Now into their fifth year, PDI’s annual awards are our biggest yet. Nominees were chosen following a vigorous selection process across 47 categories, with shortlists compiled by our editorial team after extensive consultation with the market. These lists then went to our readers for an industry-wide vote that attracted more than 4,000 responses, a new record.

Of the 47 categories, five are new: European SME lender of the year, Americas sell-side analyst of the year, speciality finance lender of the year for Europe and the Americas and Global fundraisings of the year. This reflects the growing scope and diversity of our industry.

There are plenty of familiar names returning to this year’s awards. The likes of Golub Capital, Monroe Capital and SSG Capital, have all picked up honours every year on record. Others, including some well-established brands, have only just made their awards debut this year.

Private equity giant Apollo has also made an impressive first show, picking up awards for distressed debt investor of the year in Europe and walking away with our inaugural global fundraising of the year award for its mammoth $24.7 billion hybrid fund (about 20 percent will be trained on private debt). We have also seen some winning streaks broken, with AXA being chosen as Europe’s infrastructure debt manager of the year, usurping three-time winner Macquarie.

Thanks to those who shared their insight and took the time to cast their votes, the PDI awards are as insightful as they have ever been and set an upbeat tone for what is sure to be an exciting year ahead for the private debt industry.