Finding forward-thinking opportunities in change

Minister hails ‘remarkable achievements’ of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies in the 15th year of awards programme

Pictured left to right: Nikki Canavan, Bank of Ireland, with Stephanie Leonard, chief executive, Kyte Powertech, and Brian Murphy, programme lead, Deloitte

Eight new, diverse businesses have earned recognition as Ireland’s Best Managed Companies in 2023, the 15th consecutive year of the awards programme.

Ranging from manufacturing and tech to construction and food and beverage, the new winners underwent a detailed judging process evaluating the entire management team and business strategy. Using a tried and tested evaluation framework, the expert judging panel look beyond pure financial performance and examine areas such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, strategic planning and talent strategy, to find Ireland’s top privately owned businesses.

In all, the awards programme this year recognised 130 indigenous companies, representing 24 of the 32 counties across the island of Ireland. The network of companies has a combined turnover of €17 billion and €3 billion of exports sales, providing employment for more than 53,000 people across Ireland and a range of sectors.

Michael McGrath, Minister for Finance, addresses the gala audience at the Ireland's Best Managed Companies Awards

Sustainable growth

“I am delighted to see the remarkable achievements of these home-grown companies, which have demonstrated immense resilience, innovation and commitment to sustainable growth,” said Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, at the awards ceremony.

“This year’s recipients of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies Awards, encapsulate the forward-thinking approach that defines Irish business.

“Despite challenging headwinds and uncertainty, the Irish economy continues to perform remarkably well and the contribution that these companies make cannot be understated — providing employment to over 53,000 individuals and contributing €3 billion to our export sales. The businesses showcased here are emblematic of the resilience of our people and the underlying strength of our economic fundamentals.”

Ireland’s Best Managed Companies’ awards programme is run by Deloitte, in association with Bank of Ireland, and is one of the largest programmes internationally. Programme lead for Deloitte Ireland, Brian Murphy, acknowledged the challenging period faced by this year’s cohort of companies, highlighting their resilience, agility, and adaptability.

International reach

“Over the past 15 years,” said Murphy, “we’ve seen how indigenous Irish businesses find opportunities in change. Strengthening governance and recognising the value of specialist expert advice on critical areas such as ESG were key discussion points in the coaching sessions.

“We also saw companies increasingly focused on innovation, driving internationalisation. Despite the uncertainties of the past few years, the confidence of Irish businesses is clear, as more and more are scaling their market reach internationally.”

New award winners

The newly awarded companies are: APC Ltd (Dublin), Codex (Dublin), JJ Rhatigan & Company (Galway), Kyte Powertech (Cavan), Lowe Corporation (Antrim), Mail Metrics (Dublin), Production Equipment Europe (Galway), and Topflight Travel Group (Dublin). The Family Business Award went to Cork-based food wholesaler and foodservice company Musgrave Group.

There were also 112 companies that requalified as Best Managed Companies, with five companies achieving Gold Standard, and five companies awarded Platinum Standard. Gold recognises the fourth consecutive requalification, with Platinum recognising the seventh.

Embracing new challenges

Sustainability was high on the agenda for the Best Managed Companies this year, but a focus on people and talent development was also noted by the judges as distinguishing this year’s cohort.

“Once again this year, our judging team has been extremely impressed by the resilience and flexibility displayed by businesses who have successfully navigated the choppy waters of the Irish commercial landscape,” said senior director Nikki Canavan, head of origination and sustainability, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking, and member of the judging panel.

“These businesses have also integrated sustainable practices into their everyday operations, embracing new challenges and deploying targeted resources as their business models evolve. I want to congratulate every one of this year’s winners, especially the eight new, first-time winners, and wish them sustained success into the future.”

International programmes

The Best Managed Companies Programme originated in Canada in 1993, where it has run successfully ever since. Expanding far beyond, it is now run in a total of 46 countries including China, the United States, Southeast Asia, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Mexico and Chile.

Island of Ireland

The Deloitte Ireland Best Managed Companies programme, in association with Bank of Ireland, promotes and recognises excellence in Irish/Northern Irish owned and managed companies. It is the only awards scheme on the island of Ireland that considers a business’s performance from every perspective. Entrants to the programme compete for the designation in a rigorous process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

Winners of the award enjoy recognition in the business world that has been shown to open doors and create new opportunities both here and internationally. The winners also enjoy the opportunity to network with previous winners and requalifiers in various events through the year. These learning experiences allow business leaders and senior managers to engage and share, broadening networks and making valuable connections.

The programme sponsors are Bank of Ireland, the Irish Management Institute and the Business Post. The Family Business Award is supported by the Family Business Network Ireland.

For further information, visit Deloitte.ie/Bestmanaged