2015

Excellence in Finance

 
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Winner

Stephen Morana - ZPG

Stephen Morana’s most notable achievement in the past 12 months was leading Zoopla Property Group to a successful IPO in June 2014, which valued the company at close to a billion dollars. A complex pre-IPO shareholder base and a difficult market made Stephen’s work offering all the more impressive. Most recently, Zoopla Property Group initiated the acquisition of uSwitch, the price comparison website, which is expected to complete in June 2015.

Prior to the IPO, Stephen oversaw the relatively seamless integration of VizziHome (June 2013) and SmartNewHomes (September 2013), helping make Zoopla Property Group the market leader in its space and putting it in a very strong position pre-listing.

In the background Stephen and his team have created a first-class finance function to support life as a public company. This involved building out a stronger, more resilient and broader finance organisation that includes legal, investor relations, strategy and business intelligence.



Runners up

 
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Peter Sterky - Spotify

Spotify is currently the undisputed music streaming market leader and the second-largest revenue source for the music industry. Achieving this involved investing in scaling the business to 1500+ employees servicing 60 million users in 58 markets across the world.

Peter Sterky has played a pivotal part in this, leading numerous financing rounds – attracting capital from high-profile European, US and international investors, including top mutual funds – at increasing valuations. According to recent media speculation, Spotify is now valued at more than $8 billion.

In the past 12 months Peter has built an even more robust and powerful investment team, which is enabling Spotify to align its astonishing user growth with its balance sheet.

 

Belinda Wrigley - WorldRemit

Just one week after Belinda Wrigley joined the WorldRemit team, investment activity commenced that would result in one of the largest Series A fund raises in Europe during 2014. Belinda was the finance lead in a small team that successfully secured $40 million from Accel Partners in February 2014. A year later WorldRemit took on an additional $100 million in Series B funding from TCV.

Both of these investment successes were delivered alongside improving the day-to-day management of the operational finance requirements of the business. Belinda built out a finance team of 20 people, implemented a new finance system and increased reporting transparency and control. She also delivered significant margin improvements across the business through supplier management and negotiation.

 

Shortlisted

Keith Lovell - Shazam

Jonathon Albright - Borro

Joaquim Lechà - Social Point

Sebastian Ahlskog - Starbreeze Studios

Stephen Caunce - ao.com

Jeff Gooch - Markit

Jan Kemper - Zalando