Are you one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies?

The search is on for Ireland’s Best Managed Companies, in association with Deloitte and Bank of Ireland. The awards are now in their 13th year.

Businesses in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are being called for to apply to take part in the 2021 Best Managed Companies Awards.

The programme, now in its thirteenth year, recognises the high standards, passion and resilience of indigenous businesses and their management teams.

“The programme supported more than 100 Irish companies as they navigated through the uncertainty brought by the pandemic”

The Best Managed Companies network in 2020 comprises of 130 companies across a range of sectors representing 27 of the 32 counties of Ireland, with combined total revenues of €11.4bn, export sales of over €3bn and employing approximately 42,000 people.

Navigating a disruptive time

“2020 has been a challenging year for many businesses and sectors, and through that period we have seen how indigenous businesses have gone the extra mile across a range of sectors to continue to operate, manufacture and deliver goods and services in a very disruptive operational environment, while keeping their people’s and customers’ safety as their top priority,” said Anya Cummins, Lead Partner, for for the Best Managed Companies Awards Programme and Head of Deloitte Private.  

“We recognise that the impact of the pandemic varies significantly sector-by-sector, and this will be taken into consideration in assessing applicants this year. We look forward to recognising and celebrating teams who have pivoted their businesses through one of the most testing times in memory, with strong leadership and resilience.”

In addition to the recognition that comes with qualifying as a Best Managed Company, applicants to the programme are coached through the application process by consultants from Deloitte and sponsor Bank of Ireland.

Coaching not only helps companies to formulate their final submission for judges’ review but ultimately gives teams 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, which is particularly important in this time of market volatility, disruption and opportunity.

“Celebrating the stellar work done by Irish businesses over the past year is just one purpose of the Best Managed Companies programme,” explained Nikki Canavan, senior director, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking.

“Every year participating companies benefit from coaching and specialist feedback from programme sponsors, the value of which has never been as striking as in 2020, when Irish companies in every sector faced extreme market volatility and were forced to adapt their ways of working due to the onset of Covid-19. The programme supported more than 100 Irish companies as they navigated through the uncertainty brought by the pandemic, and will continue to do so as cases continue to rise and with the Brexit transition period now having come to an end.”

Evaluation framework

Under the Best Managed Companies evaluation framework, applicants will also be encouraged to share how they have responded to the impact of the pandemic – including examples of how they have protected their people and their communities in this highly challenging economic period – and are encouraged to share their stories of resilience, adaptability and innovation.

This year will also see the introduction of a new category award for the Best Managed Family Business, in association with the Family Business Network Ireland.

Long-standing Best Managed Companies Wisetek and Combilift are just two of the many exemplary responses to the pandemic that Irish companies showed in 2020. Cork-based IT solutions company, Wisetek repurposed one of its production lines in 24 hours to help assemble ventilators, with supportive firms providing the necessary components, while Monaghan-based forklift manufacturer, Combilift devised a splitter device that turns one ventilator into multiple ventilation stations.

Other companies in the Best Managed Network include Chanelle Pharma, Waterwipes, CMS Distribution, Musgrave, Fexco and new winners in 2020, eShopWorld and Frylite, to name but a few.

Speaking about the programme, Eamon McCay, Managing Director, Frylite – which was awarded as a BMC for the first time in 2020 – said: “The Best Managed programme helped us take a step back and analyse our business through a more strategic lens, which proved very timely heading into what turned out to be a very difficult set of market conditions for our industry. Given these circumstances, we’re looking forward to the requalification process and to learning more as we engage with the programme again.”

For further information and details on how to enter the awards, visit The closing date for Phase 1 entries is Friday 26 February 2021. Companies that progress to Phase 2 of the application process will be notified in March with the winners to be officially announced at the annual Gala Awards and Symposium in September 2021.

Main image at top: Anya Cummins, Lead Partner for the Best Managed Companies Awards Programme and head of Deloitte Private. Picture: Jason Clarke

By John Kennedy (

Published: 18 January 2021