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About

About the Awards

Each year the AIM ‘club’ gathers to celebrate outstanding achievement on the world’s most successful growth market.

Sponsored by BDO in association with the London Stock Exchange, the Awards identify the quoted companies and entrepreneurs who have harnessed AIM to help them fulfil their ambition and growth potential in the last twelve months. 

Now in its 26th year, the AIM Awards Dinner attracts over 1,400 guests including Senior Directors from AIM quoted companies and their advisers – ranging from NOMADS and brokers to accountants, lawyers, investor relations and financial PR professionals, the media and analysts – making it the largest AIM gathering – and, indeed, one of the annual highlights – in the City calendar. 

Each year the AIM Awards Dinner is a sell-out event and over the years it has developed its own distinctive atmosphere – ‘professional but fun’. In recent years, the event has made its home right in the heart of the City, at Old Billingsgate – a striking landmark venue situated on the banks of the River Thames, just moments from Tower Bridge.

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Awards

The AIM Awards look at how companies and individuals harness AIM to power their growth and fulfil their strategy. AIM is one of the most important platforms to help smaller and growing companies raise the capital they need for expansion. The AIM Awards scrutinises recent joiners and more established companies, as well as the advisers and commentators, to identify the stars of the last twelve months across eleven categories

The Awards cover the period 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021

The winners are announced  

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Click on each award to view more information

Best Investor Communication Award

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Best Performing Share Award

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Best Use of AIM Award

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Best Technology Award

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Diversity Champion Award

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AIM Transaction of the Year Award

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AIM Corporate Governance Award

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AIM Growth Business of the Year Award

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Best Newcomer Award

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Entrepreneur of the Year Award

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Company of the Year Award

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Shortlist review

Read more about this year’s shortlisted companies by selecting an award below.

Best Investor Communication Award

sponsored by Alma PR

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Abcam plc

Abcam, also shortlisted for the Best Investor Communication Award last year, is a global life sciences company, based in Cambridge. The group provides highly validated antibodies and other binders and assays to the research and clinical communities to help advance the understanding of biology and causes of disease.
Abcam’s investor communication is thorough and consistent. The group’s website is both accessible and highly responsive with detailed investor relations content, including a substantial reporting archive and availability of historical data. The content is supported by other active social media platforms, appealing to a wide variety of users, of every age.

The group’s Annual Report clearly identifies Abcam’s purpose, strategy, and vision, in addition to containing a detailed discussion of future ambitions and objectives.


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Accrol Group Holdings plc

Lancashire-based Accrol is the UK’s leading independent tissue converter. The group produces private label toilet roll, kitchen roll and facial tissue products to the majority of the UK’s grocery retailers.

Accrol impressed the Voting Panel across the corporate reporting suite.  The group’s website design is impressive, with video content used across the site and its strategy, values, and mission are well presented; the group clearly demonstrates its environmental responsibility and makes a strong investment case. Accrol has an engaging and unique annual report, with extensive content, supported by an innovative and distinctive design.


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Belvoir Group plc

Lincolnshire-based Belvoir Group operates the largest franchised property group in the UK. The group supports a network of 439 individual businesses, across six distinct brands, specialising in residential lettings, property sales and property‑related financial services.

Belvoir scored well in the investor communication benchmarking exercise in a number of areas. The group’s website provides detailed information on ESG commitments and targets. There was strong discussion of the company’s vision, strategy, and values, both online and offline, in addition to consistent use of case studies and evidence given by employees and senior leadership.

The Annual Report reflects the same approach as the website and provides a good overview of the company’s strategy for future growth.


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EMIS Group plc

Leeds based EMIS Group is a major provider of healthcare software, information technology and related services in the UK. The group is a regular on the Best Investor Communication shortlist and won the award in both 2018 and 2019.
The group’s consistently excellent approach to investor communication reflects its frequent presence on the shortlist. EMIS provides extensive investor content online, successfully showcasing its strategy, governance, and sustainability. The group sets a high standard in how information can be effectively communicated using the corporate website.

The Annual Report clearly linked together the online and offline content. EMIS’ strategic priorities are well integrated throughout its corporate report.


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FRP Advisory Group plc

London-based FRP Advisory is a professional services firm, offering a range of advisory services to companies, lenders, investors and other stakeholders, as well as individuals. The group advises across multiple sectors and all business sizes, however it principally services smaller and mid-market companies. FRP Advisory won the Best Newcomer Award in 2020.

FRP Advisory was noted for its transparent investor dialogue, communicating both the bad news, along with the good. The group’s website is easy-to-navigate and guides users through each section seamlessly. It also includes discussion of the broader picture, such as the impact of COVID-19 on its operations.
FRP Advisory have an engaging annual report that includes a strong business model and clearly defined strategy.


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Joules Group plc

The Joules brand is a premium lifestyle brand, based in Leicestershire, with an authentic heritage. The group is also comprised of the fast-growing Friends of Joules digital marketplace, and Garden Trading, a leading digital-led brand in the home, garden and outdoor category.

Joules ticked many ‘best practice’ boxes in the investor communication bench marking exercise. The group has an incredibly impressive website with engaging, visually pleasing content, in line with Joules’ own branding. It makes good use of dynamic features online, such as expandable menus and has a clear commitment to sustainability, with the use of case studies showcasing Joules’ commitment to corporate social responsibility.

The group’s online content is supported by an equally strong and well executed annual report. 

Best Use of AIM Award

sponsored by Winterflood Securities

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Brickability Group plc

Berkshire based Brickability Group consists of a number of companies, all of which bring together specialist products and services to meet the needs of the building and construction market. The group distributes, and in many cases installs, superior quality and strategically important building materials from major UK and European manufacturing partners, providing product solutions to both private and commercial specifiers, contractors, developers and builders.

Brickability used AIM to continue its strategy of bolt-on acquisitions during the year, which proved to be transformative for the business. The most significant of these was the acquisition of Taylor Maxwell, which substantially diversified the group’s product offering and customer base. Brickability also completed the strategic acquisition of its haulage business, McCann Logistics, in response to potential haulage delays caused by Brexit. 


