The 2018 PDI Annual Awards – now into its sixth year – is an important opportunity for our readers to offer their views on the leading lights of the industry. It offers invaluable insight into who are the most influential players and the extent to which their brand, and their activities, are contributing to the overall market. It is also a good indicator of how the market has evolved.
With every year that passes, we discover which companies have demonstrated extraordinary longevity by coming back to win year after year. There are companies like Golub Capital, which has now picked up its fourth Lender of the Year accolade in the Americas category, adding to its tally of 12 awards overall. There is also Asia’s SSG, our most prolific winner overall with 13 awards, which has picked up Distressed Debt Investor of the Year for its region every year since its inception. The only other company to come close to this kind of record is Oaktree which has consistently won the Distressed Debt Investor of the year for the Americas category every single year.
However, that doesn’t mean there is no room for new blood. Newcomer Huatai Financial Holdings caused a bit of an upset by picking up Asian Lender of the Year, bringing SSG’s three-year reign to an abrupt end. Meanwhile, Bain Capital Credit made its debut in the Asia category by picking up Fundraising of the Year. Another prolific winner to be knocked of its perch was Dechert – still our most decorated law firm – which lost its three-year run as Americas Law Firm of the Year to rival Kirkland & Ellis.
Roll of honour
Our 2018 annual awards mark the end result of a long process. The early stages saw us invite firms in the asset class to send us reminders of their highlights from the year. There then followed long discussions – in the form of both sit-down meetings and calls – to assess the merits of the many possible candidates. Our long-lists were then whittled down to the final four in each poll category. The poll was open for around a month between early December 2018 and early January 2019, and there then followed stringent vetting of the votes to make sure they fully complied with our rules.