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Editorial: Just awards

They don't quite have the sparkle of Hollywood's Oscars. No glamorous actresses turn up in risqué dresses. There are no crass speeches. But, in their five years of existence, Euromoney's Awards for Excellence have become, in a way, the Oscars of the financial world.

A word of explanation is due on why we believe the awards are important.

For users of the financial markets - particularly more infrequent users - each transaction is of vital importance. This is true whether the deal is an acquisition, an IPO, a first bond issue for an emerging country, an infrastructure project, even a plain-vanilla capital raising. Get it wrong, and your company's (or country's) future can be jeopardized.

But, for users, the financial markets often appear hard to understand and tricky. Bankers do not make the process easier by talking in a marketing speak that often obfuscates the truth. Users find it hard to differentiate between hype and real capability. Choosing a lead manager (or adviser, or arranger) for the first time can be a baffling experience.

It was this thought process that led us to institute the Awards for Excellence in 1992. The intention was to identify systematically which banks showed genuine excellence in which areas of the business.

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