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EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc

Cardiff-based EKF Diagnostics is a global medical manufacturer of point-of-care (POCT) devices and tests for haemoglobin, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), glucose and lactate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, EKF began the production of PrimeStore MTM, which is widely used in the US and Europe to neutralise viruses in patient samples. The group is also a distributor of the Kantaro COVID-SeroKlir antibody kits, a quantitative ELISA test.

During the period, shareholders of EKF benefitted from returns by way of dividend in specie, from EKF either spinning out or providing investment into innovative technologies - as witnessed with Verici Dx, which spun out of Renalytix in November 2020. In August 2020, EKF also invested $5m in Trellus Health in return for a 31.1% holding. In December, the group transferred this shareholding, by way of a dividend in specie, with Trellus subsequently joining AIM in May 2021.


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Keywords Studios plc

Dublin-based Keywords Studios is the leading international technical services provider to the global video games industry. Established in 1998, and now with delivery facilities in over 50 locations in 21 countries and 4 continents, Keywords is a leading consolidator in a highly-fragmented market for outsourced services worth over $2.5bn annually.

Keywords enjoyed a string of acquisitions in quick succession during the period and is a fine example of using AIM successfully to build the company and benefit its investors. The group has established itself as a consolidator and deal maker in the sector, having picking up many independent studios and businesses around the world in recent years, including full-service AAA game developer High Voltage Software and Indigo Pearl, a full-service PR agency whose clients include Epic Games and Sony Playstation.


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RWS Holdings plc

A previous AIM Company of the Year, Buckinghamshire-based RWS is the world’s leading provider of technology-enabled language, content management and intellectual property services. The group helps its customers connect globally by communicating business critical content at scale and enabling the protection and realization of their innovations. 

RWS is something of an AIM darling, due to its strong and reliable growth on the market over many years. During the period, the group completed the transformational acquisition of SDL (previously listed on the Main Market), in an all share deal, significantly enhancing the scale of the business and moving SDL’s technology proposition forward in great strides. The deal was one of the largest tech acquisitions of 2020 and created the world’s largest language services company, in addition to establishing RWS as one of the biggest businesses listed on AIM.


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SDI Group plc

Cambridge-based SDI Group specialises in the design and manufacture of products for use in a number of imaging and sensing and control applications, including life sciences, healthcare, astronomy, precision optics, measurement instrumentation and art conservation markets. 

SDI have a ‘buy and build’ strategy that involves adding carefully selected niche technology acquisitions to its portfolio in order to obtain immediate earnings enhancements. The group uses the AIM platform to be self-funding, enabling its rapid growth to continue. SDI achieved a record year of revenues and pre-tax profits, during the period, leaving the group well positioned to take advantage of further new market opportunities.


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SigmaRoc plc

London-based SigmaRoc is a buy-and-build group targeting construction materials assets in the UK and Northern Europe. The group seeks to create value by purchasing assets in fragmented construction materials markets and extracting efficiencies through active management and by forming the assets into larger groups. 

SigmaRoc has continued to deliver on its buy-and-build strategy, using AIM to raise funds to complete ten acquisitions over the last five years. In July 2021, the group announced the transformational acquisition of Nordkalk, the leading provider of limestone-based products and solutions in Northern Europe, for a total consideration of €470m. The deal was part funded by a £260m placing on AIM and provides SigmaRoc with immediate scale and significant earnings growth. 

Best Technology Award

sponsored by Cenkos

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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ANGLE plc

Surrey-based ANGLE is a world leading liquid biopsy company. The group’s proven patent-protected platforms include an epitope-independent circulating tumor cell (CTC) harvesting technology and a downstream analysis system for cost effective, highly multiplexed analysis of nucleic acids and proteins.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHS now has more than 4·6m people on waiting lists for surgery, many of which are for cancer. This has resulted in patients having to wait for important procedures, such as solid tissue biopsies, meaning they aren’t being diagnosed or tested quickly enough to receive the most appropriate treatment. ANGLE’s innovative Parsortix system, which is a liquid biopsy, is a cheaper, easier alternative to a solid tissue biopsy that makes a speedy diagnosis of cancer and subsequent personalised care achievable. Parsortix, was submitted for gold-standard FDA-clearance in October 2020.


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Boku, Inc.

London-based Boku was founded in 2009 to enable people to make purchases for digital content with their mobile phones. Over the past decade, the group has worked with the world’s largest brands to make that ambition a reality on a global scale. Six of the seven most valuable companies in the world are live on the Boku platform today, including Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Boku has evolved and expanded over time, persistently implementing new innovative ideas to increase its offering. During COVID-19, the group added a new vertical to its business called ‘Mobile First’ (M1ST). Mobile payment acceptance for global merchants is highly complex, especially due to the extreme fragmentation of mobile payment methods, therefore M1ST solves a number of these challenges so merchants can easily accept mobile payments, globally, and at scale. 


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Calnex Solutions plc

Headquartered in Linlithgow, Scotland, Calnex Solutions designs, produces and markets test and measurement instrumentation and solutions, enabling its customers to validate the performance of critical infrastructure associated with telecoms networks. The group has established a position at the forefront of the test and measurement industry, providing equipment to the world’s telecoms network operators, network providers, systems suppliers, laboratories and network infrastructure. 

Global telecoms networks have evolved dramatically over the last 40 years and the challenges currently facing the industry are significant, including the mass roll out of 5G networks, which will be essential for the realisation of anticipated Smart Cities and IoT revolutions. Calnex has a highly sophisticated and differentiated product offering, in addition to an advanced knowledge of future market requirements, making the group well positioned to capitalise on opportunities driven by changing customer demand and regulatory standards.


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Creo Medical Group plc

Chepstow-based Creo is a medical device company focused on the emerging field of surgical endoscopy, a recent development in minimally invasive surgery. The company’s mission is to improve patient outcomes by applying microwave and radiofrequency energy to surgical endoscopy.

Creo CROMA Advanced Energy Platform, powered by Kamaptive Technology, is a full-spectrum adaptive technology combining bipolar radiofrequency energy with microwaves.

