AFC Summer Awards: winners revealed


The Asset Finance Connect (AFC) Summer Awards 2024 brought together over 500 professionals from the auto and equipment finance sectors to celebrate the many success stories and outstanding achievements in the industry.

The 3rd AFC Summer Awards, set a new record for attendance, despite the typical British summer weather.

This year’s awards were hosted at City Central at the Honourable Artillery Company, a venue that perfectly complemented the scale and significance of the event. With more space and even a fun fair, the new location enhanced the awards experience for all attendees.

Showcasing excellence

The AFC Summer Awards recognise the very best in auto, equipment and asset finance. The 2024 event included 22 award categories with over 100 nominations, celebrating organisations, teams and individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry. (See list of award winners below.)

The evening kicked off with the unveiling of the 2024 AF50 UK rankings, a highly anticipated list of the top 50 auto and equipment finance firms. Awards were given to the largest lending firms, the fastest expanding businesses, and the highest new entrant in the AF50 rankings.

The community awards followed with Allica Bank being recognised as the AFC Asset Finance Provider of the Year 2024, sponsored by LTi Technology Solutions. This honour comes after a remarkable growth journey that saw Allica Bank ranked number one in the Sunday Times 100 list of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies.

MotoNovo was awarded the AFC Auto Finance Provider of the Year 2024, sponsored by NETSOL Technologies. The judges highlighted MotoNovo’s strong focus on compliance, which has significantly advanced their forbearance efforts, earning them an Institute of Customer Services Award.

The Solifi-sponsored AFC Equipment Finance Provider of the Year 2024 was awarded to Propel Finance. Judges praised Propel as a “progressive and rapidly developing finance company with a strong emphasis on its vendor partners and end user clients.”

For the AFC Broker of the Year Awards 2024, sponsored by Allica Bank, Gordon Larson from Asset & General Finance Limited won the small broker category, and MAF Finance Group won the large broker award.

The judges praised MAF Finance Group for its professional growth, nationwide reach, and sector-specific expertise, highlighting its broad array of financial products and strong reputation among funders. Gordon Larson’s team was commended for their high operational standards, honesty, and customer-centric approach, particularly in asset finance and sectors like ground care, rural, and forestry management. The judges praised the firm for its wide range of financial services and strong asset finance sector experience.

Sponsored by The Guild of Business Finance Professionals, the AFC lender of the year award 2024 was presented to Simply Asset Finance, a company who “continues to go from strength to strength and understands the need to be flexible and agile, as well as clearly making a positive impact across the broker community” according to the judges.

TLT LLP won the AFC Professional Services Firm of the Year 2024 for its comprehensive work in the asset and motor finance sectors, including transactions, product development, regulatory investigations, recoveries, and disputes. Over the past year, it doubled its specialist team and turnover, expanded across the UK, and added over 30 new clients and workstreams. Their four-year strategy aims to become the top professional services firm by 2025, focusing on broadening services, anticipating client needs, international expansion, and fostering a culture of opportunity, inclusivity, and sustainability.

Award categories recognising great employers, outstanding achievements, as well as extraordinary social and environmental contributions to the industry followed.

The AFC social award was presented to Metro Bank Asset Finance for their significant charity and community contributions and inclusive workplace environment. Metro Bank supports diversity through five inclusion networks: Mbrace, Women on Work (WOW), Mpride, Mfamily, and Mbody, promoting equity and inclusion.

Winners of the AFC environment award 2024 were Lombard, SCC and Rigby Capital – a collaboration supporting an as-a-service solution to prevent over a million electronic devices from becoming landfill over the next five years – and Novuna Business Finance for their commitment to financing sustainable projects and green assets, raising awareness of sustainability and supporting SMEs on their journey, and engaging their people with Novuna’s sustainability goals and passions.

Novuna Business Finance’s Adam Crockford was awarded the 2024 AFC outstanding achievement award, commended by the judges for “his significant contribution to his organisation’s strategic direction and his ability to play a number of different roles demonstrating his commitment to the business.”

The Simply Cup – a charity football tournament in aid of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) organised by Simply Asset Finance – was also recognised with the AFC Outstanding Achievement Award. The judges noted that “Simply has done a great job in bringing together brokers and other lenders for this cause and the money they raised for CRUK is fantastic. A well thought through initiative that promotes D&I and brings joy to many in the industry.”

Compass Business Finance won the AFC best auto or equipment finance organisation to work for award 2024, judged anonymously by the company’s employees, reflecting their genuine appreciation for their workplace.

Sponsored by Shoosmiths, the AFC excellence in compliance award 2024 was presented to Jennifer Bodey, Compliance and Conduct Risk Director at Propel Finance. The judges acknowledged that: “With strong expertise in FCA processes, Jennifer brings value to her employers and customers alike.”

Astrid Michael and Louise McIntosh from United Trust Bank received the AFC excellence in technology award 2024, sponsored by VIP Apps Consulting, for “their management of a significant project delivered in just 24 months which resulted in a platform which is both competitive and relevant.”

Chris Kirby from Tomorrow’s Journey jointly received the award for creating “a very successful business, built on modern technology that is flexible and scalable.”

The Rising Star Award 2024 was presented to Edward Rixon, Senior Manager, Digital SME Growth, Shawbrook, for his pivotal role in transforming Shawbrook’s digital SME offering, pioneering two key initiatives that significantly improved the digital SME proposition.

