Segun Osuntokun, of international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP), was named as Business Person of the Year at the Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards) ceremony on 30 October 2020.
Speaking with the Telegraph, Osuntokun said it was an “incredible honour” to be recognised.
“We all know there are hurdles that stand in the way of black people achieving success,” he said. “It’s extremely important for us to fight against those hurdles and address systemic issues head on to level the playing field.
“It is also vital to look through the other end of the telescope and celebrate those who achieve success.”
Now in it’s seventh year, the BBBAwards celebrate the outstanding achievements of Black British professionals and entrepreneurs, highlighting the community’s commercial contribution to the UK economy and identifying formidable role models and mentors across several sectors.
Osuntokun was said to have impressed the judges with his strategic leadership at BCLP on complex projects for over 30 FTSE 100 companies and more than 50 Global Fortune 500 companies all with his unwavering passion for race equity in his 25+ year career in business.
This year’s Awards ceremony crowns a landmark year in history for racial equity and featured special recognition for Black British frontline workers.
In addition to naming the Black British Business Person of the Year, the BBBAwards also recognised the rising stars and senior leader winners in six industries. This year’s winners are some of the most determined and innovative Black leaders in the UK across a variety of professions; from a Founder of a revolutionary equine nutrition system to a Project Manager at Transport for London and Senior Partner at BWF Solicitors.
Melanie Eusebe, Chair and Co-Founder of the Black British Business Awards said: “After a year filled with so many challenges, it was rewarding to take a step back this month to reflect not only on the history of the Black community here in the UK, but also to celebrate the incredible individuals who are making their mark now.
“Our Category Celebration events, along with the Awards Ceremony, provided us with many opportunities to reflect on how far our community has come while recognising there is still much work to be done.”
Sophie Chandauka, Co-Founder of the Black British Business Awards, said: “Each of our finalists and award winners is a source of inspiration, highlighting the significant accomplishments and important contributions the Black community is making in every sector of the business world. They all deserve recognition and congratulations for their accomplishments, and it was our pleasure to honour them at the Black British Business Awards events this October.”
Tia Counts, Head of Advancing Black Pathways in EMEA at J.P. Morgan, said: “J.P. Morgan continues to be a proud sponsor of the Black British Business Awards, which shines a light on exceptional talent in business. Year on year, the individual stories behind the awards never cease to make us proud of what our community can achieve. We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists.”
The BBBAwards ceremony distinguished outstanding business talent in six industry categories, which are divided into rising star and senior leader awards.
The full list of winners of the 2020 BBBAwards are as follows:
Black British Business Person of the Year
Segun Osuntokun – Managing Partner at BCLP, London Office
Arts & Media Rising Star
Nnena Nwakodo – Producer at Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Arts & Media Senior Leader
Anthony Andrews – Co-founder and Creative Director of We Are Parable
Consumer & Luxury Rising Star
Rachael Corson and Joycelyn Mate – Co-founders of Afrocenchix
Consumer & Luxury Senior Leader
Sandra Murphy – Founder of Equidiet UK Ltd
Entrepreneur Rising Star
Ayesha Ofori – CEO and Founder of Black Property Network
Entrepreneur Senior Leader Winner
Trevor Robinson OBE – Founder and Executive Creative Director of Quiet Storm
Financial Services Rising Star
Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy – Senior Digital Product Manager at Barclays
Financial Services Senior Leader
Gavin Lewis – Managing Director, Head of UK LGPS at BlackRock
Professional Services Rising Star
Natalie Carter – Senior Associate at Greenberg Traurig LLP
Professional Services Senior Leader
Bennard Owusu – Senior Partner at BWF Solicitors
STEM Rising Star
Ninarita Williams – Project Manager at Transport for London
STEM Senior Leader
Dr Abdullahi Sheriff – Executive, Solutions Strategy, Strategic Partnerships & Solutions, Europe at GE Healthcare