The penultimate stage in the hotly anticipated Bridging & Commercial Awards 2012 took place last week, with our judges deliberating the fate of the shortlisted candidates.
The judging took a place in two parts, the first two hours the judges spent taking in the unprecedented volume of testimonials submitted by the nominees and a further two hours were spent voting in each individual category and debating out the ties.
As a result of the high calibre of candidates in each category, the judges took the decision to add a ‘Highly Commended’ category which will accredit those who were just pipped to the post by their professional counterparts.
Each judge provided salient reasons for their choices and offered some interesting anecdotal evidence which made for a topical discussion lasting all afternoon.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...
Commenting on the process, David Whittaker, Managing Director at Mortgages for Business gave us his thoughts: “The ability of ten judges from differing segments of the residential and commercial mortgage markets to debate and agree worthy winners for the awards was a testament to the 'stand out' quality of the nominations in an exceptional field in 2012. Wherever debate was lively it was wholly appropriate to reach a final decision on a hotly contended category.
“Mortgage Awards are often derided as open to influence or awarded on the basis of ‘Buggin’s turn’ – I was really impressed that strong judging from the likes of Ray Boulger, Adam Tyler and Graham Allen kept us all focused impartially on the task before us!”
David shares his delight with some of the testimonial submissions…
Sitting next to a rather animated David, a personality who is regularly engaged with the very latest the industry has to offer, James Prosser, Show Director at the Mortgage Business Expo, said: “It was an honour to be asked to judge this years’ awards and to be among some of the biggest personalities in the industry. This shows the strength of these awards. The nominations were very strong and some of the categories were a very close call. I genuinely look forward to the event and what promises to be great a day! Well done to Mo and his team.”
One of the longest serving industry veterans at the table, Graham Allen of Commercial Money Matters was an instrumental panel-member due to his canny observations of the candidates throughout the years. He said: “I thought the judging was very fair and an enormous amount of constructive debate was had - the right people excelled as a result. The addition of the Highly Commended accolade will see the awards go from strength to strength.”
Hard at work deciphering his winner, it appears that the room vacated whilst Graham wades through a mountain of testimonials…
The debating that ensued after the votes were cast made for an incredibly interesting afternoon, with Adam Tyler, Chairman of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), sparking many a debate. His candid view of the industry has grounded the Bridging & Commercial Awards within the wider financial market.
Adam also shared his view on his fellow judging counterparts: “The make-up of the knowledgeable and professional panel really stood out for me, making the B&C Awards of a standard best representing the merits of our industry. A lot of thought went into deciphering the winners – so look forward to a great day and few surprises on 11th June!”
Adam takes a break after one too many sandwiches…
The panel was also honoured to have input from Ray Boulger of John Charcol, a well-respected industry figure, to impart his experiences with the various nominees in each category.
Summing up the afternoon, Ray said: “The whole judging process was done in a fair and sensible way, taking the form of anonymous voting which sparked debates amongst us all. In several categories the competition was particularly strong and proved extremely difficult to choose between winner and runner up.”
A big thank you from the team at B&C to all our judges - we look forward to seeing you all on Monday, 11th June!