Deloitte Best Managed Companies  

Symposium and Gala Awards 2017

Friday, 3 March 2017 - The Convention Centre Dublin. These awards recognise indigenous Irish companies across the island of Ireland which are operating at the highest levels of business performance.

On Friday, 3 March, 2017, we hosted the ninth annual Deloitte Best Managed Companies Symposium and Gala Awards.

Our symposium, designed exclusively by the IMI (Irish Management Institute), was attended by over 450 delegates bringing the leaders and management teams of the 127 winning companies together for an afternoon of networking and an inspirational line up of guest speakers. Later that evening over 900 guests celebrated their success at the Gala Awards.

If you would like to learn more about the programme or have any questions, please email

Symposium Speakers 2017

We were pleased to announce a fantastic line up of keynote and breakout session speakers for our Best Managed Companies Symposium 2017, taking place on Friday, 3 March 2017 in the Convention Centre Dublin. 

Keynote Speaker 2017

David Carson, Partner, Deloitte
Preparing for Brexit – a practical approach 

David is a corporate finance partner. He leads the Brexit, crisis management and forensic teams in Ireland. He has advised a major bank on an initial assessment of the impact of Brexit on consumer business in Ireland. He contributed to a task force advising the Lord Major of Dublin on the possible impacts of Brexit on Dublin. 

David is a member of the Brexit subcommittee of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce. He has spoken at a number of conferences on Brexit in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. He spoke at The Irish Times Brexit summit, a British Irish Chamber of Commerce Brexit conference, the National Manufacturing Conference and a Department of Agriculture conference on the impact of Brexit on the Fishing industry.



Keynote Speaker 2017

Mark de Rond
Things Effective Teams Do Differently

Professor of Organizational Ethnography at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He completed his DPhil at Oxford University. In 2007, Mark was awarded one of only two Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Awards in the UK and chose to spend his year at Stanford University.

He studies teams of high performers the old-fashioned way: by living with them full-time. His book “Strategic Alliances as Social Facts: Business, Biotechnology & Intellectual History” received the 2005 George R Terry Book Award from the Academy of Management, awarded annually to the book judged to have made the most significant contribution to advancing management knowledge. Mark was the youngest ever to have received this award. His subsequent book “The Last Amateurs” (2008) and “There is an I In Team” (2012) were both included in a selection of the best business books by The Financial Times. His most controversial book “Doctors at War” will be published by Cornell in early 2017, and has already been described as “one of the best books to come out of the Afghanistan debacle”. His portfolio of work was awarded the 2009 Imagination Lab Award and the 2016 Sandra Dawson Research Impact Award, as a recognition of the significant impact of his work on organizational practices. 

His research has featured widely in the press, including in The Economist, TIME magazine, Forbes, The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. 

In 2011 Mark embedded with a team of surgeons in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, to understand how they collaborate, organize and think about their work. As an extension of his research into teaming in difficult environments, Mark and a Cambridge colleague completed the first unsupported row of the entire length of the River Amazon, securing a Guinness World Record in the process.

Keynote Speaker 2017

Patrick Dixon, Futurist
Take hold of your future or the future will take hold of you 

Patrick Dixon is often described in the media as Europe’s leading futurist. He is a dynamic, provocative and entertaining speaker who advises many of the world’s largest corporations on key trends, managing uncertainty, identifying risk and developing opportunities. He digs deep into the strategy of each organisation, and creates a unique presentation for each event. He has successfully identified hundreds of future business innovations. 

An influential author, Dr Patrick Dixon has been ranked as one of the 20 most in influential business thinkers alive today by Thinkers 50. He is the Chairman of Global Change Ltd, a growth strategy and forecasting company; he is the author of 16 books (in 34 languages); he is a successful entrepreneur; and he is a physician. 

Customers describe his style as challenging, visionary, hard-hitting, strategic, provocative, dynamic, passionate and practical as well as entertaining. He has the remarkable ability to motivate people to seize growth opportunities and to change. 

He advises multinational boards and senior teams on the strategic impact of global trends, innovation and risk, in assignments ranging from one-day strategic reviews to in-depth consulting over more than a year. Examples of issues: macro-economic trends, future of marketing, mobile payments and banking, multi-channel customers, social media, consumer shifts, lifestyle changes, customer loyalty, relation- ship management, call-centres and brand management.

Breakout Session Speaker 2017

Tara Nolan,
Coaching for Business Results

Tara Nolan is an IMI associate who specialises in developing leaders and managers in the practice of business coaching. She has worked with top teams of many multinationals and her approach balances the needs of the company and individual while leaving a lasting, positive legacy of professional and personal change. 

Tara works alongside companies, teams and individuals to identify the negative behaviours that frustrate organisational performance and personal fulfilment. Then she goes about changing them. 

Tara also works with individual leaders who approach her confidentially with their own challenges to face. They appreciate her empathy and knowledge, built up over many years recruiting the executive leaders of corporations big and small in Europe and the USA. Her work has included delivering a cultural audit and change programme for Astra Zeneca, and development programmes for HSBC.

