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On Thursday 9 November, the Corporate Finance Faculty had the privilege of bringing together more than 200 members and leading figures from across the City for an evening of celebration, knowledge-sharing, and invaluable networking opportunities.

Annual reception 2023

The venue

It’s no coincidence that the event took place at Lincoln’s Inn, home of the legal profession. Alistair Brew, the Chair of the Corporate Finance Faculty and Head of Investment at the BGF noted: ‘Few, if any, corporate finance deals take place without close co-operation between lead advisors and lawyers. On policy matters, the faculty has built and maintains a strong and effective working relationship with its counterparts in The Law Society. Both are firm supporters of measures designed to retain and enhance the attractiveness of London’s Capital Markets, whilst also maintaining the integrity of those markets and protection for investors’.

Annual reception 2023
Andrew Griffith

Keynote addresses

The event featured distinguished guest speakers Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Stephen Welton, recently announced Chair of the British Business Bank, who delivered captivating keynote addresses, after being welcomed by Malcolm Bacchus, Deputy President of ICAEW and Alistair Brew, Chair of the Corporate Finance Faculty.

As David Petrie explained “It’s a clear sign of the regard in which the faculty is held that Andrew Griffith MP, the Minister who is responsible for driving capital market reforms, was delighted to accept our invitation to speak at the Annual Reception.”  The Economic Secretary also chairs the Business Finance Council, where David represents ICAEW.  The work of the Minister touches on so much of the work that we do at ICAEW with many of the reform consultations being reviewed and commented on by us, on behalf of our members. Consultations include the Hill Reforms, the Secondary Capital Raising Review and FCA Consultation. Andrew pointed out that it will take more than the regulatory reforms to see changes in the UK’s capital markets and that a transformational cultural shift is necessary.

Stephen Welton presented a thought-provoking discussion on redirecting defined contribution and defined benefit funds back into equity investment. By no means a quick resolution to this after years of overly risk adverse strategies.

The British Business Bank has strong links to the Corporate Finance Faculty. 'Since its inception the CEO of the British Business Bank was a member of the Corporate Finance Faculty Board. These close links with the faculty have provided the British Business Bank with invaluable input - identifying areas where the bank can act as a catalyst to increase choice and supply of finance and investment for deals and growth,’ said Alistair Brew.

Award winner

Celebrating excellence

This year’s Corporate Development award was awarded to Astra Zeneca plc, a FTSE 100, UK-headquartered pharmaceutical company which saved thousands of lives around the world with its groundbreaking covid vaccine. But it was its recent acquisitions notably in the T cell therapy market that put it in the top spot for having a strategy that has made the most effective use of M&A to increase shareholder value.

The two prize winners for the highest scores in the Diploma in Corporate Finance –  Joyce Chadwick and Alexander Cook, both from Evelyn Partners – received their prizes presented by ICAEW Deputy President, Malcolm Bacchus.

Annual reception 2023

Ample networking

Beyond the formalities, the evening provided members with ample networking opportunities, kicking off with an elegant champagne reception, offering a relaxed atmosphere for guests to unwind, engage in insightful conversations, and establish new contacts in corporate finance. It concluded with further networking and conversation, that no doubt included personal views of the capital market reforms and its proposed impact.

"We are delighted with the overwhelming success of this year's Annual Reception," said David Petrie, Head of Corporate Finance. "It's a testament to the reputation and influence of the faculty, which last year marked its 25th anniversary, and the commitment and enthusiasm of members for our work and in-person events such as this reception. We look forward to continuing to provide a platform for knowledge-sharing, networking, and collaboration within the corporate finance community."

About the Annual Reception

The Corporate Finance Faculty Annual Reception is one of ICAEW’s best attended in-person events. It has established an enviable reputation as the leading event of its kind, bringing together advisors, principal investors, policy makers and academics from across the City. The reception provides an ideal platform for attendees to connect with industry peers, share experiences, and establish valuable contacts.

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Gallery of photographs