The Spear’s Awards 2022 are the latest in a long-running annual celebration of the top entrepreneurs, philanthropists and advisers for HNWs
From Strive Masiyiwa winning Entrepreneur of the Year to Sevenoaks School being named as School of the Year, The Spear’s Awards 2022 honoured the innovation and success of the brightest and best at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel in November.
A glittering ceremony attended by 400 people and hosted by broadcaster and journalist Nicholas Owen recognised leading figures from the worlds of wealth management, law, property, business and philanthropy, including a host of advisers to high-net-worth individuals.
Take a closer look at the winners and their stories:
HNW Wealth Manager of the Year: sponsored by Calculus Capital
Luka Gakic – Ruffer
‘He’s an incredible man,’ said an industry peer when Ruffer’s Luka Gakic first reached the Spear’s rankings. Arriving in London as a six-year-old fleeing civil war in Sarajevo in 1992 with his mother, Gakic was put forward for a scholarship at Harrow, before later studying PPE at Oxford.
He joined Ruffer in 2011 and is now its head of UK wealth. Our judges noted he had ‘spent a vast amount of time winning trust and gaining the confidence of clients’, while the firm ‘had a storming year’.
‘He is very empathetic and keen,’ they added. ‘He deserves the top slot.’
UHNW Wealth Manager of the Year
Charlie Hoffman – HSBC Global Private Bank
Charlie Hoffman, managing director of HSBC UK’s global private banking arm believes it is HSBC’s differentiated approach towards clients and its own workforce that helped him to win the Spear’s Award.
‘I’m a great believer that at HSBC everyone wants you to win, and that comes out in how we look after client relationships,’ he says. ‘This culture of deep collaboration really reverberates through every relationship we have, both in the UK and globally.’
The Spear’s judges noted that Hoffman’s client book – which, in terms of assets under management, exceeds the books of some entire private banks – has become a matter of industry lore.
Top wealth manager Charlie Hoffman on why company culture drives success
Family Office Services Provider of the Year
Delfin Private Office
Delfin Private Office was particularly commended by the judges for its innovative approach and determination not to grow too fast, maintaining quality relationships and individualised service.
‘Their growth is impressive, but they are not greedy,’ one judge remarked. Delfin offers advice and analysis to create multi-generational wealth structures.
Annamaria Koerling and her team pride themselves on a technology-led, collaborative approach that delivers value and benefits without neglecting the humanity needed when working with family offices.
Order your copy of the 2023 edition of the Spear’s 500 here
Private Bank of the Year – UK
Hampden & Co
Hampden & Co was established in 2013 and, despite its youth, has built up an enthusiastic and loyal clientele. It has won The Spear’s Award for best UK private bank twice: once in 2018 and now again in 2022.
Jeremy Vaughan, managing director of banking, puts the company’s success down to its focus on core banking activity, rather than diversifying into other products.
Hampden places highly individualised customer service above all other values. Vaughan himself spends days every month on the road, visiting clients in different parts of the country. Every customer has a dedicated personal banker with a team of assistants dealing with everyday transactions.
‘We want to be part of the client’s circle of advisers,’ says Vaughan.
Hampden & Co’s Jeremy Vaughan: ‘Most private banks aren’t banks at all’
Private Bank of the Year – International: sponsored by Blackstone
The judging panel said that Goldman Sachs’s private banking services are ‘a cut above’ in terms of calibre of staff and consistency of service, especially commending their communications with clients, which are regularly boosted with genuine insight from experts and leaders in their field.
With access to a global network of private bankers, Goldman Sachs’s private clients can be sure that whatever their problem, there is a team on hand to deal with it, along with the high level of service and flexibility you would expect from a giant name of the financial world.
Private Client Accountant of the Year sponsored by Risk Assured
Nimesh Shah – Blick Rothenberg
When Nimesh Shah became CEO of accountancy firm Blick Rothenberg in August 2020, he made a commitment.
‘I made a promise to myself and my predecessor that I’d carry on practising as much as I could – I still wanted to keep my eye on private clients,’ he says.
Nimesh Shah on bringing accountancy into the 21st century
A central part of Shah’s agenda as CEO has been to use technology to reach a new generation of clients – creating podcasts and ‘bite-sized content’ that could easily be consumed by a wider audience ‘on their iPhone [and] on the train home’.
Lawyer of the Year – Tax and Trusts
James Quarmby – Stephenson Harwood
James Quarmby is a hugely influential figure in the world of tax, appearing in the media frequently as well as writing and delivering lectures.
The judges particularly welcomed his contributions on diversity and inclusion in the industry, his deep knowledge of technical matters and his use of his platform to support colleagues and peers.
Quarmby is a partner and head of private wealth at Stephenson Harwood, where he leads an international team of highly accomplished lawyers in disciplines across the spectrum of legal concerns for HNWs.
Lawyer of the Year – Reputation
Paul Lunt – Brabners
‘It’s a slam-dunk winner… He’s made defamation sexy again,’ enthused our judges about Paul Lunt, the reputation lawyer at the epicentre of the most reported libel action of the year, defending Coleen Rooney after fellow ‘WAG’ Rebekah Vardy sued her for defamation in the case known as ‘Wagatha Christie’. The High Court ordered Vardy to pay 90 per cent of Rooney’s legal costs.
‘The trial was beautifully orchestrated and handled and the puppet master was Lunt,’ our judges added, noting he is instructed on a broad range of matters, often connected to sport and celebrity.
Lawyer of the Year – Family Law
Catherine Bedford – Harbottle & Lewis
For around two years Catherine Bedford represented Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his case against Princess Haya bint Hussein — highly complex proceedings which engulfed much of her personal life and defied any semblance of a normal routine at work, as she coordinated activities on behalf of an individual with a demanding schedule – all during the height of the pandemic and its after-effects.
