For many years Clifton and Pension-Led Funding pretty much ignored industry awards.
The specialist nature of our offering and a poor level of peer understanding led us to believe that we would be unlikely candidates for a place on the podium.
[image type=”thumbnail” float=”right” src=”/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/06/adam.jpg” alt=”Adam Tavener” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]
Then, two Christmases ago, came the news that we had been shortlisted for the coveted ‘Best Alternative Funding Provider’ award from Business Moneyfacts. Although we were flattered and somewhat taken aback by this development, we didn’t really think we had much of a chance and candidly only agreed to attend the awards ceremony because we thought we ought to be there.
Come the night and our feelings of being underdogs were confirmed by the location of our table, so far from the VIP area that it was almost in the car park. But, hey ho! the evening was fun and we had a good mix of guests and colleagues intent on drowning our disappointment in copious quantities of wine.
Then the time came for our host, impressionist Jon Culshaw, to read out the top three. Third was called, and it wasn’t us. Clearly we hadn’t been good enough to make the cut. Second place came and went with no mention of us. Disappointing, but predictable. Then, from far away, a voice said: “The winner is . . . Pension-Led Funding from Clifton Asset Management.”
Complete astonishment and a surreal journey to the stage for the three of us to collect the trophy and the applause of some 800 or so peers in finance. A moment of both elation and real vindication that our message and efforts had finally been recognised. Happy days.
Of course, since that moment we have been shortlisted for many more gongs of one sort or another. At this year’s Moneyfacts Awards, although we didn’t win the Alternative Funder award, we did get a highly commended second place for our Alternative Business Funding initiative in the Best Innovation in Finance category. Earlier in March we also won a coveted place in the Everline Future 50 awards for the 50 most innovative and disruptive businesses in the UK.
It’s not clear if any of these accolades make one bit of difference to the bottom line, but the feeling that we are appreciated and recognised, and that the whole team feel part of, and valuable contributors to, something which has gained so much peer recognition is, frankly, priceless.