Global financial information services company Markit's Lance Uggla has been named as Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur Of The Year.
Uggla was crowned ahead of 43 other business leaders to become the overall UK winner of the awards, which are now in their 26th year.
The independent judging panel, led by Lord Browne, partner of Riverstone Holdings and formerly chief executive of BP, praised Uggla’s drive and innovation in creating a global company which provides customers with 1.8 million price updates every minute, and helps to “increase transparency, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency” in financial services.
Uggla was also praised as an “impressive individual who has created a strong culture at his company” since setting up a price information service.
His entrepreneurial spirit was said to be “embedded in the firm's culture – and with more than 2,400 employees in 17 offices today, employees remain the largest equity holder of the company”.
Uggla will now go on to compete globally with more than 50 other country finalists at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next year.
Stuart Watson, Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur Of The Year leader, said: “Lance’s drive, innovation, and belief in transparency and efficiency, has secured the company’s rapid rise as a provider in a competitive market.
“All of the finalists are outstanding entrepreneurs driving their businesses with innovation, inspiration and commitment. Entrepreneurs are investing in people and ideas, creating jobs and wealth, exporting their products and services, attracting foreign investment and supporting their communities to make a real difference."
The full list of UK Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Award recipients were:
- 1. Innovation- Richard and Anthony Joseph of kitchenware firm Joseph
- 2. Energy cleantech and renewables - Ian Kelly of Matrix
- 3. Consumer products and services –Nick Wheeler of menswear chainCharles Tyrwhitt Shirts
- 4. Business products and services - Lance Uggla of Markit (also the UK overall Entrepreneur Of The year winner)
- 5. Manufacturing -Peter Schofield of car care products firm Tetrosyl Group
- 6. Turnaround - Tony Hackney of sawmiller BSW Timber
- 7. Emerging Entrepreneur - Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne of gluten-free specialist Genius Foods
- 8. Social enterprise - Mark Sesnan of charity GLL
- 9. PE backed business - Tracy Lewis's design and manufacturer Eveden Group
- 10. Technology - Simon Downing, public sector systems specialist Civica Group
- 11. Master Entrepreneur - Fred Done of betting site Betfred
Elsewhere, financial services firms also did well at the Smarta.com and O2 ultimate index of the UK’s savviest, most resourceful and socially-beneficial small businesses.
Among the winners were the Currency Cloud, a firm which provides a cross-border payment and currency conversion service developed specifically to benefit small and medium businesses, offering rates normally available only to large corporates.
Other 'New Finance' firms in the Smarta 100, are Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer loan company that enables savers to earn great returns and borrowers to get low cost business loans, and Seedrs, a crowdfunding platform for investing seed capital in start-ups.
Mike Laven, chief executive of the Currency Cloud, said: “For too long, small and medium-sized businesses have been short-changed by banks on currency conversion and cross-border payments.
"The New Finance movement is transforming financial services and we look forward to continuing to revolutionise currency exchange.”
Voting is now under way to find the overall O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year. The winning business will walk away with £10,000.