Nicola Horlick has been named the inaugural winner of the 'Who’s Who Champion of Change’ award.

Horlick, who has more than 20 years' experience in fund management, was presented with the award by the Right Honourable Zac Goldsmith at the Houses of Parliament.

The ‘Champion of Change’ award is designed to recognise the achievements of leading business individuals and is awarded by Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Elite (BBE), the membership organisation for company directors.

Winners are said to have transformed their public profile and positioned themselves as leaders in their chosen field.

The nominees for the award are put through a 'vigorous' application process, which includes a written submission detailing the changes they have brought to their sector and the impact they have made on society and the economy. 

This culminates in an interview with either Who's Who chief David White or chairman Graham Rowan.

Dubbed 'superwoman' for her ability to combine the demands of raising a large family with a top City job, Horlick is currently CEO of the crowdfunding business she launched at the end of 2013, Money & Co.

The firm enables investors to finance loans to small businesses, with the promise of a return with interest if these enterprises prove to be successful,

She is also the former chair of Rockpool Investments, in which she retains and interest, and chair and chief investment officer of Glentham Capital. She also has a film business called Derby Street films.  

Horlick's financial career started back in 1983 as a graduate trainee with SG Warburg. She joined Morgan Grenfell Asset Management in 1991 where she ran the UK business until 1997, helping the firm grow assets under management from £4 billion to £18 billion.  

She then went on to establish SG Asset Management in 1997 and Bramdean in 2005, although her copybook was somewhat blotted at the latter after it emerged she had lost £14 million by investing in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

Commenting on the award, Rowan said in a statement: 'It is important to celebrate entrepreneurs as the bedrock on which our economy is built.

'Overcoming the odds to generate wealth and jobs in an ever more competitive global market is a significant achievement. Achieving success through hard slog, overcoming obstacles and setbacks deserves to be recognised.'  

Goldsmith added it is time for the UK to get better at celebrating success. 'I come from an entrepreneurial family and I know it can be a lonely place. It’s important that we highlight the vital role that business plays in our economy – businesses are the engine for growth that the UK needs more than ever in this climate.'