The companies and individuals honored by Mergers & Acquisitions’ 11th Annual M&A Mid-Market Awards soared in 2017. Not only did they grow their businesses significantly, but they also led the way in innovation and thought leadership. Many of the winning firms forged new strategies for connecting the M&A community – and expanding membership in it – themes that took on more urgency than ever, as professionals in all industries challenged what had been business as usual.

Deal of the Year: Stryker for the $680 million purchase of surgical imaging technology provider Novadaq, signaling the medical device maker’s prowess in wielding M&A not just to grow existing businesses but also to enter new markets.

Dealmaker of the Year: Randy Jacops, CEO of database software developer Idera, for growing the company through several acquisitions in 2017 and recapitalizing the company with new majority stake owner HGGC in a $1 billion deal.

Private Equity Firm of the Year: LLR Partners for impressive growth in transactions and firm development and for pioneering innovations in portfolio leadership support, including original content and networking events.

Investment Bank of the Year: William Blair for achieving significant growth, including exceeding the previous year’s deal value by nearly 75 percent, culminating five years of investments in the firm’s growth.

Seller of the Year: Huron Capital for an active year completing 21 transactions, including three exits, and for raising a new fund and a new investment capability to do non-control equity investments.

Strategic Buyer of the Year: Campbell Soup for leveraging acquisitions, such as Pacific Foods, to ensure the company known for comfort food for nearly 150 years remains relevant to millennials and future generations.

Law Firm of the Year: McGuire Woods for leadership in two key areas, connecting independent sponsors with capital providers and bringing women dealmakers together, as well as for solid growth in dealmaking.

Lender of the Year: Twin Brook for achieving tremendous growth, including doubling deal value from the previous year, raising a second fund of $2.3 billion and building the three-year-old firm into a major source of loans.