, “It is a real testament to our focus, strategy and team effort that we have received this award. I am delighted with what we have achieved this year and look forward to 2015.”

Email: info@montreuxcm.com Web: www.montreuxcm.com 2nd Floor Baarerstrasse 14 -16 6300 Zug, Switzerland Phone: +41 (0) 41 561 3362 Fax: +41 (0) 41 561 3200

Night view on city of Zug, Switzerland

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Best Renewable Energy Advisory Firm – UK

MORONI & PARTNERS Moroni & Partners, one of the largest Italian energy engineering consultants, executes engineering, technical advisory services and asset management services.

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e are honoured to receive the award Energy Sector Focused Advisory Firm of the Year – UK because it is a clear evidence of our continuous worldwide development. This award is particularly important since it demonstrates, after many achievements obtained in Italy, our powerful presence in the UK market with our London branch. This award make us proud of the acclaim and support always confirmed by our clients in these situations. Moroni & Partners was founded in 2004 and it is now one of the largest Italian energy engineering consultants with more than 1.5 GW of experience in Engineering, Technical Advisory and Asset Management at national and international

level. M&P team is composed by 50 professionals specialized in renewable energy sources and high energy efficiency systems who are able to satisfy the needs of banks, investors, industrial customers, public entities and EPC contractors. Three business divisions are the pillars of our structure: • Engineering Division • Technical Advisory Division • Asset Management Division 2014 – An important milestone for Moroni & Partners 2014 was a crucial year first of all because M&P celebrated its 10th anniversary. It was the year during which M&P received four awards from authoritative magazines and was accredited by the World Bank, the IFC and the other Multilateral Development Banks.

This accreditation, along with the development of our activities in UK, Morocco, Ecuador, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, Thailand and Myanmar, has allowed M&P to be a more and more international partner for anyone in the energy industry in search of effective, quick and qualified assistance worldwide. In order to expand our worldwide presence, besides opening an office in UK, we established a partnership with two important engineering and consulting companies operating in KSA and all Middle East countries. Our industry is continuously evolving: while the Italian photovoltaic market nowadays represents a secondary market where M&P is the main reference, in the United Kingdom the rush to engineering and development of photovoltaic plants continues, and we are always ready to offer our experience and know-how to the UK market. We take the chance to thank all the people that are sustaining us daily in our activities and that let us become one of the main Italian players in the international market.

Address: 75, Bell Gardens Haddenham Ely, Crambidgeshire CB6 3TX, United Kingdom Email: info@moroniepartners.it

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Best for Norwegian Tax - UK

NICOLSON ACCOUNTANCY Nicolson Accountancy are the leading firm of accountants serving both Glasgow and the Western Isles of Scotland, with Norwegian tax among is specialisms.

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icolson Accountancy is a multi award-winning accountancy practice providing accounting, tax and business advice to small and medium size companies. “Our ethos is to provide top quality efficient services to our clients at a competitive price,” says Sue Nicolson, Director. “One of our specialist areas is Norwegian taxation services, and we are one of very few practices in the UK who can provide an all-round service to clients who work in the Norwegian sector with a thorough understanding of both UK and Norwegian taxation and how the two regimes work together. We are not a hierarchical firm and all staff report directly into a director. We are confident that when a client contacts the firm, they will be treated professionally by any member of staff.” Targn Pleiades / Shutterstock.com

Norwegian tax and reporting rules are constantly changing and, Nicolson says, it is vital to stay abreast of this. “In addition, many UK contractors working in Norway believe that they do not have a residual liability to the UK HMRC which in many circumstances is incorrect. We are dealing with a lot more HMRC investigations into these types of cases which can result in high penalties and fines. Our advice to anyone who is working in the Norwegian sector is to ensure that your accountant understands both tax regimes and prepares both your UK and Norwegian tax returns correctly.” The biggest change that the firm has seen over the past few years is the acceptance that an accountant doesn’t have to be local, Nicolson says. “Clients want to ensure that their

accountant is knowledgeable and rates this above personal access. Many clients are embracing technology and are happy to deal with us via email and secure document portals, rather than face to face.” Nicolson says the firm is “delighted” to have been named Best for Norwegian Tax – UK in the Finance Awards. “It gives us recognition for the hard work all of the team have put into providing world class Norwegian tax services to clients at a competitive price.” She attributes the win to the fact that the firm is one of very few accountants who understand both the UK and Norwegian tax sector. “Previously, clients have had to engage two accountants and pay double the fees with neither understanding the impact of what the other is doing. We can do everything under one roof, which keeps the fees competitive and provides a one stop shop.” One of the firm’s biggest challenges over the past 12 months, and over the coming 12 months, is in ensuring that its clients remain compliant in Norway, says Nicolson: “That we ensure the move to online filing of employer returns is smooth and that we stay abreast of changing tax law in Norway.”

