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Ireland's Best Managed Companies Awards Programme 

Ireland's Best Managed Companies Awards Programme is Deloitte’s flagship programme recognising excellence in privately owned companies across the island of Ireland.

Launched in Ireland in 2008, Ireland’s Best Managed Companies programme has recognised superior business performance in Irish and Northern Irish privately owned and managed companies. It is the only awards scheme on the island of Ireland that considers a business’ performance from every perspective. Entrant companies compete for this accolade in a rigorous process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices against the best private companies in the world. Companies are coached through the application process by expert consultants from Deloitte who will help formulate their approach to completing their submission. This is a valuable process as it ultimately gives management the opportunity to take a step back from the day to day and hold a mirror up to their business, their performance and their business plan.

The winning companies are made up of new applicants who have successfully qualified as a Best Managed for the first time along with re-qualifying companies who have qualified to maintained their Best Managed status year on year. Those who are successfully awarded as a Best Managed Company are celebrated at the annual Gala Awards and join the elite Best Managed network.

Key Benefits

The benefits of applying - that’s right, you benefit even if you don’t win! 

  • Coaching your way to success: One to one coaching from expert Deloitte advisors to fine tune your application before it goes to the judging panel. 
  • Excellent opportunity to take time out of the business to review your organisation, your business plan and bring the management team together for some business planning sessions; supported by experienced business consultants. 
  • Shine a light on current best practices and areas for improvement,

The benefits of winning

  • A global mark of excellenceWinners increase their market visibility and credibility through exclusive use of the Best Managed Companies designation. This is an important marketing tool for your business, both nationally and internationally. Also, as the award recognises the entire company - not just one individual – internal stakeholders and staff will share in the success.
  • Coaching your way to success: If your initial application for the programme is successful, your company will receive exclusive and personalised coaching sessions from Deloitte. Not only is this a chance to fine tune your application before it goes to the judging panel, but it is also an excellent opportunity to review and revaluate your business strategy and help with a future development path for your organisation. Even if you company is not among the final winners, you are guaranteed to benefit from the business expertise and benchmarking gained during the coaching process.
  • A network like no other: Winning companies become part of the network of Best Managed Companies with access to exclusive year-round events and networking. Moreover should you be a successful finalist, you will have the opportunity to attend the Gala Awards Ceremony, recognised as one of the most important events in the Irish business calendar.
  • Publicity you can't buy: You will also enjoy excellent public recognition and profile through our media partner, The Business Post, including a special Best Managed Companies supplement. Winners also receive extensive coverage in national and local media, giving them an enhanced ability to attract and retain top talent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application process?

To be considered for Best Managed Companies, new applicants must go through a two phase application process.

Phase I

Companies are required to complete a Phase I application to determine
eligibility. Companies will be notified shortly thereafter if they have been
shortlisted for Phase II.

Phase II  

Companies shortlisted for Phase II of the application process are asked to
complete a second more detailed submission. Companies must demonstrate how the organisation is meeting and mastering its growth strategy and will be evaluated under a proven framework. Companies will be assigned coaches from Deloitte who will help them formulate their approach to completing the submission. The coaching offers an independent view on the business and allows companies to benchmark their performance.

Who can apply?

Eligibility criteria for entering the programme are as follows:

  • Companies must be Irish or Northern
    Irish, substantially privately owned, managed and controlled (incorporated in
    either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland,
  • Have a turnover in excess of €25million/£21million
  • Be established for at least five years
  • Demonstrate superior performance over the past three years (in relation to their peers

The following companies are ineligible;

  • Public companies
  • Foreign multinational’s and their subsidiaries
  • Credit unions / insurance companies/ banks
  • Charities, not for profit organisations and their subsidiaries
  • Government - owned/public sector agencies
  • Partnerships

Who sits on the Judging Panel?

The multi-disciplinary judging panel conduct the application review and winners selection. The judging panel will chaired by Frank Ryan (IDA) with other judging panel members:

  • Cathy Bryce (Managing Director, AIB Capital Markets)
  • Professor Anthony Brabazon (Dean, UCD Michael Smurfit Business School)
  • Orla O'Gorman (NED & former Head of Listing, Euronext)
  • Ellvena Graham (Chair of Tourism NI)
  • Lionel Alexander (Chair of Intact Software)
  • Feargal Mooney (formerly Hostelworld)
  • Sarah Murphy (CEO, Business Post)

What is the Family Business Award?

The Family Business Award is presented in partnership with the Family Business Network Ireland recognising a standout family business who has qualified as a Best Managed Company. Entrants must complete specific section of the application form to be considered for this Award.

Is this awards programme new in Ireland?

The programme is active in 46 countries with more launches planned. Ireland’s programme launched in 2008 and is the second longest running programme after Canada where the programme has been running since 1993. 

What makes this programme unique?

It recognises the achievements of management teams, not just individuals and is the only awards programme in Ireland that recognises overall business performance.

What decision criteria are used to determine a Best
Managed company?

The judging panel will examine companies under the four equally weighted pillars of

1) Strategy

2) Capability and Innovation

3) Culture & Commitment and

4) Governance and Financial performance.

Is my revenue growth sufficient for qualification? 

Financial growth is a key attribute, but it is not the sole criteria under which you are judged. We also include measures for strategy, culture and commitment and capability and innovation in awarding successful applicants.

Is there a programme application fee?

There is no cost to participate in the program.

Will this take up a lot of my time?

We have taken care to streamline the application process. If you progress to Phase II, specified information is required for evaluation purposes. However your team will be guided through this by experienced coaches and the return on investment is evident.  

Will my company's financial information become

No. The confidentiality of your financial information is vital to the integrity and
continued success of the programme. Only your coaches that work directly with
you and the judging panel will review sensitive information.

Can a company win a Best Managed Companies award more
than once?

Yes. Winners have the opportunity to requalify as a Best Managed Company after their initial win, subject to an annual and operational and financial review. Requalifying companies retain all of the benefits of being an award winner and have the opportunity to work towards the prestigious Gold Award (4 consecutive years as a Best Managed) & Platinum Award (7  consecutive years as a Best Managed) Awards, leading to more media coverage and encouraging continued commitment from staff and

What are the different Award Levels?

Companies are awarded based on the number of years that they have successfully qualified for the programme.

  • Year 1 - Best Managed new winner
  • Year 2 & 3 - Best Managed requalifying winner
  • Year 4 - Gold Standard winner
  • Year 5 & 6 - Gold Standard requalifying winner
  • Year 7 - Platinum Standard winner
  • Year 8 and beyond Platinum Standard Requalifying winner   

What is the privacy policy regarding handling of my information?

More information about how Deloitte will handle your information is set
out in our Privacy Policy, viewable on Deloitte Ireland LLP Privacy Notice

When are the 2024 winners announced?

Winning companies will be invited to celebrate their success at the annual Gala Awards Ceremony to be hosted in Dublin on 19 September 2024.

Who attends the Awards Ceremony?

The Gala honours all winning companies from across the
country and is attended by new, requalifying, Gold Standard and Platinum Club companies and the programme sponsors. Best Managed Companies honours and celebrates the achievements of the entire organisation. Invitees are also welcome to bring along their management teams and other guests including clients, suppliers, vendors and any other business associates to join them in celebrating their company’s achievements.


For further information please contact: iebmc@deloitte.ie

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