These two energies can be harnessed with Creo’s flexible, accurate, and highly controllable surgical tools, to enable physicians to make precise, localised cuts (bipolar radiofrequency), and controlled coagulation (microwaves). These miniature tools, include SpeedboatTM Inject and the MicroblateTM range. MicroblateTM Fine was used for the first time in December 2020 in a successful pancreatic tumour ablation.


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Renalytix plc

London-based Renalytix is an artificial intelligence-enabled in vitro diagnostics company, focused on optimising clinical management of kidney disease. The group’s goal is to lower healthcare costs and improve patient quality of life by transforming the paradigm for kidney disease risk assessment and clinical management through its KidneyIntelX platform.

KidneyIntelX is a first-in-class diagnostic platform that employs a proprietary artificial intelligence-enabled algorithm combining diverse data inputs, validated blood-based biomarkers, inherited genetics, and personalised patient data from electronic health record systems, to generate a unique patient risk score. This unique score enables prediction of progressive kidney function decline, which allows physicians and healthcare systems to optimise the allocation of treatment to patients. KidneyIntelX has been granted breakthrough device designation from the US FDA.


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Verici Dx plc

Cardiff-based Verici Dx develops tests to understand how a patient will and is responding to organ transplant. One of the most significant threats to a successful transplant, or graft, is the body’s own immune system. Verici’s products and solutions are underpinned by extensive scientific research into the recipient’s immune phenotype and how that impacts on acute rejection, chronic injury and ultimately failure of the transplant. 

Following kidney transplant, clinicians use a one-size-fits-all approach to management of immunosuppression, slowly reducing drug levels to a maintenance level over the first several months. The Verici Dx suite of assays use advanced next-generation transcriptomic immune-phenotyping coupled with AI techniques to create a more personalized assessment of rejection risk and provide physicians valuable and actionable insights.

Diversity Champion Award

sponsored by BDB Pitmans

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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FD Technologies plc

Northern Ireland-based FD Technologies comprises three businesses – KX, First Derivatives and MRP. The group is a data-driven company that unlocks the value of insight, hindsight, and foresight to drive organisations forward. FD Technologies owes its success to Brian Conlon, a true FinTech pioneer.

FD Technologies believes having a diverse workforce is critical to its success. The group has taken great strides to rebalance the business and now has a 60% male and 40% female workforce. FD Technologies has established three internal networks – Women's, Pride & Mutli-Cultural - which create channels for communication and support, complete with regional heads, who ensure each branch has tools it needs to aid employees. FD Technologies also has a female mentorship programme – IMPACT, which is a six-month programme offering support, guidance and insight into life as a woman in business, particularly within the technology sector. 


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finnCap Group plc

London-based finnCap is the largest Nomad and AIM company financial adviser and the No.1 broker on AIM. The group advises ambitious growth companies, accesses capital and promotes its clients across both public and private markets. 

finnCap has developed a proprietary ESG scorecard, to enable companies to benchmark themselves on factors such as diversity. This tool provides a basis on which these considerations can be assessed, not only helping investors, but assisting a great number of businesses. The group’s CEO, Sam Smith, is very vocal regarding the importance of diversity and regularly addresses diversity challenges in public forums and the national press. She has implemented an entrepreneur programme within schools, focused on encouraging skills and understanding business to improve social mobility. 


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In The Style Group plc

Manchester-based In The Style, is a fast-growing e-commerce womenswear fashion brand. The group differentiates itself from competitors through its innovative influencer collaboration model. In The Style works with social media influencers and celebrities on a long-term basis to collaboratively design, develop and promote collections of clothing and accessories. 

ITS is a campaigning brand and industry champion for female empowerment, body confidence and real beauty. Inclusivity is at the core of the ITS brand, which actively promotes products for a wide range of body types and styles. The group has an active sustainability agenda and continues to execute opportunities to further its significant charitable work. ITS is committed to ethical sourcing and buying practices and is a member of AllianceHR Fast Forward Association, the next generation industry leading labour standards improvement programme in the UK.


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Team17 Group plc

Wakefield-based Team 17 is a global provider of games entertainment to a broad audience. The group has two main verticals – a games entertainment label and creative partner for indie developers, and a leading developer of educational apps, targeting children under the age of eight.

Team17 is led by a female CEO and has 50% gender diversity on its board, illustrating that the group leads from the top in terms of the diversity agenda. The games industry is traditionally male dominated; however Team17 are committed to finding ways to attract female and non-binary talent. The group has a number of employee-led networks that were established to create a representative voice for minority groups and the games industry more broadly. Examples include LGBT17+ group taking over livestream in celebration of Pride 2020, which helped raise funds for Mermaids UK, and another group of employee representatives hosted a virtual panel event in partnership with ‘BAME in Games’.


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The Panoply Holdings plc

London-based The Panoply is a digitally native technology services business at the forefront of a growing market, focused on sustainable digital transformation and positive, purposeful organisational change.

The Panoply has a strong sense of purpose and is determined to lead by example through its best-in-class diversity and inclusion policies, which include detailed D&I reporting and significant investment in initiatives to continually improve this area. The group made excellent progress this year, having closed 72% of its diversity, equity and inclusion gaps, kick-starting 602 careers of individuals from a low SEBs through teaching future-proof skills, launching Employee Resource Groups and signing the Tech Talent Charter. The Panoply is proud of the inclusive culture it has created - women represent 40% of the senior leadership team and 48% of the total workforce. 


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YouGov plc

London-based YouGov is an international research data and analytics group. The group’s data-led offering supports and improves a wide spectrum of marketing activities of a customer base that includes some of the world’s most recognised brands. 

YouGov has a strong commitment to diversity, which it demonstrates in a number of ways, such as participating in the Disability Confident employer scheme and being a Diversity Champion with Stonewall, the leading employers’ programme for ensuring workplaces are truly inclusive. YouGov published its gender pay gap report in 2018, in response to the UK Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, and each year provides an update on the actions the group has taken to tackle the gender pay gap.

AIM Transaction of the Year Award

sponsored by Shore Capital

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Brickability Group plc

Also shortlisted for the Best Use of AIM Award, Brickability Group brings together specialist products and services to meet the needs of the building and construction market. The group distributes, and installs, superior quality and strategically important building materials from major UK and European manufacturing partners to both private and commercial specifiers, contractors, developers and builders.