NICOLSON ACCOUNTANCY Tel: 0141 438 2328 Email: sue@nicolsonaccountancy.co.uk Web: www.nicolsonaccountancy.co.uk

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Best Support for Alternative Asset Managers & Best in Trading Documentation - UK

OESA PARTNERS Oesa Partners is a niche consultancy providing legal and regulatory services to hedge funds and investment managers. Kate Wormald, Founder, tells us how the firm is maintaining the highest standards of service in a challenging regulatory environment.

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esa Partners negotiates with various prime brokers and bank counterparties daily – raising a wide range of issues, says Kate Wormald, Founder. “We have mainly hedge funds as client but also some long only managers, pensions and a couple of corporates who invest via their treasury departments.” Being a consultancy, the firm is not constrained by hourly billing and the pyramid structure of a law firm when it comes to costs, Wormald says. “We are experienced ex in house sales and trading lawyers and negotiators who understand how banks operate and so cut through the negotiations to deliver timely and cost effective solutions.”

Oesa is “delighted” to win the award for Best Support for Alternative Asset Managers in the Finance Awards, says Wormald. “We like to pride ourselves on value added and the recognition we have received this year only endorses how much our peers and clients appreciate this.” She attributes the firm’s success in part to its fees structure. “We have always offered fixed fees and so what we quote is what the client pays. People like this so they can budget accordingly. We are always being told this is a refreshing approach. We are looking at extending our audit and legal DDQ for investor readiness to independent fund directors so they can assess the inherent legal risks in fund’s documentation to ensure good governance.”

Oesa’s size is also beneficial, Wormald says. “We are small so have the benefit of economies of scale and therefore provide cost effective solutions to our clients. The banks like working with us because we are proactive and commercial.” Over the last 12 months, a challenge for the firm has been in maintaining its high standards of service throughout a period of increased regulation – a trend that is set to continue in 2015. “During the next 12 months more rules will become enforceable including the need for clients to centrally clear their OTC positions in Europe,” Wormald says. “There will be a lot of work to on board everyone in time.”

Address: 23 Hanover Street, London W1S 1JB Tel: +44 0203 693 6085 Web: www.oesa.co.uk

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Best for European Trading Services

OUTSET GLOBAL We spoke to Raymond McCabe, Founder and Managing Partner at OutSET Global, about the firm and why the financial industry is beginning to recognise the full value proposition that outsourced buyside trading offers buy-side firms.

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utSET Global, which has been named Best for European Trading Services in the Finance Awards, provides specialist equities/options/futures trading services to hedge funds, family offices, private equity firms, asset managers and sovereign wealth funds.

“With our expertise, extensive broker list and cutting edge technology, we can deliver a qualitative service to either the PM or trader in relation to market colour, news, flows and research and ensure true best execution.” Adam Bandeen, Partner.

“This award is exceptionally gratifying to receive as it reflects the investment we are making in our business and the efforts of the OutSET Global team who deliver the best service and solution to our clients” said Raymond McCabe, Founder and Managing Partner.

Adam added “As partners to our clients, we bring together the scale of our clients dealing activity with our dedicated expertise and market access to enable a much more efficient dealing set-up that has inherent economic benefits for each of our clients. Furthermore we are able to enhance the performance of our clients and deliver a dedicated service without any risk of conflict. Each client gaining from the greater collective and thus being able to maximise commission dollars spent without compromise or leakage.”

He adds, “This award also comes at a time when the industry is starting to genuinely recognise the full value proposition that ‘outsourced buy-side trading’ offers buy-side firms. Europe is beginning to catch-up with the US market in this regard but the growth is in part driven as the industry focus on best execution, with MiFID II on the horizon, unbundling and of course the need to address escalating costs”. We adjust for all sizes of AUM and tailor our service and relationship with each individual client. Our mission is to deliver our clients a unique and powerful dealing desk that acts only in their best interests. Whether a client wants to adopt a fully outsourced dealing service or wants an extension of their existing dealing desk, OutSET Global is an ideal partner for their business.