Tara was an Investment banker for Morgan Stanley and the Bank of Montreal. After that she was a leading corporate head hunter, in London, Europe and Wall Street. Somewhere along the way she even managed to spend two years as an Interior Designer for the Hyatt Hotel group in the Cayman Islands.

Breakout Session Speaker 2017

David Meade, Mentalist

David is a researcher and lecturer in international business with one of Irelands leading Universities, whose personal interests have always focused on aspects of popular psychology, consumer behaviour, and choice. By combining these professional and personal passions with his love of the performance of mentalism, David has become a sought after speaker with a reputation for an innovative style that forces audiences to think critically about the challenges around them. David has worked with organisations that include Apple, PwC, Harvard, the Cabinet Office in Westminster, Bombardier, and Bank of America. 

David delivers content in a high energy and interactive style that captures attention and makes salient messages more easy to digest, while also being predicated on evidence based research and techniques that have been rigorously peer reviewed, tested, and published by appropriate research outlets.   

Using a broad approach attendees will be empowered with a toolkit that they can use immediately in their role, irrespective of hierarchical level, that can make fundamental changes to how they see their company and their role in it.  By the end of the presentation, the participants will feel excited and enthused about the opportunities that the future offers the individuals and teams that comprise it.  They will also feel stimulated to meaningfully engage in the future development of their organisation. 


Breakout Session Panel 2017

Ask First, Shoot later - Improve your M&A marksmanship

So you’ve decided to pursue an acquisition, raise equity capital or sell your business. You’re poised to strike a deal. You have targets in your sights or an investor on the horizon. There’s really only one question to answer - Are you ready? 

Seizing the right opportunity is hard work and a successful M&A deal depends on many critical factors, not least preparation. Join our session, led by Anya Cummins, which includes a panel of businesses that have gone through a successful transaction and also investors who have looked at businesses from the other side and can share their insights on what drives a successful deal. The panel will discuss their experiences and also key learnings for growing privately owned businesses looking to make the next step in their business plan.


Anya Cummins,
Corporate Finance Partner, Deloitte
Breakout Session Moderator

Anya is a partner in M&A Advisory within Corporate Finance. Anya spent five years with sell-side specialist boutique Cavendish Corporate Finance where she was a Partner focusing on the disposal of privately owned companies to trade and private equity purchasers, as well as minority sales and equity capital raisings. Anya advises on transactions across a range of sectors and is currently advising a number of Irish corporates, both private and public, on domestic and international acquisitions. Anya now leads the M&A Advisory team in Dublin, advising clients on acquisitions, disposals and equity capital raisings.


Paul Boland,
Managing Director, Medisource

Paul worked in the Pharmaceutical business before establishing Medisource in 2004. Medisource, deliver pharmaceutical supplies to Ireland’s leading hospitals and pharmacies. Following a period of growth, the business was acquired by DCC Healthcare in 2016. Paul will speak about his experiences of growing a successful business, lessons learned in preparing for the sale of the business and the process leading to the conclusion of a successful transaction late last year.

John Dolan
Managing Director, Private Equity at Cardinal Capital Group

John has 10+ years’ experience in private equity and is MD of the Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund (CCI), Ireland’s largest private equity investment fund. John has been involved in a number of recent transactions in the Irish market which include AA Ireland and Lily O’Briens. John will discuss how equity investors look at potential investments, his experiences and advice to owner managers considering making acquisitions, raising funding or preparing for an exit.

Declan O’Neill
Managing Director, Obelisk

Declan is CEO of professional engineering services group, Obelisk. Established in 1996, Obelisk provides infrastructure solutions to telecommunications, data and energy sectors generating annual revenues in excess of €30 million. In 2016, Obelisk raised funding of €6.5m to fund expansion plans. Declan will share his experience of raising debt and equity capital to support a growing business and his key learnings from the recent fundraising round.

Pat Walsh
Head of Irish Investments, Bluebay Asset Management

Pat joined BlueBay in April 2013 as the Head of Irish Investments. Prior to joining BlueBay, Pat was Head of Restructuring at IBRC. The €450 million Irish Direct Lending vehicle managed by BlueBay has provided loans to larger corporate SMEs and mid-sized businesses in Ireland. Pat will provide insights on the growing alternative lending market in Ireland and the interesting options available to SMEs seeking to raise capital to fund growth.

Moderator 2017

Justin Kinnear 

Justin is MD of The Learning Bureau and has worked in the domain of corporate learning & development since 1994. 

In that time Justin has held technical, managerial, leadership, consulting and commercial roles in a range of global and indigenous businesses. Justin specialises in supporting management and leadership role transitions, team effectiveness and organisational change initiatives. He has worked with leading organisations in the ICT, Financial Services, Food & Drinks, University, Energy & Utilities, Construction, Hospitality, Public and Retail sectors. 

He has designed and delivered programmes on a wide range of critical management skills and at all levels of management. He is a contributor to the Trinity College MBA programme and on NUI Maynooth’s BRP Programme. Justin has published two business titles on the subjects of Top Talent retention and Customer Service excellence. He holds a BSc (Engineering) from TCD and an MBA from Henley Business School. He is a Certified Master Trainer and an ICF accredited coach.

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