Our 2016 annual awards – the fourth we have undertaken – reflect both the widening reach of private debt and growing interest in it. The former characteristic is reflected in the addition of four new categories, raising our total number of awards on offer to 43. The latter characteristic is confirmed by the sheer number of votes recorded: up from around 3,000 12 months ago to more than 4,000 this time.
This year, we introduced a new stage to the process as we invited firms to fill out forms reminding us what they considered their highlights of 2016. This was widely taken up and proved highly informative, allowing these reminders to inform our thoughts as we went about the challenging (though also stimulating) process of drawing up shortlists.
We then commenced a period of voting through December into early January, with our readers able to make selections in as few or as many categories as they liked. One important proviso was that no one was allowed to vote for their own firm. The voting was carefully policed to ensure our awards retained their reputation for being independent, with all of our winners riding to victory on the back of votes cast by their peers.
Our outcomes confirmed the high regard in which Golub Capital and SSG Capital Management continue to be held. In the 2015 version, SSG led the way with wins in four categories and Golub taking the crown in three. In 2016 the roles were reversed with Golub taking four categories in the Americas section (lender, senior lender, BDC manager and CLO manager) and SSG winning three in Asia-Pacific (lender, distressed debt investor and fundraising).
Citi also takes three awards, two of them in our placement agent categories (Americas and Europe) and one in the fund financier category in Asia-Pacific.
One notable new feature of the 2016 awards was the addition of five new categories within the global section. Special mention should go to Pemberton, which has gone from winning our global newcomer award in 2015 to global fund manager of the year within the space of 12 months. This was a commendable achievement for a Europe-based manager, given the dominance of large, US-headquartered firms within the asset class.
Congratulations also to LCM Partners, Macquarie, Oaktree Capital Management, Partners Group, Spire Partners and TPG which all recorded victories in more than one category.
Finally, a big thank you to all those who took the time to participate. We look forward to working with you to make our 2017 awards even bigger and better.