The movement towards outsourced dealing is gaining traction. The reasons are plentiful. Among the most prevalent are: 1) The FCA thematic review paper on best execution 2) The additional FCA paper “unbundling” across equity asset management 3) Mifid II, and the implications for clients and investors 4) The costs and limitations of in house dealing teams for sub scale managers 5) Drive for greater cost efficiencies as investors seek greater returns

Our independent and nonconflicted position in the market place is viewed as a key attribute for our clients and is one reason they choose to partner with OutSET Global. We use our own broker agnostic technology that offers a robust and stable environment for our clients and many years of experience of managing a state-of-the-art dealing desk. Raymond added “We focus on partnering with our clients, aligning our capabilities with their organisation, investment strategies and requirements. Clients get the best personal service at all times to ensure they feel we are really part of their business.” “We are already seeing a lot of growth in Europe and we will continue to invest in our team and business as we grow during 2015 and beyond. We will extend the on-the-ground geographical coverage in the US and Asian markets as we go forward and we have some exciting plans and opportunities ahead of us. Above all we will retain our total dedication to offering dealing services to the buy-side for the benefit of the buy-side”.

Address: OutSET Global LLP Suite 13, Fulham Business Exchange, Imperial Wharf, London SW6 2TL Tel: +44 020 7731 9560

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Best for Alternatives Asset Management - UK

PWC

Using our knowledge and expertise, PwC are well placed to help you stay ahead of intensifying investor demands and regulatory change.

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sset Management firms have emerged from the financial crisis into a world where the boundaries between traditional financial services industries are now blurred and the appetite for and access to capital is fiercer than ever before. Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

Stringent regulations including the UCITS IV directive and AIFMD are now common place. And with complex tax reporting requirements like FATCA now in force, asset managers find themselves trying to combine their natural entrepreneurial tendencies with a much more cautious and compliant approach to reporting on their performance and on their attitude towards managing risk.

In response, many businesses are revisiting their growth objectives, operating models and reassessing their culture and the way they conduct business activities. The question is how prepared are you? Hedge fund assets are close to pre-crisis highs, and many funds are once again earning performance fees. Yet managers face considerable uncertainty. Investors are seeking greater transparency and liquidity, while regulation and taxation are increasing. Established managers have the challenge of adapting their operating models to accommodate these new demands. For start-ups, having the optimum business structure is more important than ever. Using our knowledge and expertise, we are well placed to help you stay ahead of intensifying investor demands and regulatory change. Our UK hedge fund specialists in tax, assurance, advisory, regulation and human resources have worked together since the sector’s early days, and contribute to the development of industry best practice.

Name: Rob Mellor Tel: +44 (0)20 7804 1385 Email: robert.mellor@uk.pwc.com Web: www.pwc.co.uk

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Best for M&A Advisory - Illinois

RAVINIA CAPITAL LLC We caught up with Eric Welchko, Director at Ravinia Capital LLC, to find out how the firm is delivering results that no one else thought were possible.

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avinia Capital LLC, in Chicago, is a trusted independent advisor to middle market clients, specialising in customised transaction processes resulting in best available capital solutions.

“Day to day we both advise clients on what their best strategic capital options are, and help clients sell their businesses for the highest possible price,” says Eric Welchko, Director. “We work with a wide range of middle market companies both healthy and distressed, but in all cases we are brought in when it is important to the selling stakeholders to receive the highest possible value for the company. “Ravinia Capital is a boutique investment bank, which gives us the luxury of being selective regarding which engagements we enter into,” Welchko says. “Because of our reputation for excellence, we are able to stay consistently busy through all phases of business cycles and changes in

regulation. The market for us continues to remain robust.” Ravinia has embraced recent technological advances in the financial industries, says Welchko. “Our business is committed to being on the cutting edge of advances in technology. These advances have allowed us to be more effective in our processes and results, enabling us to more efficiently run robust, swift and secure sales. However, no amount of technology replaces the prominence of our core asset, which is our ability to negotiate and close deals through our interpersonal skills and experiences.” The firm is proud to be named Best for M&A Advisory – Illinois, Welchko says. “It is always validating to have third party acknowledgement of our abilities to help clients understand the wisdom of working with a boutique investment bank that prides itself on providing award winning work at a minimum.”