Bedford joined Harbottle & Lewis in 2017, bringing much of her loyal team from Lee & Thompson with her, and she has since successfully added to that unit with professionals who are stars in their own right.
She continues to go the extra mile to ensure a collegiate culture is baked into the firm and has been a key player in the Harbottle initiative continuing to offer healthy and nutritious hot meals to all staff every working day.
Catherine Bedford: the family lawyer representing Middle Eastern royalty
Property Adviser of the Year
Rory Penn – Knight Frank
In a highly competitive category, Rory Penn got the nod in recognition of both his client service and leadership. A co-director of Knight Frank’s private office, he spearheads the firm’s annual wealth report, which has evolved into one of the brand’s hallmarks.
Our judges noted that with Penn at the helm, the private office has gone global and has attracted top-tier talent, and ‘it’s not about earning a commission, it’s about looking after their clients’.
Another judge commented: ‘Nobody comes close to him in terms of how he presents himself. He’s just a different beast.’
Super Prime Property Development of the Year sponsored by McDowell Properties
The OWO Residences by Raffles
The OWO Residences by Raffles honours the building’s role as Winston Churchill’s strategic base in World War II. James Bond author Ian Fleming also worked here as a naval intelligence officer.
When it launches later this year, The OWO Residences will enjoy the added distinction of the Raffles imprimatur, courtesy of the soon-to-be-opened Raffles Hotel in the same building, which will provide the residents with more services.
‘We have invested all our passion and time into this project,’ Sanjay Hinduja of The Hinduja Group says. ‘We wanted to create a legacy in London. That was the dream of my father and his brothers – to leave a legacy behind.’
The OWO Residences by Raffles is about legacy, says Sanjay Hinduja
School of the Year: sponsored by Thuso
At the beginning of every school term, Sevenoaks headmaster Jesse Elzinga gives his students a simple message: ‘Carpe diem, seize the day.’ And, by and large, they do.
‘We have wonderful students who bring their own sense of purpose and restlessness,’ he enthuses. ‘There are so many wonderful opportunities at Sevenoaks, and the students come in and make the most of those every day.’
Sevenoaks is the top co-ed all-IB boarding school in the UK and among the top five ‘large-cohort’ IB schools in the world. ‘At Sevenoaks it’s cool to be clever,’ says Elzinga. ‘It’s an inspiring environment to have the children and the staff committed in that way.’
Jesse Elzinga of Sevenoaks School: the American headmaster transforming British education
Future Leader in Private Client Services
Thea Carroll – Thea Carroll Property Consultancy
Thea Carroll founded her eponymous firm in 2019 and has made great strides ever since. The firm assists HNW clients with offer negotiations and valuations and provides unhindered access to London’s most sought-after off-market properties.
Carroll has curated an impressive book of clients and contacts; she tells Spear’s she is led by her objective to ‘help clients cut through the noise of the London market’.
Our judges felt that Carroll ‘has already achieved a huge amount as an individual since her bold move in 2019 – and is set to become a leading figure in her field.’
Client Relationship Award
The Kusnacht Practice
The Kusnacht Practice is thought to be the most expensive, exclusive health clinic and rehabilitation centre in the world, with fees of around CHF119,000 per week for treatment and accommodation in a private villa on the shores of Lake Zurich.
The price tag is matched by the quality of the offering. The practice provides medical excellence, impeccable service and the utmost discretion.
Clients benefit from a live-in valet, as well as a private chef who serves delicious food in keeping with the strict dietary principles of the programme.
Private Client Innovation of the Year sponsored by Aero
DDRE Global founder Daniel Daggers has been busy since he left Knight Frank amid something of a media storm towards the end of 2019. He and his talented team of young, hungry property entrepreneurs have a compelling vision for the future of prime real estate.
Inspired by the collaboration and technology-driven transparency of the US market, Daggers not only expects a major change to materialise across the rest of the industry, but is determined to drive it himself, with a new and hugely innovative platform.
Impact Award sponsored by Stewardship
Ajaz Ahmed founded digital creative agency AKQA in 2001 when he was just 21. In 2012 WPP, then led by Sir Martin Sorrell, acquired a majority stake in a deal that valued the company – which counts Nike, Rolls-Royce, LVMH and Volvo among its clients – at $540 million.
But it is Ahmed’s work with his foundation, Ajaz.org, and its support of disadvantaged families and children across the UK, which is recognised by The Spear’s Impact Award.
Ahmed has worked closely with Nicola Brentnall, former chief executive of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, to hone his philanthropy. He has substantially increased and intelligently targeted his giving through Ajaz.org, which makes grants to small charities in the UK – and also celebrates and shares the work of deserving ‘unsung heroes’.
Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by The Royal Mint
Strive Masiyiwa might have been dubbed ‘Britain’s first black billionaire’ by The Sunday Times, but the telecoms entrepreneur prefers not to focus on labels.
Masiyiwa is founder and executive chairman of telecoms giant Econet and of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African tech company that aims to ‘transform the lives of individuals and businesses across the continent by enabling social mobility and economic prosperity’.
Masiyiwa was recognised as Spear’s Entrepreneur of the Year not just for his success in business, but for the wider impact he has made through Higherlife Foundation, the charity he founded with his wife Tsitsi in 1996, and by signing the Giving Pledge, through which the world’s wealthiest people commit to give the majority of their wealth away.
More from Spear’s
Order your copy of the 2023 edition of the Spear’s 500
Spear’s Award winner Strive Masiyiwa: entrepreneurship is about more than profit
Spear’s Award winner Ajaz Ahmed: the UK suffers from a ‘poverty of distribution’