Best Managed Companies Awards

Raising capital for growth one of the biggest challenges identified by Best Managed Companies

Employee bonus and profit sharing schemes increase – three years in a row.

Deadline for entering this year’s awards is Friday 8 August.

There was a considerable increase (from 26% in 2012 to 42% in 2013) in the number of Best Managed Companies who cited raising capital for growth as one of their biggest challenges, according to an analysis of companies who took part in the awards over the last three years.   The analysis also found that employee bonus/profit sharing schemes continues to rise as one of the main incentives used in retaining the right people to drive the business (60% in 2011, 62% in 2012, 85% 2013).  

Deloitte Best Managed Companies have total revenues of approximately €7 billion and employ over 5,000 people.  The awards programme, now in its seventh year, recognises companies for outstanding quality, superior business performance and growth achieved.

Applicants in 2013 also identified international expansion, maintaining good customer services and developing a strong marketing and sales force as challenges in growing the value of their companies. By comparison, the top challenge identified in 2011 and 2012 was cost reduction.

Encouragingly, across the three years analysed, excellent customer relationship management was identified as the most important differentiator from competitor companies. In 2011, just 15% of applicants identified a strong sales and marketing programme as a key differentiator; however this rose to 21% in 2013. On the contrary, investment in technology, which was identified by 45% in 2011 as a key differentiator, dropped to 24% in 2013.

In terms of funding growth, across all three years, most companies stated that they intended to use internal funding to support company growth (90% in 2011, 91% in 2012 and 88% in 2013). 

The Best Managed Companies application process also examines how companies ensure they have the right people to drive their business. Employee bonus and profit sharing schemes have increased in popularity from 60% in 2011 to 85% in 2013. Interestingly, while just over a quarter of applicants in 2013 identified succession planning as a challenge, down from 40% in 2011, just 21% had a documented succession plan.

Kevin Sheehan, Partner, Deloitte commented: “It’s interesting that the number of applicants citing raising capital as a challenge is increasing. Based on our interaction with the companies in the programme, this is more indicative of companies’ shifting mind sets than a reflection on the availability of capital. Increasingly they are looking to invest in their business and drive expansion and so more companies are now looking for finance to drive this. Also encouragingly, the analysis demonstrates that companies are adapting strategies to reflect an improving marketplace. Increasingly, companies are looking to invest in their relationships with customers, their marketing programmes and employee rewards as a means of growing their business. This flexibility and commitment to reviewing and changing strategy as necessary has been one of the key characteristics of our winning companies over the last number of years.

“There are also some areas, such as investment in technology and indeed succession planning, that may need further assessment. These are criteria which the judging panel will be looking at closely for this year’s applicants. We are continually impressed with the calibre of Irish companies that are recognised in this awards scheme. We are encouraging companies who are also demonstrating sound management practices to apply for this year’s awards and so get the recognition they deserve.”

With registrations for this year’s awards programme due to close at the end of the week (Friday 8 August), Deloitte, in association with Barclays Bank Ireland, is encouraging businesses from all over Ireland to log onto and register for the programme.

Companies which demonstrate superior business performance will be recognised at the end of the Best Managed Companies process in March 2015, with three companies specifically recognised for high quality submissions in the areas of strategy, capability and commitment, which are the cornerstones of the Best Managed Company assessment criteria. For the first time, at the awards gala in March 2015, ‘platinum’ winners will be recognised – these are companies that have been awarded Best Managed status each year since the programme began. 

For further information and details of how to enter the awards, visit The closing date for entries is 8 August 2014. The winners of the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards will be announced in March 2015.  

Entry criteria 
To enter the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards programme, companies must meet the criteria listed below.  Applications can be made online at

  • Irish/Northern Irish substantially privately owned, managed and controlled companies (incorporated in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland)
  • Turnover in excess of €5million (STG£4 million)
  • Established for at least 5 years
  • Demonstration of superior financial results over past 3 years (in relation to their peers) 

There are four different categories of award winners:

  • Best Managed Companies: Companies that receive the award for the first time
  • Re-qualifiers: Best Managed Companies that apply to requalify for the next two years following receipt of the award for the first time or fourth time. Companies applying for requalification must satisfy the programme eligibility criteria and go through a requalification review process in order to ensure that the companies continue to uphold the Best Managed standard
  • Gold Standard: Best Managed Companies that receive the award for the fourth year in a row 
  • Platinum Standard: Best Managed Companies that receive the award for a seventh year in a row

For further information please contact
Aoibheann O’Sullivan / Jill Farrelly 
Murray Consultants
01 498 0346 / 0304 

Claire Quinn
01 417 2356 

About Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards
The Deloitte Best Managed Companies programme, in association with Barclays Bank 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’ performance from every perspective. Entrants to the programme will compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices. 

Programme sponsors are Barclays Bank Ireland plc, the Irish Management Institute and the Sunday Business Post.

For further information, visit

International history of Best Managed Companies Programme
The Best Managed Companies Programme originated in Canada in 1993, where it has been run successfully ever since and is the country’s leading business awards programme. In addition to Ireland and Canada, the programme is also run in The Netherlands and Mexico.

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