This latest recognition is just one of numerous awards won by Ravinia. Welchko attributes the firm’s continuing success to its ability to do whatever it takes in a sales engagement to sell a company – not as is, but as best. “Our focus going forward is to continue to excel at ever more challenging and large and complex transactions. We like to deliver the results that no one else thought were possible.” Welchko says the firm believes a good business not only at all times exemplifies the utmost integrity, work dedication and skill, but also takes leadership and runs their process undertaking anything that is needed to deliver the best possible result for its client. He says the major challenges facing the firm are to stand firm and push forward with confidence to deliver the best result for the client – even when other interested parties have other hidden agendas that they try to achieve either openly, or underhandedly. “It is our role to ensure that the client gets the best of our abilities to provide them with a premier, out of the box result.”

Address: 185 North Franklin Street, 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606 USA Tel: +1 312 869 2495 Email: info@raviniacapitalllc.com Web: www.raviniacapitalllc.com

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SME Choice Award: Accountants of the Year - UK

RODLIFFE Rodliffe provides quality accounting services for contractors/freelancers and small businesses, as well as assisting with tax planning.

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t is an honour and a privilege to be given this award. The award will increase our already highly regarded reputation amongst the industry giants and will give us the confidence as a company to continue our plans to grow the business. Quality and value added services are the core of Rodliffe’s client packages, striving to ensure that all aspects of customer service are second to none from any clients first point of contact right through to dealing with out senior team and directors. Rodliffe lives and breathes by an ethos of People, Processes and Technology (PPT) that defines all aspects of the company’s services. People; ensuring quality through staff motivation as well as client satisfaction. Processes; the methods in place to ensure all clients needs are recorded

and dealt with due diligence. Technology, enabling the staff to deal with any and all queries through simply tech based solutions.

highlights being an Easter competition (5,000 + views and interactions) and a World Cup Competition (9,000 + views and interactions)

Rodliffe’s firmly believes in helping clients with their financial situations and as such the fees have remained unchanged for 6 years, whilst the service has continually been expanded and perfected. Another example of this occurred when a client saved £80,000 in taxes through the re-structuring advice of the senior team.

Rodliffe have also designed and implemented a contractor dedicated job board; jobs4contractors.co.uk that is updated twice a week job to assist clients find readily available placements through trusted agency partners. This ensures the clients longevity for use of accounting services as well as offering a fundamental value added service.

This year, Rodliffe has focusing heavily on social media to draw in more new clients and increase brand awareness by offering reliable and relatable news, industry opinion and interactive competitions and forum posts to the target audience. Since January 2014 we have had an audience interaction increase across all social media of 250% with

New legislation has also lead Rodliffe to create new reporting and monitoring services for recruiters to help them tackle any onshore/offshore intermediaries. This has proven very successful with Aston Carter who have now appointed us as their number 1 preferred supply for contractor accountancy.

Address: Salisbury House 5th Floor (744-750), London Wall, London, EC2M 5QQ Tel: 0207 6143100 Email: info@rodliffeaccounting.com Web: www.rodliffeaccounting.com

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SAS

Best for Business Analytics

SAS believes that all financial services institutions can benefit from having a data-driven culture throughout the business – not just one that sits within IT or a small pocket of data experts. Charles Senabulya, SAS UK Financial Services Sales Director, gave us some insights into the firm’s continuing success.

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e are incredibly proud that SAS has been named Best for Business Analytics, particularly given the increasingly important role big data analytics plays for International Wealth & Finance’s readers and partners. SAS works with a large number of clients in the financial services sector and beyond, helping them transform their data into meaningful insight which drives effective action. With SAS industry-leading solutions,organisations can manage risk, prevent fraud, better understand their customers and enhance operational efficiencies. Changing regulatory requirements – such as Basel III, Solvency II and stress testing – are an enormous challenge for many of SAS customers. But we don’t see this changing landscape as a burden, more a chance to go beyond compliance and reporting to get a better understanding of risk and opportunities across the entire business. For example,

