Annual review: Awards intro and full list

We are delighted to present the results of Private Debt Investor’s third annual awards – the only awards decided solely by the industry, for the industry.

With roughly 3,000 votes gathered, it’s clear that private debt inspires strong views. 

We began the process at the end of last year, shortlisting names for the 39 categories across three broad regions: the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Selections by the PDI editorial team were guided by market knowledge, hours of conversations with experts and investors, as well as discussions with our editorial colleagues in New York, London and Hong Kong.

These conversations are important and give smaller firms the opportunity for market recognition. But the real decision lay with you. So in December we threw open voting to the private debt market itself.

Our lender of the year in the Americas was Golub Capital for the second year running. The firm also won the senior lender and BDC of the year categories.

In Asia-Pacific, SSG proved its popularity, executing an almost clean sweep by winning in four different categories: lender of the year, distressed debt investor of the year, real estate lender of the year and fundraising of the year.

In Europe, another private credit giant swept the board – ICG. The London-listed asset manager has grown substantially with assets under management now topping €20 billion. The strength of its two flagship European funds, Senior Debt Partners and its junior strategy, now onto its sixth iteration was emphasised by the firm winning the lender, senior lender and junior lender of the year titles.

The other shortlisted managers gave them a run for their money, particularly in the senior lender category.

This year we added a number of new categories, including investor of the year and fund financier of the year. We were keen to acknowledge the importance of the capital providers and managers seemed to enjoy turning the tables in rendering judgment.

Our other new category is our only global one. Newcomer of the year is open to managers less than five years old and have demonstrated the ability to get a robust outfit up and running while contributing to the development of the still young asset class. This was another closely contested race with Legal & General-backed Pemberton pipping Susan Kasser’s private credit team at Neuberger Berman to the post.

The team at PDI would like to congratulate the winners on their achievements throughout 2015. Our runners-up all deserve recognition too. There were a lot of close results, and with firms prevented from voting for themselves each vote really counts as an acknowledgement of excellence by the market.

It was a momentous year for the private debt market. A hearty congratulations to everyone who worked hard to drive it onwards and upwards, and continues to do so in the year ahead.