Thu, 24 May 2018

With a commitment to supporting the progression and skills development of young people, BNP Paribas Personal Finance was delighted to be headline sponsor of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) which recognises and celebrates the achievements of young talent in the region.

Laura Thursfield took the overall title of BYPY 2018 as guests from the city's business and professional services sector attended BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship awards ceremony at the ICC.  Financial Planner at Mazars LLP, Laura won the finance category before being crowned as this year’s overall Birmingham Young Professional of the Year. Other category winners on the night included:

Finance: Laura Thursfield – Mazars LLP (overall winner)
HR, Recruitment & Training: Gishan Abeyratne – BCL Legal
Legal: Chrissie Wolfe - Irwin Mitchell LLP
Marketing & Comms: Truchio Powell - The Alternative Events Company
Property & Construction: Kuli Bajwa - RPS Consulting Services Limited
Technology: Sarah Mullett – Legal and General

Chair of judges, Deborah Cadman OBE, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority said: “Congratulations to all of the winners and of course to Laura, for winning the overall BYPY 2018 title. It was a privilege to chair the judging panel and we were really excited by the winners on judging day. I think they will continue to grow and develop and become even better.”
For the second year running, as overall winner, Laura, receives a fully-funded scholarship to study for an Executive MBA from Aston Business School worth £18,000.

In addition to category winners, BYPY also recognised an exemplary figure and role model within the professional community with its Inspiring Leader award. Lorna Gavin, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Responsibility at Gowling WLG, received this award.

The Aspiring Talent category, which recognises exceptional individuals aged between 16 and 24, was named as Daniel Goddard, Trainee Solicitor at Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Chair of BPS Birmingham Future, Victoria Ball, said: “A huge congratulations to Laura Thursfield, our Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2018. On judging day her enthusiasm and passion for our city, along with her humble approach, really shone through and I have no doubt she will go on to drive change and be a fantastic ambassador for Birmingham. Well done to this year’s Aspiring Talent winner Daniel Goddard and our Inspiring Leader, Lorna Gavin as well.

“The calibre of candidates has been outstanding right from the initial applications, demonstrating how fantastic our talent pool is here in Birmingham. We had some truly difficult decisions. BYPY continues to showcase the city’s most talented young professionals, who are all creating a positive impact and championing Birmingham at every opportunity. With continued growth in the region and an increasing number of opportunities for young professionals, there is no better time for the leaders of tomorrow to make their mark."

Now in its 18th year, BYPY was presented by journalist, presenter and screenwriter, Rick Edwards.  

Stephen Hunt, CEO of BNP Paribas Personal Finance, added: “With such a thriving and dynamic professional services sector in the West Midlands, BYPY is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the achievements of young people. We’re delighted to support the awards and to champion progression opportunities and skills development so we retain talent in the region. Congratulations to this year’s finalists and winners who inspire with their positive outlook and ambition.”