this year, our high performance risk solution helped a global investment bank to aggregate its disparate systems to get a single view of risk, deliver reporting within minutes, save hundreds of millions of dollars through better capital management – in addition to meeting its regulatory compliance targets. But SAS is not just for global firms with trillions of lines of data. And customers don’t need to rip out all their legacy systems and start from scratch. Our solutions include high performance analytics that work alongside existing infrastructures, and many are compatible with emerging open source technologies such as Hadoop. SAS® Visual Analytics puts wisdom in the hands of non-analytical executives, allowing anyone in the business to explore data and get new insights. We also offer analytics-as-a-service, ANSWERS from SAS, to enable businesses with specific questions but

no in-house analytics capability to get answers from their data. All this is possible because analytics has been our only business for almost 40 years. We’re privately owned, so we’re free to focus on innovations that meet customers’ needs, rather than being preoccupied with quarterly reporting pressures. We reinvest more than 20 per cent of revenue into R&D, meaning we have an unrivalled depth and breadth of analytics expertise, particularly when it comes to predictive analytics. We’re also consistently rated a great company to work for; we’ve been in The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK for eight consecutive years, and in the top 10 of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in the US for 11 years. We believe that all financial services institutions can benefit from having a data-driven culture throughout the business, not just one that sits within IT or a small pocket of data experts. We’re grateful that our work in joining IT with the business, integrating data silos and helping people make more effective decisions is being acknowledged with this award.

email: Sue.Reynolds@sas.com

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Best for Capital Markets Advisory Firm - UK

STJ ADVISORS STJ Advisors is an independent global capital markets advisory firm focused purely on advising issuers and financial sponsor or other controlling shareholders on all equity and debt capital markets activities. STJ Advisors is the largest independent equity capital markets advisory firm worldwide. Together with its partners it has advised on 88 equity offerings, raising over US$30bn in 2014 in Europe, USA and Asia. The European IPO market in 2014 has been volatile with short windows of successful issuance but ultimately collapsed by October, in which half of all European IPOs failed to price. The nervousness in the market from both issuers and investors was driven by macro conditions and fuelled by some recently listed companies missing earnings. To navigate through volatile market conditions and the complicated IPO process, issuers have increasingly been using independent and specialist advisors to work alongside investment banks to provide un-conflicted advice. Independent advisors were included on the majority of large European IPOs in 2014.

The €1.8bn landmark IPO of NN group (the largest 2014 European corporate IPO and the 3rd largest Dutch IPO on record) particularly demonstrates the added value of an independent advisor to the issuer. STJ Advisors acted as independent advisor to the shareholders ING Group and management providing transparent market information giving them control over the key aspects of the transaction and to make informed decisions at every stage. STJ worked with ING management and ING Capital markets to incentivise and empower a large syndicate to enhance the breadth and depth of marketing, allowing for a successful outcome for both willing buyers and sellers. By aggregating feedback from all investors, NN was able to build a picture of the total demand at every price which improved decisions regarding pricing and allocation of the shares, and ultimately aftermarket trading. As a result, NN successfully priced (1st July) during a challenging market backdrop.

XXL, a Norwegian Sporting Goods retailer, priced during the most difficult post-summer 2014 period where over 60% of all deals were withdrawn or suspended and was the only IPO to have priced in the top half of the range and traded up in the aftermarket. STJ helped in the selection of a banking syndicate that offered both sector expertise as well as breadth of investor coverage. By emphasising domestic demand through the syndicate selection, a successful outcome was achieved with a 25% premium valuation to XXL’s primary comparable Sports Direct as well as a stable and healthy aftermarket. STJ’s transparent process allows issuers to take informed decisions on the key aspects of the IPO process; and despite continued market turbulence, ultimately deliver a successful IPO with a win-win outcome for existing and new investors. Winning the UK Senior Equity Advisory Firm of the Year award from Acquisition International is further affirmation of the value that STJ Advisors can bring to a transaction.

Email: contact@stjadvisors.com Web: www.stjadvisors.com Address: Charles House, 5-11 Regent Street London, SW1Y 4LR Phone: +44 (0)20 7659 1125 Fax: +44 (0)20 7493 4040

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Best for Alternative Investment Solutions

SUNRISE CAPITAL PARTNERS Jason Gerlach, CEO, Sunrise Capital Partners, tells us how the firm is providing each of its investors with outstanding risk-adjusted investment results. Sunrise Capital Partners manages assets for over 200 individuals and institutions from around the world. “Our challenge each day is to provide each of those investors with outstanding risk-adjusted investment results and equally outstanding customer service that is transparent and highly responsive,” says Jason Gerlach, CEO. “When we launched Sunrise in 1980, our goal was simple – provide an excellent investment experience for our clients by delivering consistently compelling risk-adjusted returns and the best possible client service,” Gerlach says. “We figured if we did those things, the business would at least sustain itself and potentially, achieve even more than that.”

