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29 November, 2021 - 20:37 By Tony Quested

PEM Corporate Finance partner wins Dealmaker of the Year award

Philip Olagunju, partner at Cambridge-based M & A adviser PEM Corporate Finance, won the ‘Dealmaker of the Year’ title at the Insider Media Central & East Dealmakers Awards 2021.

He and his colleagues were also shortlisted in the Corporate Finance Advisory Team of the Year category.

The ‘Dealmaker of the Year’ award is for an individual who has been the standout dealmaker in the region and worked on exciting and innovative transactions. This latest win for Philip and the team follows the award of Deal of the Year (sub-£10 million) in 2020.

The awards recognise the achievements of the region's leading corporate financiers, accountants, bankers, funders, lawyers, and other M & A professionals. 

Philip Cunliffe, regional business editor at Insider Media, said: “Philip led on seven successful deals and several valuation projects over the qualifying period.

“Promoted to a partner this year, he has developed a deep professional network and regularly refers work to the legal and financial community across the whole region.

“This desire to work collaboratively and feed the region's advisory community, made Philip the outstanding dealmaker this year according to the judges.”

Olagunju said: “It feels amazing to have won the Dealmaker of the Year title. I'm blessed to be part of an incredible corporate finance team. This award is great industry recognition of the fantastic deals we've completed, as a team, over the past 12 months, especially considering the global pandemic.

“The award also caps off a spectacular year for me personally; a year in which I celebrated my 40th birthday, completed my MBA and was appointed partner.

“The future certainly feels bright for PEM Corporate Finance: Our pipeline remains strong and we are hoping to complete a clutch of deals in Q1 2022. 
“Despite the continued economic uncertainty related to COVID-19, rising inflation, and global supply chain issues, we remain optimistic about 2022 and look forward to another year of dynamic dealmaking here in Cambridge, across the region and beyond.”

FRP Corporate Finance won the Corporate Finance Advisory Team of the Year award. Insider Media said “Following the acquisition of JDC Corporate Finance in September last year, the FRP corporate team has been extremely busy, completing 17 regional deals, and increasing fee income by over 50 per cent. The judges were particularly impressed with the complex EOT deals it had worked on, providing great outcomes for the shareholders and the employees of the businesses concerned.”

The Corporate Law Firm of the Year accolade went to Mills & Reeve. Insider Media said: “Mills & Reeve's Cambridge and Norwich corporate teams have had an excellent year, advising on number of complex transactions, many with a multi-jurisdictional element.”

The sale of Goodfellow to Battery Ventures was Insider Media’s International Deal of the Year, beating the reverse merger of F-star Therapeutics and Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals and the sale of Bowman Ingredients to Solina Group.

Insider Media said: “Goodfellow is a global supplier of metals, alloys and other materials for the research, development and production requirements of science and industry. Battery Ventures is one of the world’s leading industrial technology investors. The judges felt that the cross-border deal will create wealth and employment in the region with positive secondary benefits for the regional R&D ecosystem, making this the stand-out deal.”

Deal of the Year  in the £10m+ category was AVEVA Group Plc’s acquisition of OSIsoft. Also shortlisted were the sale of PCML to Total capital Partners, the merger of Carlsberg UK and Marstons Plc and the sale of Avingtrans plc subsidiary Peter Brotherhood to Howden Group.

Graham Denny of Bury St Edmunds-headquartered Denny Bros was crowned Entrepreneur of the Year. Insider Media said: “As head of the family-owned label specialist Denny Bros, Graham has introduced the Employee Ownership Trust for its 100 employees. Last year the Bury St Edmunds-headquartered business celebrated 75 years of trading and, according to Graham, this seemed the perfect time to become employee owned. The judges wanted to reward this empowering vision to engage and reward the workforce.”

For the full roll of honour visit

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