While fiscal policy deals remained hard to reach among politicians in Washington, private sector dealmakers found ways to sign on the dotted line in 2011 despite a shaky economy and uncertainties raised by a forthcoming presidential election,

In South Florida, dealmakers helped find new owners for companies and distressed properties. They found new financing to help businesses expand, and they coaxed money from the financial markets to support projects in the public sector.

In the Daily Business Review’s Top Dealmakers of the Year report, we focused on the people who made the biggest, most significant and complex deals happen in 2011.

The outcomes emerged from a field of more than 150 nominations from law firms, brokerages, readers-at-large and the editorial staff. The deals are spread through a dozen categories: Land, Leasing, Industrial, Retail, Office, Multi-Family, Hotel, Distressed Real Estate, Corporate, Corporate International, Corporate Finance and Public Finance.

Some of the dealmakers profiled in this section helped a homegrown South Florida company join a multinational telecommunications company through a merger. International corporate transactions saw local lawyers help take a Chinese company private, raise money for a telecom firm in Central America and restructure a troubled satellite operator in Mexico. Once again, real estate dealmaking commanded center stage, with foreign buyers scooping up large commercial properties for investment or development. Leasing deals surged to prominence as law firms, health care companies and multinationals jumped at the chance to locate in new buildings whose landlords offered generous rates.

The nominations were judged exclusively by the Review’s editors. While some deals involved transactions elsewhere in the U.S. or in foreign jurisdictions, only dealmakers who are based in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties qualified for consideration. Factors evaluated included the complexity and size of the deal, and how instrumental the nominees were in making the deal happen. Creativity was also factored in, as well as the nominees’ track record. Review reporters and freelance journalists helped research the deals. They did not participate in the judging.

There were two rounds of eliminations before the editors convened to select the finalists and the Top Dealmakers in each category.