John Phillipou, Managing Director of SME Lending at Paragon, and David Foster, CEO of Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, were both honoured with the AFC CEO of the year award for 2024.

With a distinguished 30-year career in business lending both in the UK and internationally, John Phillipou is a longstanding figure in the asset finance sector, dedicated to supporting SMEs. His passion and commitment to the industry have earned him the role of Chair of the Finance & Leasing Association, where he aims to influence industry evolution, ensure the sector’s voice is heard by policymakers, and elevate its profile. John emphasizes the importance of unity among industry stakeholders—including trade bodies, lenders, and brokers—to present a cohesive, stable financial sector and to advocate collectively on key issues.

Phillipou also champions the development of young professionals in the industry, recognising their critical role in invigorating the asset finance sector and meeting the changing needs of younger customers.

David Foster, with over 30 years in the asset finance and leasing industry, has built an exemplary reputation based on core values of integrity, empathy, respect, entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for business success. More than 20 years ago, he founded a successful business and has consistently demonstrated his commitment to fair treatment and respect for all stakeholders, including customers, panel funders, suppliers, tied agents, and employees. David is known for his unwavering drive to grow the business and enhance profitability for the benefit of everyone involved.

The 2024 AFC lifetime achievement award, sponsored by platinum sponsor Alfa, was awarded to Ian Isaac, Managing Director of Lombard, in recognition of his lifelong support and leadership. Ian’s significant contributions to Lombard and the wider asset finance industry, along with his outstanding commitment to customers, colleagues, and industry professionals, were celebrated. Having been a dynamic leader in Lombard and the asset finance industry for over 35 years, Ian has consistently been a positive force. As he approaches his 10-year anniversary leading Lombard, it is fitting to acknowledge his numerous achievements and the substantial impact he has had on the industry and individuals alike.

The evening concluded with a special award, the AFC & AFPA Award for outstanding contribution to the asset finance industry, presented to Stephen Bassett. Described as “an unsung hero in the industry” Stephen Bassett was recognised for his commitment and quiet dedication to improving the asset finance industry.

The summer event, which is an integral part of the asset finance calendar, was sponsored by Alfa as platinum sponsor, LTi Technology Solutions, NETSOL Technologies, Solifi, Shoosmiths, VIP Apps Consulting, Allica Bank, and The Guild of Business Finance Professionals.

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AF50UK 2024 ranking awards:

Asset Finance Connect Top 5 lenders by outstandings

Winners: Lombard, HSBC, Close Brothers, BNP Paribas, Novuna

Strongest advance in AF50

Winner: Allica Bank

Strongest growth in one year (percentage)

Winner: Allica Bank

Strongest growth over three years (percentage)

Winner: Propel

Strongest growth in one year (£)

Winner: HSBC Equipment Finance

Highest new entry to AF50

Winner: TP Leasing Limited


AFC asset finance provider of the year 2024 sponsored by LTi Technology Solutions

Winner: Allica Bank   

AFC auto finance provider of the year 2024 sponsored by NETSOL Technologies

Winner: MotoNovo

Highly commended: Santander

AFC equipment finance provider of the year 2024 sponsored by Solifi                                                                                                 

Winner: Propel Finance

AFC broker of the year 2024 sponsored by Allica Bank

Winner (small broker): Gordon Larson, Asset & General Finance

Winner (large broker): MAF Finance Group

AFC lender of the year 2024 sponsored by The Guild of Business Finance Professionals

Winner: Simply Asset Finance

Highly commended: Time Finance

AFC professional services firm of the year 2024

Winner: TLT LLP

AFC best auto or equipment finance organisation to work for 2024

Winner: Compass Business Finance

Highly commended: Lloyds

Highly commended: Anglo Scottish Asset Finance

AFC environment award 2024

Winner: Lombard, SCC and Rigby Capital

Winner: Novuna Business Finance

AFC social award 2024

Winner: Metro Bank Asset Finance

AFC excellence in compliance award 2024 sponsored by Shoosmiths

Winner: Jennifer Bodey, Compliance and Conduct Risk Director, Propel Finance

Highly commended: Philippa Verzuu, Senior Regulatory Business Partner, Novuna

AFC excellence in technology award 2024 sponsored by VIP Apps Consulting

Winner: Astrid Michael and Louise McIntosh – United Trust Bank

Winner:  Chris Kirby, Tomorrow’s Journey

Highly commended: Matthew Laurent, Director IT Services & Solutions, with Volvo Financial Services

AFC outstanding achievement award 2024 sponsored by Alfa

Winner: Adam Crockford, Senior Change Manager – Automation, Novuna Business Finance

Winner: The Simply Cup

AFC rising star award 2024

Winner:  Edward Rixon, Senior Manager, Digital SME Growth, Shawbrook

Highly commended: Jake Dye, Sales Support Manager, MAF Finance Group

Highly commended: Miri Day, Operations Specialist, Metro Bank Asset Finance

Highly commended: Charlie Spurr, Mobilize Financial Services

AFC CEO of the year 2024

Winner: John Phillipou, Managing Director of SME lending, Paragon

Winner: David Foster, CEO, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance

AFC lifetime achievement award 2024 sponsored by Alfa

Winner: Ian Isaac, Managing Director, Lombard

AFC & AFPA Award for outstanding contribution to the asset finance industry 

Winner: Stephen Bassett