Société Générale Equipment Finance (SGEF) has won top accolade at the annual Leasing Life awards in Barcelona, while Dutch lessor De Lage Landen (DLL) took home three prizes on the night.

SGEF won the European Lessor of the Year award, with the event’s independent panel of judges highlighting its strong position in Europe and it’s large, successful international presence. Siemens Financial Services was highly commended in the category for putting its "considerable weight" behind European industry growth, as well as vertical and geographical expansion.

SGEF also won the title "SME Champion of the Year", in recognition of the fact it serves more than 140,000 SME clients across Europe, making up 65% of the French lessor’s portfolio.

DLL was named vendor finance provider of the year for its continuing success in the sales channel, highlighted by 44% year-on-year growth, and for showing a "proven appetite" for supporting its partners in "innovative new ways".

It also won the Asset Finance Innovation category for its development of an advanced asset lifecycle management programme. DLL completed the hat-trick with the Green Finance provider of the Year award, winning for the third year running for a green agenda extending to both its funding activities and "every element of its own corporate culture."

Cisco Capital was awarded Captive Finance provider of the Year for its hugely efficient strategy for integrating with its parent company, and for "setting the bar very high" in terms of partner support.

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The prize for Broker of the Year, awarded for the first time this year, went to First Independent Finance, which was commended for its "integrity, its pragmatism and its ability to succeed financially without compromising standards."

Addleshaw Goddard, described as the "’go-to’ people" with "impressive growth and client acquisition", was named Asset Finance Legal Provider of the Year.

This year also saw the inaugural Rising Star award, designed to recognise an up-and-coming industry professional, shared by Alison Andrews, head of change management at ING Lease and Costantino Scozzafava, program director for Apple Financial Services in Europe with GE Capital.

The chief executive of Grenkeleasing, Wolfgang Grenke, who founded the company in 1978, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to European leasing.

The first Editor’s Special Award was given to Close Asset Finance in recognition of the UK firm’s continued success in a highly competitive market.

The awards dinner marked a celebratory end to the 2012 Leasing Life European Conference which focused on protecting the achievements of the industry in a unpredictable market.

Full coverage of the conference and awards will appear in the January edition of Leasing Life