In June 2021, Brickability raised £93m from institutional AIM investors to fund the significant acquisition of competitor Taylor Maxwell. The transaction substantially diversified the group’s product offering and customer base. Since the group’s IPO in 2019, it has completed 10 bolt-on acquisitions and seen a share price increase of over 50%.


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Inspecs Group plc

Bath-based Inspec’s group provides a one-stop-shop solution for high quality eyewear. The group manufactures fully traceable, industry-benchmark eyewear products in-house for supply to a global network of retailers and brands.

In November 2020, Inspecs raised £64m to fund the acquisition of leading, global, eyewear supplier Eschenbach. The deal represented a key strategic step in Inspec’s growth as a global, vertically integrated, eyewear firm and helped establish the group as one of the leading eyewear companies in the world. The transaction was highly earnings accretive and provided significant cost and revenue synergies.


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Learning Technologies Group plc

London-based Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG) is a market-leader in the fast-growing workplace digital learning and talent management market. LTG offers large organisations a new approach to learning and talent in a business world driven by digital transformation.

In July 2021 LTG made the transformative acquisition of GP Strategies for $394m. The transaction enables expansion of LTG’s international footprint, blue-chip client base and cross-sell strategy and should enable the group to triple its revenue. The combined group allows LTG to become a specialist Learning and Talent partner with the services, skills and technologies for global businesses looking to transform and reskill their people at scale.


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Mattioli Woods plc

Headquartered in Leicester, Mattioli Woods is one of the UK's leading and fastest growing consultancies in the provision of pensions and wealth management services for controlling directors, professional persons, owner-managed businesses, and small-to-medium-sized PLCs.

In May 2021, Mattioli Woods made its largest acquisitions to date, with the purchases of private equity firm Maven Capital Partners and financial planning business Ludlow Wealth Management, in deals worth more than £143m.

These transactions marked significant milestones in Mattioli Woods' growth strategy by adding significantly to it distribution capacity, expanding its product offering, accelerating organic growth and generating revenue and cost synergies.


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RWS Holdings plc

Buckinghamshire-based RWS is the world’s leading provider of technology-enabled language, content management and intellectual property services. The group works with 90 of the top 100 global brands, the top 10 pharmaceutical companies and 18 of the top 20 patent filers worldwide.

In November 2020, AIM quoted RWS completed the transformational acquisition of SDL, (previously listed on the Main Market), in an all share deal, significantly enhancing the scale of the business and moving RWS’ technology proposition forward in great strides. The deal was one of the largest tech acquisitions of 2020 and created the world’s largest language services company, boosting RWS’ annual revenues to $1bn.


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SigmaRoc plc

London-based SigmaRoc is a buy-and-build group targeting construction materials assets in the UK and Northern Europe. The group aims to gain a strong foothold in key niche markets and sectors by pushing the traditional frontiers of both strategy and tactics in construction materials.

In July 2021, SigmaRoc announced the transformational acquisition of Nordkalk, the leading provider of limestone-based products and solutions in Northern Europe, for a total consideration of €470m. The acquisition represents the cornerstone for a new Northern Europe business platform, offering immediate scale and revenue diversification. The transaction was a major stepping-stone in the evolution of the group and establishes SigmaRoc as a market-leading quarried materials group. 

AIM Corporate Governance Award

sponsored by One Advisory

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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ECO Animal Health Group plc

Surrey-based ECO Animal Health is a leader in the development, registration and marketing of pharmaceutical products for global animal health markets. The group generates shareholder value by achieving the maximum sales potential from the existing product portfolio, whilst investing in R&D for new products, particularly vaccines, and seeking to in-license new product.

Eco Animal Health continually updates its approach to corporate governance and ensures it remains central to delivering the group’s strategy and successful operation of its business. The company monitors developments and guidance in the UK Corporate Governance Code, applicable to main market listed companies, to keep abreast of matters which could be embedded as best practice as part of a progressive approach.


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MJ Hudson Group plc

London-based MJ Hudson is an asset management consultancy that helps fund managers and investors operate more efficiently and invest more successfully. The group listed on AIM in December 2019 on the day of the general election. 

As a company that provides ESG advice as a core part of its services, it is no surprise that MJ Hudson adheres to exceptional corporate governance. With Charles Spicer as Chairman and an experienced board, the strong corporate governance culture runs throughout the company. The group is dedicated to making positive changes in society – its Hudson’s Heroes programme supports unique and worthy charitable causes in a refreshing way. 


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Keywords Studios plc

Dublin-based Keywords Studios is the leading international technical services provider to the global video games industry. Established in 1998, and now with delivery facilities in over 50 locations in 21 countries and 4 continents, Keywords is a leading consolidator in a highly-fragmented market for outsourced services worth over $2.5bn annually.

Keywords takes engagement with its investors seriously and as a result has worked to increase its diversity within the workplace. The group recently set up a global diversity & inclusion council, with the aim to increase, cultivate and maintain diversity. In August this year, Keywords partnered with “Women in Games” to support more women entering the video games industry.


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Sanderson Design Group plc

Uxbridge-based Sanderson Design Group is an international luxury interior furnishings company that designs, manufactures and markets wallpapers and fabrics together with a wide range of ancillary interior products.

Sanderson Design has a well-balanced Board from a variety of perspectives, including non- executive and diverse members. The group launched a new sustainability strategy in April 2021, titled, “Live Beautiful”, to echo its purpose and convey its commitment to people and the planet. Live Beautiful has two highly ambitious goals: to be net carbon zero by 2030 and to be the employer of choice in its industry.


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The Panoply Holdings plc

London-based The Panoply is a digitally native technology services business at the forefront of a growing market, focused on sustainable digital transformation and positive, purposeful organisational change.

The Panoply demonstrates its commitment to Corporate Governance by providing depth, quality and transparency in its reporting. Notably, the group has an eight-page Corporate Governance section in its 2021 Annual Report, detailing its progress in terms of transparent communications strategies, audit and risk management, independence, succession planning and boardroom diversity.


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YouGov plc

Also shortlisted in this category last year, London-based YouGov is an international research data and analytics group. YouGov’s data-led offering supports and improves a wide spectrum of marketing activities across a customer base that includes some of the world’s most recognised brands.