Downtown City of San Diego with Buildings Reflecting in San Diego Bay. San Diego, California USA

“To succeed on all fronts of the asset management business, it’s essential to have a collaborative team of professionals who are all seeking to achieve excellence in everything they do,” says Gerlach. “That’s precisely what Sunrise has worked to build over the past three decades. Our company is structured in a way so that every member of our team is empowered to achieve their fullest potential and share in the rewards that come from our collective effort. Our employees are expected to do something every day to improve Sunrise’s business to always put the interests of our clients first in everything they do. To the extent their skills can be developed to better achieve these outcomes, Sunrise encourages such and where an employee’s skill set warrants a leadership role regarding a particular initiative, they are given such a role and provided with whatever support they need to succeed.” “Sunrise works tirelessly to deliver outstanding investment results to its clients and serve its clients with the utmost responsiveness and integrity,” says Gerlach, and he believes that the firm’s success in the Finance Awards, being named Best for Alternative Investment Solutions, recognizes this. “Everything we do at Sunrise is done with the goal of achieving outstanding investor outcomes,” he says, “and our focus going forward is to further improve the investment results we achieve and the customer service we provide. To this end, in recent years we have developed more broadly available, investor-friendly products and better proliferated these portfolio-enhancing products to more investors. We have done this because ultimately, we think that every investor, whether an individual setting aside a few hundred dollars a month or a large institutional allocating billions of dollars of capital, can achieve better outcomes by integrating truly diversifying alternative investment approaches into their portfolio. We will continue to hone this effort going forward in the hope that Sunrise can enhance as many investment portfolios as possible around the globe.”

“The challenges in the asset management business are multiple and never-ending,” says Gerlach. “To succeed in this business over the long term, one must not only respond to changes but predict them and evolve accordingly. This is what Sunrise has done since its 1980 inception and what it continues to do presently as it looks ahead to 2015 and beyond. On the investment side, markets continually vacillate and surprise and thus the challenge is to build nimble and adaptive investment strategies that can achieve solid outcomes in a wide range of environments. We think our track record demonstrates that we’ve been able to successfully evolve our investment approach as markets have grown and changed over the past 35 years and we’re working very hard to ensure that our strategies continue to be responsive to global markets going forward.” Gerlach concludes, “on the client service side, investor needs and requirements have changed significantly and thus the challenge is to create products that are in tune with the market and responsive to what investors are demanding. Again, Sunrise’s longevity in our view proves that we’ve been able to do this successfully since our inception and in our view, makes it likely that we can continue to respond to evolving investment demands in the future.”

Address: 12544 High Bluff Drive, Suite 400 San Diego, CA 92130 Tel: +1 877 456 8911 Email: info@sunrisecapital.com Web: www.sunrisecapital.com

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Best Alternative Investments Service Provider - USA

UMB FUND SERVICES UMB Fund Services provides a broad array of services for mutual funds and alternative investments – as well as turnkey solutions for bringing new products to market, including multiple series trust, collective trust and registered alternative investment services.

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MB Fund Services is a boutique service provider that differentiates itself from competing firms through its intense focus on service. The company is truly client-focused and strives every day to deliver on its vision of providing the unparalleled customer experience. As a pioneer in the alternative investment servicing industry, UMB Fund Services has built the expertise to provide a one-stop solution to provide clients with the entire range of Chief Financial Officer services for hedge funds, funds of funds, private equity funds and all types of registered alternative funds. UMB Fund Services is able to manage all components of administration, accounting, tax and regulatory compliance,

and client service and reporting. The team’s infrastructure is “dropped in” to each client’s operations, creating efficiencies and economies of scale.

professional services firms to provide a full spectrum of services, including back-office, fund registration, legal, audit, CCO support, distribution and more.

The company’s full-service lineup for alternative funds includes product formation assistance, administration, fund accounting, investor accounting and reporting, tax, and custody (through its affiliate, UMB Bank, n.a.)

