IJInvestor Awards – open for entries

IJInvestor – the IJGlobal title tracking fund deployment and infrastructure/energy M&A activity – has now gone live with the portal for its 2020 awards celebrating achievements and individuals across a global playing field.

To access the IJInvestor Awards 2020 portal, CLICK HERE…

IJInvestor is building on the success of last year when we hosted an awards ceremony in the glorious Banqueting House in Westminster… something we’re not expecting to repeat this year as all our awards celebrations and conferences have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These awards are to celebrate what our judging panels deem to be the best acquisitions and players involved in market across the 2019-20 financial year – reflecting deals closed and activity between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020.

Answering your questions

We have done our best to make the categories as easy for submissions as humanly possible and have fleshed out the FAQ section, building on experience from last year’s event. To read all about last year’s winners, click here…

This year we plan to hold online judging sessions for people active in London, across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific to give them more of an international feel than our inaugural awards.

Depending on responses to categories – and you better believe we’re about to start hounding you all to submit – we reserve the right to break down certain categories and regions to reflect the interesting things you have all done.

The awards submission deadline has been set for Friday 2 October (2020).

Sadly, we will not be hosting awards nights due to Covid-19, but we will publishing the results online (open access) and writing them up for the Winter Edition of IJGlobal Magazine… which will likely be digital only. For an idea of what this will look like, take a look at the IJGlobal Awards edition that went live in July.

IJInvestor Awards 2020

You can access the IJInvestor Awards 2020 categories here… and they include:

  • Best Oil & Gas Acquisition
  • Best Social Infrastructure Acquisition
  • Best Power Acquisition
  • Best Utilities Acquisition
  • Best Renewables Acquisition
  • Best Transport Acquisition
  • Best Digital Infrastructure Acquisition
  • Best Refinancing
  • Best Restructuring

To clarify, if we receive a host of submissions for, say, Renewable Energy, we reserve the right to separate that out into sub-sectors like Best Solar Acquisition, Best Onshore Wind Acquisition, Best Offshore Wind Acquisition, etc.

You get the drift.

The same goes on a regional basis. Sticking with Renewable Energy, we reserve the right to award a global trophy as well as to break it down into regions with Best APAC Renewables Acquisition, Best European Renewables Acquisition, Best Latin America Renewables Acquisition, etc.

And then you have the company awards where we are being as flexible as with the transactions. And it all depends on the number of submissions we receive… as well as the independent judges’ opinions.

The company categories are:

  • Best Fund Performance
  • Best Asset Performance
  • Best Equity Fund Manager
  • Best Debt Fund Manager
  • Best Direct Investor – Debt
  • Best Direct Investor – Equity
  • Best Placement Agent
  • Best Investment Consultant
  • Best Financial Adviser
  • Best Legal Advisor
  • Best Technical Consultant
  • Best Insurance Consultant
  • Best Model / Project Auditor
  • Best Rating Agency

As with the transactions, the awards we put in front of our judging teams will reflect the submissions we receive and we will separate them out to reflect market activity and what leaps off the page as warranting recognition.

For example, in the Legal category we will look to present awards based on advising on deal activity as well as fundraising – which is a very different specialisation.

The bottom line is that we will be led by your submissions and put in front of our judges a range of options that make IJInvestor Awards every bit as peer-reviewed and independent – therefore of value – as the IJGlobal Awards.

New categories

We have created 2 new categories that were not awarded last year in a bid to doff our caps to the brightest among you who are pushing boundaries and making this an increasingly interesting world to work in:

  • Market Innovation Award
  • Re-defining Infrastructure Award

Tackling the Market Innovation Award first… we hope you appreciate the ambiguity of the title and we leave it to you to impress judges on that front. How can we help you and give you a starting point?

We are looking for you to demonstrate how your infra fund (or a fund you advise) has separated itself from the herd by taking your organisation in a different direction that opens up a new strategy. Ideally, you need to show how you led the market in 2019-20 and – even better – if you can give examples of how other organisations are following your example.

And then we have the Re-defining Infrastructure Award… on that will have the purists puffing their cheeks in horror!

An ideal example of this is the 3i acquisition of cold sterilisation provider Ionisos which might have some of you choking as I was one of those who pointed a finger at it, intoning: “That ain’t bloody infrastructure…”

However, given recent (coronavirus) experience, 3i has every right to thumb their noses at every last one of us naysayers as it performed pretty well in the pandemic world… unlike many more traditional infra investments!

It is examples like this where you have taken the definition of infrastructure and stretched it to an unrecognisable shape… but the asset actually sits pretty comfortably in your fund and you reckon everyone will be following your lead in the blink of an eye.

With these 2 new categories, we are looking for you to impress the judges with your innovation and evolution of the infra asset class to allow the deployment of capital on targets that defy traditionalists, doing things that warrant recognition.

It’s a tough one to define and we could bang on about it for paragraphs without making it any clearer than… impress us.

Celebrating… YOU

As with last year, we will also turn the spotlight on the people who have made greatest impact on the industry – one where people are showing great potential; and the other to celebrate the role an individual has played to make this sector great.

These awards are:

  • Outstanding Individual
  • Rising Star

Last year, IJInvestor presented awards to Mounir Corm as the Rising Star 2019 and Deborah Zurkow as the Outstanding Individual 2019. Both awards were well received by the industry and in the Rising Star category we had a shortlist of 3 with the announcement made on the night.

We aim to repeat that for 2020 and we have given a little more guidance for those submitting.

The Outstanding Individual speaks for itself and most people are nominated by others… though you can put yourself forward (at risk of being roundly mocked).

While Deborah is a hard act to follow, there are a lot of people across this global industry who have played central roles in its creation and evolution. Feel free to put someone forward and give good reason why you believe they should win.

As to the Rising Star category, this is less easily defined. We have opted when describing it to use the candidate’s level within an organisation. We suggest that the right level of entrant should be at Associate or VP level.

What do we mean by this? Well, they have been “doing infra” for long enough that they have made an impact and we want you to convince us that this trend will continue and that you are identifying a future winner of the Outstanding Individual Award in (quite a few) years to come!

Last year we opted for an age cap of 35, but – on reflection – we feel that Associate/VP opens up the age range to less established players… people who have been smashing it out of the park for a few years and are highly regarded by their peers.

It couldn’t be simpler

I am hoping that by writing this I have helped answer questions beyond what is available in the FAQ section and that this prompts a raft of submissions.

We will be reaching out to a good number of you to “encourage” submissions (it’s free and we won’t even be tapping you up for a table!) as there are few years many of us can recall when we were in greater need of something to celebrate.

When it comes to writing the submissions, can we recommend that you put a bit of effort into this as I have witnessed occasions when judges have looked at two options and chosen the winner based on the apparent effort that went into its creation.

As I recall, it was at the Singapore judging session a few years back and a judge said: “I can’t call it between these two… but this one (holding aloft the winner) clearly wants to win it. Look at the effort they put in.”

And so infrastructure history is written!