In a year that has presented unforeseen challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, YouGov’s governance framework responded robustly and with agility. The group built and launched a new onboarding process for suppliers, which included enhanced due diligence checks and also made significant investment in the employee experience. This involved taking time to listen to employees and understand how the organisation could improve. 

AIM Growth Business of the Year Award

sponsored by BGF

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc

EKF has been shortlisted for a total of three awards at this year’s AIM Awards, validating the success of the business during the period. The group is a global medical manufacturer of point-of-care and central lab devices and chemistry reagents and also manufactures and distributes products associated with COVID-19 pandemic. 

EKF has seen a significant rise in revenue and profits, resulting from its successful COVID-19 related contract manufacturing business, and the strong demand for its safe COVID-19 sample collection devices. 2020 was the group’s most successful year to date, resulting in analysts upgrading forecasts several times during the year, illustrating EKF’s step change in performance.


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Ergomed plc

Ergomed is a provider of specialised services to the global pharmaceutical industry. The group runs clinical trials for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and monitors patient safety (Pharmacovigilance). Ergomed has specific and notable expertise in the areas of oncology and rare disease.

Ergomed experienced exceptional growth in the period under review, which was reflected in the significant share price rise. The leadership team developed and executed a strong growth strategy, which has resulted in consistent growth in turnover and profitability for the past four years. Ergomed has continued to beat expectations and recently communicated that its adjusted EBITDA would be materially ahead of market expectations for 2021.


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Focusrite plc

Focusrite is a global music and audio products group that develops and markets proprietary hardware and software products. Used by audio professionals and amateur musicians alike, its solutions facilitate the high-quality production of recorded and live sound.

Focusrite delivered an almost faultless performance in the year under review, delivering remarkable organic growth across the majority of its business segments. The group benefitted from elevated sales during the pandemic and has subsequently broadened and diversified its product set and established a truly global distribution network through which to capitalise on its leading product IP.


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Gear4music (Holdings) plc

Gear4music is the largest UK based retailer of musical instruments and music equipment. The group sells own-brand musical instruments and equipment alongside premium third-party brands including Fender, Yamaha and Roland, to customers in the UK, Europe and, more recently, into the Rest of the World.

Gear4music delivered an exceptional financial performance during the period, which was achieved alongside continued organic growth, with EBITDA, revenue and profits all significantly ahead of market expectations. The group’s transformational performance will establish a broader platform for further growth by enabling acceleration of its bespoke e-commerce platform and allowing further acquisition opportunities.  


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Impax Asset Management Group plc

Founded in 1998, Impax Asset Management is a specialist asset manager. The group has pioneered investment in the transition to a more sustainable global economy and is one of the largest investment managers dedicated to this area.

Impax’s growth has been remarkable during the period, with no signs of slowing down. This exceptional growth has been helped by the significantly increased focus on sustainability and ESG across global markets. At the last trading update, year-to-date asset growth (as at the end of the third quarter) was already over 70%. 


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Team17 Group plc

Team17 is another triple nominee at this year’s AIM Awards. The group is focused on premium, rather than free to play games, and creates and publishes titles for the PC, console, mobile, and tablet gaming markets. Team17 Digital also partners with independent developers across the globe.

During the period, Team17 reported its sixth consecutive record performance year. 78% of the company’s revenues came from its diverse back catalogue portfolio, partly as a result of Covid related lockdowns. The group has a solid pipeline of launches in 2021 and beyond, and is well positioned to support the long-term prospects aligned with its ambitious strategic plans.

Best Newcomer Award

sponsored by Link Group

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Big Technologies plc

London-based Big Technologies provides products and services to the remote and personal monitoring industry under several brand and trading names. The company's criminal justice solution involves proprietary monitoring software combined with modular monitoring hardware being used to accurately track the location of tag wearers. Alongside this, it also offers monitoring services solutions for its customers. The company provides its solutions on a SaaS-like subscription-based model.

The company joined AIM in July 2021 in a placing by Zeus Capital at 200p to value the business at £576m. At the current 320p the market cap is £900m.


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Calnex Solutions plc

West-Lothian, Scotland based Calnex designs, produces and markets test instrumentation and solutions for network synchronization and network emulation. Calnex has established a position at the forefront of the test and measurement industry, providing equipment to the world's telecoms network operators, network providers, systems suppliers, laboratories and network infrastructure. To date, the company has secured and delivered orders from over 600 customer sites in 68 countries across the world.

The company joined AIM in September 2020 in a placing by Cenkos at 48p to value the business at £42m. At the current 116p the market cap is £100m.


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In The Style Group plc

Manchester based In The Style Group is a fast growing e-commerce womenswear fashion brand with an innovative influencer collaboration business model. The company works closely with its stable of social media influencers and celebrity partners to design, launch and promote collections that are then sold through the company’s e-commerce website and proprietary In The Style app. The company champions female empowerment, inclusivity, body confidence and real beauty. To complement In The Style’s successful direct-to-customer sales channels, in 2019 the company launched the first of its digital retail partnerships. The brand is now also sold through several popular online retailers including Lipsy, Shop Direct and ASOS.

The company joined AIM in March 2021 in a placing by Liberum at 200p to value the business at £105m. At the current 122p the market cap is £58m.


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Kistos plc

Kistos is a trading company that has been established with the objective of creating value for its investors through the acquisition and management of companies or businesses in the energy sector. The investment strategy is to acquire assets with a role in energy transition with an execution strategy of pursuing a rigorous approach to asset selection and active forward-looking stewardship. The strategy is reflective of and builds upon the experience of the Board in the sector to date and also encompasses areas and opportunities which the Board see as having future potential including asset repurposing in the context of the “Net Zero 2050” agenda.

Kistos arrived on AIM in April 2021 via the acquisition of Tulip Oil and a placing by Panmure Gordon at 155p to value the business at £128m.  At the current 320p the market cap is £273m.


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LungLife AI Inc.

California-based LungLife AI is a diagnostic company focused on the early detection of lung cancer from a simple blood draw enhanced by artificial intelligence. Its LungLB Test is a blood-based tool developed to provide clinicians the information needed to make informed decisions about the management of lung nodules and lung cancer.