UMB Fund Services also sponsors the Investment Managers Series Trusts (IMST) – a turnkey solution for establishing a mutual fund. The firm helps with everything from product education through to launch and distribution, which takes around 120 days. With trustees, officers and service providers already in place, managers can focus on managing money and growing assets. The Investment Managers Series Trust II was established in 2013 due to the success of the original trust and is currently open to new advisors. Many of the most recent funds to launch within the trusts have been liquid alternative funds.

For clients seeking assistance with starting and servicing a registered hedge fund, UMB Fund Services has teamed up with other industry service providers to offer Registered Fund Solutions, the industry’s first turnkey solution for launching and servicing a registered hedge fund. Registered Fund Solutions brings together a team of best-of-breed

Whether a manager needs services for a “traditional” or a registered alternative fund, UMB Fund Services has the experience, expertise and capabilities to meet those needs. The company’s advantages include unparalleled service, leading-edge technology, and the stability of a highly capitalized parent organization that has been around for 100+ years.

Address: 235 W Galena St, Milwaukee, WI 53212, USA Tel: +1 888 844 3350 Web: umbfs.com

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Pharmacy & Life Sciences Lawyer of the Year - Austria

VÖLKL. RECHTSANWÄLTE Völkl. Rechtsanwälte specialises in pharmacy and life science.

Being named Pharmacy & Life Sciences Lawyer of the Year Austria means an appreciation for many years of successful and hard work and it makes this more recognisable to clients and the public. We are specialists in pharmacy law and life science (among other fields). Working in these fields means that we advise and represent pharmacists, pharmaceutical wholesalers, publishers and other companies in the field of Life Science in all matters of their business as well as in matters where pharmacy law meets adjoining legal fields, such as matters of sales, company law, financing and public commercial law.

Presently, most entrepreneurs are confronted with commercial challenges. To deal with these requires creative solutions within the framework of legal possibilities. We have profound expertise and experience in the conduct of proceedings. We are therefore able to incorporate the experience gained from civil proceedings into contract design. We constantly develop ourselves, the firm and our clients concerns. Moving into 2015 with confidence and cautiousness will help to make it a prosperous year. We are looking forward to develop a part of our clients’ future together with them.

We place particular importance on understanding our clients interests and needs. We believe that the strategy plays a crucial role in the successful resolution of conflicts.

Rechtsanwälte

Company: Völkl. Rechtsanwälte Email: office@ra-voelkl.at Web: www.ra-voelkl.at Address: Nussdroferstraße 10-12, 1090 Vienna (Austria) Phone: 0043 1 317 71 01 23

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Finance Law Firm of the Year - Turkey

YazıcıLegal is a law firm in Istanbul providing services and assistance in various legal matters including corporate and transactional work, regulatory advice and dispute resolution.

Y

azıcıLegal is one of the leading law firms in banking and finance law in Turkey. The firm currently advises a number of banks, financial institutions and intermediary institutions on all kinds of banking and capital markets matters including regulatory, day-to-day operational, corporate, compliance and transactional work in Turkey.

Lawyers of YazıcıLegal have advised in cutting edge banking transactions in Turkey for the last twenty years; they have been involved in transactions including project finance, securitizations, syndicated loans, capital markets transactions and various structured finance projects (including the structuring of the first future flow securitization and covered bond transactions in Turkey). Hakan Yazıcı, being the managing partner of the firm, also acted as legal advisor in the largest bank mergers in the private sector

in Turkey during the consolidation in the Turkish banking sector and represented the purchasers or the sellers in the largest bank acquisition transactions in Turkey. Some of the clients YazıcıLegal represented and regularly represents in banking and finance include: GARANTI BANK; ISBANK; YAPI KREDI BANK; VAKIFBANK; AKBANK; FINANSBANK; DENIZBANK; ŞEKERBANK; ODEABANK; HYPOTHEKENBANK FRANKFURT AG; MITSIBUSHI SECURITIES; GOLDMAN SACHS; MORGAN STANLEY; DEUTSCHE BANK; UNICREDIT; and BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH.

Name: Hakan Yazıcı, Managing Partner Address: YazıcıLegal, Levent Mah, Yasemin Sok, No: 13, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey Tel: +90 212 269 0227 Fax: +90 212 269 0228 Email: hyazici@yazicilegal.com Web: www.yazicilegal.com

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