Thomas Piketty announced as FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2014 winner

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company have announced that Thomas Piketty has won the 2014 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award (www.ft.com/bookaward) for Capital in the Twenty-First Century, published by Belknap Press and Harvard University Press. The book is an account of the historical evolution of inequality in advanced economies, presenting key economic and social patterns uncovered through an analysis of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century.

The award, which recognises the book that provides ‘the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues’, was presented this evening to Thomas Piketty’s editor Ian Malcolm in London by Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, and Dominic Barton, global managing director of McKinsey & Company. Keynote speaker at the ceremony was Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC.

Thomas Piketty saw off strong competition in a shortlist that ranged from the economic recession to data privacy to win the £30,000 prize. Each of the five runners-up received a cheque for £10,000.

Lionel Barber said, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century emerged after vigorous debate from an incredibly strong field. While not everyone agreed on the policy prescription, we recognised the quality of the scholarship. It’s a challenging but ultimately important book.”

Dominic Barton commented, “This year’s winner is helping spur the debate on a vital issue. What will be critical in the years ahead, however, is how we deal with meeting these challenges – from ensuring more inclusive growth to, as this year’s Bracken Bower prize winner points out, advancing the role of women in the Muslim world.”

The distinguished judging panel for the 2014 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award comprised:

  • Steve Coll, Dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York; Staff Writer, The New Yorker magazine
  • Steven Denning, Chairman, General Atlantic LLC
  • Mohamed El-Erian, Member, Allianz International Executive Board and Chief Economic Advisor to its Management Board; Chairman, President Obama’s Global Development Council
  • Herminia Ibarra, Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning Professor of Organizational Behavior, Insead
  • Rik Kirkland, Partner and Director of Publishing, McKinsey & Company
  • Shriti Vadera, Director of Shriti Vadera Ltd, Non Executive Director of BHP Billiton and AstraZeneca

Saadia Zahidi was named winner of the inaugural Bracken Bower Prize, designed to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities of growth. Her book proposal, Womenomics In the Muslim World, about a new movement in which economics trumps culture, combining data and anecdotal stories to illustrate the power of the new female Muslim economy, was awarded £15,000. Saadia Zahidi’s proposal stood out from 120 entries, received from 33 countries.

Vindi Banga, partner at Clayton Dubilier & Rice and one of the judging panel for the Bracken Bower Prize, said the winning entry could be “a powerful catalyst for change”.

Another judge, Jorma Ollila, chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, said: “It was fascinating to see such a variety of quality entries from young writers, who will potentially change mindsets in their respective areas”.

The distinguished judging panel for the Bracken Bower Prize comprised:

  • Vindi Banga, Partner, Clayton Dubilier & Rice
  • Lynda Gratton, Professor, London Business School
  • Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell and Outokumpu
  • Baroness Rebuck, Chair, Penguin Random House, UK

Photographs of the presentation of the Business Book of the Year Award, the winner of the Bracken Bower Prize, shortlisted authors, the judges and speaker Tony Hall are available to download from http://www.flickr.com/photos/financialtimes/

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