The company joined AIM in July 2021 in a placing by Investec at 176p to value the business at £44m. At the current 187p the market cap is £47m.


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tinyBuild Inc.

Based in Washington state, USA, tinyBuild is a video games publisher and developer with global operations. Its strategic focus is in creating long-lasting IP by partnering with video games developers, establishing a stable platform on which to build multi-game and multimedia franchises. It is well known within the gaming industry as an indie game developer and publisher known for Punch Club, Clustertruck, SpeedRunners, Hello Neighbor and more.

tinyBuild joined AIM in March 2021 via a placing by Zeus Capital and Berenberg at 169p to value the business at £340m. At the current 220p the market cap is £465m.

Entrepreneur of the Year Award

sponsored by Octopus Investments

 
The 2021 shortlist:


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Julian Baines/EKF Diagnostics plc

Julian is CEO of EKF Diagnostics, a role he has had since the group’s inception in 2009. Julian’s ambition and drive have helped the group consistently deliver on key milestones and maintain share price momentum. During his tenure at EKF, Julian has successfully completed a number of fund raisings, in addition to the acquisition and subsequent integration of eight businesses in seven countries. 

Julian has a vast amount of experience building emerging diagnostics companies with specific expertise in the life sciences industry and was awarded an MBE for services to the Life Sciences industry. Julian is also Chairman of EKF spin-outs Trellus Health Limited and Verici Dx plc.


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Debbie Bestwick/Team17 Group plc

Debbie is one of the founding members of Team17. Initially leading Team17’s sales and sarketing department, Debbie went on to become responsible for all the commercial and legal aspects of the business, working globally with top tier games distributors, publishers, developers, and licence partners. Debbie became joint CEO in 2009 and sole CEO in 2010, leading the company through its 2011 management buy-out and subsequent sale of a minority stake to LDC in 2016. 

Debbie was awarded an MBE for services to the video games industry in 2016 and was honoured with the hall of fame award at the European Women in Games conference in 2015, to name but a few of her accolades. 


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Neil Campbell/Inspiration Healthcare Group plc

Neil became CEO and founding partner of Inspiration Healthcare Limited in 2003. He built the company from scratch, led the group through the reverse acquisition of Inditherm and on to AIM in 2015 and has subsequently grown the company into a £90m market cap business. Neil has demonstrated an ability to successfully execute strategic M&A, validated by Inspiration Healthcare winning the AIM Transaction of the year Award in 2020.  

Last year, Inspiration Healthcare formed part of the UK's Ventilator Challenge, at the height of the COVID crisis, reflecting the entrepreneurial and innovative nature of the business which Neil embodies.


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Andrew Day/Keywords Studios plc

Andrew was CEO of Keywords for 10 years until June 2021 when he announced his retirement from the group, following a recent health scare. When Andrew took over Keywords, it was a privately held company with just one localisation, a testing studio in Ireland and staff of around 50 people. Today, thanks to Andrew, Keywords Studios is a publicly-traded international group, with 69 studios and over 9,000 employees across 22 countries. 

Much of Keywords’ growth is down to its aggressive acquisition strategy, spearheaded by Andrew. In total, the company has acquired well over 50 companies, including seven in 2020 for a total consideration of up to €97.2m.


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Tim Dyson/Next Fifteen Communications Group plc

Tim joined Next Fifteen Communications in 1984 straight from Loughborough University and became CEO in 1992. As one of the early pioneers of tech PR, he has worked on major corporate and product campaigns with such companies as Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, Sun and Intel. Tim oversaw the flotation of Next Fifteen and has orchestrated a string of successful acquisitions, including The OutCast Agency, M Booth and Activate in the US as well as Morar, Elvis and Velocity in the UK.

Tim was named an Emerging Power Player by PR Week US and was also recognised on the Holmes Report’s “In2’s Innovator 25”, which recognises individuals who have contributed ideas that set the bar for the industry.


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Jonathan Satchell/Learning Technologies Group plc

Jonathan has worked in the training industry since 1992. He became interim MD of Epic in 2007 and the following year, acquired the company with Andrew Brode and oversaw the transformation of the group from a custom content e-learning company to the global, fast growing, full service digital learning and talent management business that LTG has become. Jonathan accelerated LTG’s growth through an aggressive buy and build strategy, resulting in a current market cap of £1.6bn.

Jonathan has a strong sales and entrepreneurial background, having started his first business in 1992 selling subscriptions for Accountancy TV, a joint venture of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the BBC.


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Sam Smith/finnCap Group plc

Sam established finnCap in 2007, having orchestrated the management buy-out of a small broking division of JM Finn & Co Limited, a private client stockbroking firm. She is the first female chief executive of a City stockbroking firm and as such is a supporter of social enterprises designed to inspire and engage the next generation of female business leaders and entrepreneurs. Sam led the group through it’s transformational IPO in 2019 and is passionate about nurturing ambition and maximising the potential in young people, irrespective of background.

Sam championed a partnership with finnCap and YourGamePlan, to support young people as they transition from education into employment, equipping them with vital entrepreneurial skills. More than 700 schools across the UK have signed up to YourGamePlan’s digital training platform.


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Andrew Wass/Gear4music (Holdings) plc

CEO and founder Andrew was a sound recording engineer in 1995 when he identified an opportunity to supply small recording studios and educational establishments with personal computer based digital recording solutions. Andrew is a true entrepreneur who has built the business from scratch, executed numerous strategic acquisitions, floated the company on AIM and driven the group to its current market cap of £168m.

Andrew led the company through a record breaking year last year and is now focused on scaling up logistics and distribution to future proof the business.

Company of the Year Award

sponsored by WH Ireland

 
The 2021shortlist:


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CVS Group plc

Norfolk-based CVS is a fully integrated provider of veterinary services in the UK, with practices in the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. CVS is focused on providing high quality clinical services to its customers and their animals, with outstanding and dedicated clinical teams and support colleagues at the core of its strategy.

The company operates a fully integrated model with c.500 veterinary practices across three territories, including 8 specialist referral hospitals and 34 dedicated out-of-hours sites, 3 Laboratories (providing diagnostic services to CVS and third parties), and 7 Crematoria.

