Therefore it seemed entirely appropriate to recognise those individuals that have made the greatest contribution to the development of the bond markets over the past two decades.
Winners were voted for by panels of bankers and borrowers. Bank originators had to put to the back of their mind the last mandate they missed out on and remember which issuers had impressed them most over the past 20 years. No surprise then that Italy was voted best sovereign it has launched many groundbreaking deals and paid chunky fees at the same time. The World Bank was recognised for its innovation in issuance, while KfW was voted best agency borrower.
Citigroup and UBS dominated the bond house awards as voted by borrowers, winning three apiece.
But the biggest frisson of the night came as the individual awards for bankers were announced. Hans-Jörg Rudloff was, to no ones great surprise, voted as the banker who made the greatest contribution to the markets in the past 20 years. Charlie Berman of Citigroup was named most impressive originator no surprise to anyone who has been on the receiving end of one of his charm offensives.
But perhaps the surprise of the night was that Martin Egan beat Michael Sherwood to the most impressive debt syndicate official. Woody famously ran Goldmans European syndicate desk at the tender age of 24 and is still said to have a great knack of knowing the market. For Egan to outrank one of Goldmans best-known bankers (who features in the top 100 rich lists and even has his own private jet) is testament not just to his likeability but also his professional qualities. Still, wed bet that hed swap bank balances for a while.
One balance sheet that certainly benefited was that of charity War Child. The thought of all the fees they had earned over the past 20 years encouraged bankers present to raise £300,000 for the charitys work.