CVS employs over 7,400 personnel, including over 90 specialists, 1,900 veterinary surgeons and in excess of 2,500 nurses across three territories.

CVS is a consolidator in a very fragmented market. For the year to end June 2021 the group completed 9 acquisitions, while turnover for that period improved by 19% to £510m, pre-tax profits rose 234% to £33.1m and EPS were 237% higher at 27.3p

At the current 2410p the market cap is £1.7bn.


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Ergomed plc

Guildford based Ergomed’s business involves the provision of drug development services to the pharmaceutical industry. The company operates through two segments: Clinical Research Outsourcing and Pharmacovigilance. It provides clinical development services to clients ranging from top 10 pharmaceutical companies to small and mid-sized drug development companies. The PV segment has expertise in the field of pharmacovigilance and provides medical information services. Operating with a global footprint in around 100 countries, Ergomed provides its clients with access to solutions for the most demanding clinical projects.

For the six months to end June 2021 the group reported the successful integration of two recent acquisitions, plus revenue up 38% at £56m, basic EPS of 16.8p, up 48.7%, and net cash of £24.6m (up 74.5%). The order book of future contracted revenue was up 50.5% to £227.8m while the CRO division delivered strong growth with revenue up 90.2% £27.2m and North American revenues up 70.8% to £35.5m.

At the current 1312p the market cap is £652m.


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Focusrite plc

Buckinghamshire-based Focusrite is a global music and audio products group that develops and markets proprietary hardware and software products. Used by audio professionals and amateur musicians alike, its solutions facilitate the high-quality production of recorded and live sound. The Focusrite Group trades under eight established and rapidly growing brands: Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Martin Audio, Optimal Audio, ADAM Audio, Sequential, Novation and Ampify Music. With a high-quality reputation and a rich heritage spanning decades, its brands are category leaders in the music-making industry.

The most recent trading update was issued in September, where the group reported revenue expectations of £170m for the year to end August 2021. This compares with revenue of £130m previously. This growth is largely due to continued strong customer demand across the product range plus four months' contribution from Sequential, the world-renowned, high-end synthesizer business acquired in April 2021.  EBITDA is also expected to be ahead of analyst expectations.

At the current 1391p the market cap is £824m.


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James Halstead plc

Manchester-based James Halstead can trace its roots back to 1915. The company manufactures and distributes flooring products with a range of brands in commercial, contract and consumer flooring. You’ll find Halstead flooring on the floor in every carriage of the Machu Picchu railway in Peru, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, The Nelson Mandela Centre, Scott base in Antarctica, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas mega liner, and many more infrastructure projects around the world, including working with the NHS and installing flooring in many of the “Nightingale” project at the height of the Covid pandemic in the UK.

Early in October the group announced sparkling figures for the year to end June 2021 showing revenue up 11.6% at £266.4m, pre-tax profits up 16.9% at £51.3m, EPS up 16.4% to 19.2p and a 10% increase in the final dividend to another record level. 

At the current 538p the market cap is £1.2bn.


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Keywords Studios plc

Dublin-based Keywords Studios is an international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry. Established in 1998, and now with over 70 facilities in 23 countries strategically located in Asia, Australia, the Americas and Europe, it provides integrated art creation, marketing services, game development, testing, localization, audio and player support services across more than 50 languages and 16 games platforms to a blue-chip client base of over 950 clients across the globe. Keywords has a strong market position, providing services to 23 of the top 25 most prominent games companies. Across the games and entertainment industry, clients include Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Konami, Microsoft, Netflix, Riot Games, Square Enix, Supercell, TakeTwo, Tencent and Ubisoft.

Keywords is highly acquisitive, completing four high quality acquisitions so far in 2021 for a total consideration of up to €105m. Recent interims for the six months to end June showed revenue up 37.6% at €238.7m, adjusted EBITDA up 64.6% to €50.7m, and adjusted pre-tax profit up 82.9% to €39.7m.

At the current 2944p the market cap is £2.23bn


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YouGov plc

London-based YouGov is an international research data and analytics group and is one of the most well-known brand names in the UK. As the pioneer of online market research, the company has a strong record for data accuracy and innovation; YouGov is the market research pioneer of Multi-level Regression with Post-stratification (“MRP”) for accurate predictions at a granular level.

The company’s data-led offering supports and improves a wide spectrum of marketing activities of a customer base including media owners, brands and media agencies. It works with some of the world’s most recognised brands and YouGov data is regularly referenced by the press worldwide as well as being the most quoted market research source in the UK. With a proprietary panel of over 11m registered members globally and operations in the UK, Americas, Mainland Europe, Middle East, India and Asia Pacific, YouGov has one of the world’s largest research networks.

In a July pre-close trading update, the group reported that for the year to end July 2021 trading has continued to be resilient, driven by the strong sales pipeline in the second half of the financial year and that full year results are anticipated to be in line with the Board's expectations. Strong progress was also reported on its stated strategy with continued growth in both revenue and profit across all divisions and geographies on an underlying basis.

At the current 1191p the market cap is £1.3bn.

Voting panel

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Ian Restall

Flathill Communications Group plc

(Voting panel Chairman)

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Peter Ashworth

Shore Capital

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Kit Atkinson

Link Asset Services

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Sam Barton

Close Brothers Asset Management

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Arun George

Global Equity Research

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Pardip Khroud

Voyager Capital Partners

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Dominic King

Zeus Capital

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Scott Knight

BDO

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Nicholas Le Riche

BDB Pitmans

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Anna Macdonald

Amati Global Investors

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Judith MacKenzie

Downing LLP

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Fraser Marshall

WH Ireland

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Rich McGlashan

DPA/Design Portfolio

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Julian Morse

Cenkos

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Geoff Nash

finnCap

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Richard Power

Octopus Investments

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Brough Ransom

Investec

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Philip Rodrigs

Raynar Portfolio Management

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Josh Royston

Alma PR

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Paul Stevens

BGF

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Victoria Stevens

LionTrust Asset Management

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Marcus Stuttard

London Stock Exchange

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Rosh Wijayarathna

Silicon Valley Bank

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James Wood

Winterflood Securities

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Matt Wood

One Advisory

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Ian Restall

Flathill Communications Group plc(Voting panel Chairman)

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Peter Ashworth

Shore Capital

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Kit Atkinson

Link Asset Services

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Sam Barton

Close Brothers Asset Management

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Arun George

Global Equity Research

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Pardip Khroud

Voyager Capital Partners

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Dominic King

Zeus Capital

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Scott Knight

BDO

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Nicholas Le Riche

BDB Pitmans

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Anna Macdonald

Amati Global Investors

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Judith MacKenzie

Downing LLP

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Fraser Marshall

WH Ireland

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Rich McGlashan

DPA/Design Portfolio

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Julian Morse

Cenkos

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Geoff Nash

finnCap

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Richard Power

Octopus Investments

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Brough Ransom

Investec

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Philip Rodrigs

Raynar Portfolio Management

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Josh Royston

Alma PR

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Paul Stevens

BGF

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Victoria Stevens

LionTrust Asset Management

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Marcus Stuttard

London Stock Exchange

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Rosh Wijayarathna

Silicon Valley Bank

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James Wood

Winterflood Securities

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Matt Wood

One Advisory

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Ian Restall

Flathill Communications Group plc(Voting panel Chairman)

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Peter Ashworth

Shore Capital

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Kit Atkinson

Link Asset Services

Sam-Barton-2019.jpg

Sam Barton

Close Brothers Asset Management

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Arun George

Global Equity Research

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Pardip Khroud

Voyager Capital Partners

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Dominic King

Zeus Capital

Scott-Knight-2019.jpg

Scott Knight

BDO

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Nicholas Le Riche

BDB Pitmans

Anna-Macdonald-2019.jpg

Anna Macdonald

Amati Global Investors

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Judith MacKenzie

Downing LLP

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Fraser Marshall

WH Ireland

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Rich McGlashan

DPA/Design Portfolio

Julian-Morse-2019.jpg

Julian Morse

Cenkos

Geoff_Nash_VP-crop2.jpg

Geoff Nash

finnCap

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Richard Power

Octopus Investments

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Brough Ransom

Investec

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Philip Rodrigs

Raynar Portfolio Management

Josh-Royston_VP-crop.jpg

Josh Royston

Alma PR

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Paul Stevens

BGF

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Victoria Stevens

LionTrust Asset Management

Marcus-Stuttard-01-VPcrop-2.jpg

Marcus Stuttard

London Stock Exchange

Rosh-Wijayarathna-2019.jpg

Rosh Wijayarathna

Silicon Valley Bank

James-Wood-2019.jpg

James Wood

Winterflood Securities

Matt-Wood-2020.jpg

Matt Wood

One Advisory

The event


COVID-19

We were unable to hold the AIM Awards 25th celebrations in 2020 due to the global pandemic COVID-19. Instead we conducted a digital campaign, in conjunction with the London Stock Exchange. This was hosted on both our social media channels and on the London Stock Exchange SPARK platform, and deemed a huge success. 

All being well, and subject to Government guidelines, we hope to be able to meet in person this year at the AIM Awards on Thursday 14 October 2021.  

Jo Thomas
Managing Director
Ford Sinclair


Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities sometimes become available, including sponsorship of an individual award, sponsorship of the official drinks reception or sponsorship of the menu. Sponsorship opportunities are, by their very nature, limited. Costs and availability on request.


Hosting a table

Reservations are available for tables of ten people. Numbers are strictly limited and reservations are taken on a first come, first served basis.


Advertising

Advertising in the brochure is welcomed and enables your key messages to reach a highly targeted audience. The event brochure is available on the night and contains details of the names of all attendees, in alphabetical and table order. Thus it is widely used as a corporate finance reference guide for up to a year after the event.


Bespoke sponsorship opportunities

We offer a range of bespoke sponsorship packages, tailor made to suit your marketing objectives and budget. Further information on request.


Enquiries

If you wish to be added to the waiting list for a forthcoming event or for any other information, please contact Jo Thomas at Ford Sinclair.  

Email us


Arrangements on the night

Date:

Thursday 14 October 2021, subject to government guidelines

Venue:

Old Billingsgate
1 Old Billingsgate Walk
16 Lower Thames Street
London EC3R 6DX

Start time:

6.00pm. – drinks reception 
7.30pm. – dinner
1.00am. – carriages 

Dress code:
Black tie
Charity collection: 

A charity collection will be taken up during the course of the evening.


Key details

Wine ordering:

We will be using a new system called Fetch My Order to allow all table hosts to pre-order their wine in advance. Further details will be posted nearer the event date.

Accommodation:

For information on hotels nearby, please view our recommended list.

Location:

Key dates

w/c Monday 28 June 2021

Nominations open

Thursday 5 August 2021

Nominations close

Thursday 9 and Friday 10 September 2021

Voting Panel meeting 

Monday 13 September 2021

Shortlist announced

Thursday 14 October 2021, subject to government guidelines

AIM Awards 2021, winners announced at the ceremony

Sign up for notifications

Latest media

Charity

In recent years, the AIM Awards Dinner has held a Charity Collection, principally for the benefit of child-focused charities. To all those who have made donations, thank you so much for your generosity – the charities concerned are all extremely grateful.

This year, all donations will be split equally between the following two charities:


bccs: One in every ten children has a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s roughly three in every classroom. A recent survey conducted also found 22% of girls and 9% of boys were self-harming. These alarming statistics demonstrate just how important it is to look after children’s mental health.

bccs is a children’s charity covering East London and Essex, with the primary focus of providing counselling for children and young adults whose wellbeing, mental or emotional health is at risk.

www.bccs.org.uk
@bccs_charity


GOSHC: Every day brings new challenges at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Every day, more than 600 children and young people from across the UK arrive. Every day, doctors and nurses battle the most complex illnesses.

This extraordinary hospital has always depended on charitable support to give seriously ill children the best chance to fulfil their potential. 

Every day is a chance for you to make a difference.  Without you, we can’t help fund ground-breaking research, advanced medical equipment or child and family support services. 

A better future for seriously ill children starts here, so please donate as generously as you possibly can. 

https://www.gosh.org