Are you best in class? Applications open for Deloitte Best Managed Companies programme

Pictured at the headquarters of Frylite in Strabane are its finance director Josephine Penrose (centre) with Aisléan Nicholson, partner at Deloitte (left) and Danielle Whoriskey from Bank of Ireland

A CALL has gone out for companies in Northern Ireland to apply for a long-established programme which celebrates the hard work, passion and tenacity of indigenous businesses and their management teams.

Deloitte has opened the application process for its 2023 Best Managed Companies Awards programme, now in its 15th year and which is sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

The Best Managed Companies network currently comprises 136 firms across a variety of sectors, including 30 based in Northern Ireland. Between them, they have a turnover of €13.9 billion and provide 51,000 jobs across the island in sectors ranging from retail and hospitality to manufacturing and construction.

Nine new companies were added to the list last year, including three from the north -Larne-based quarry and mineral processor Kilwaughter Minerals; specialist building façade designer and manufacturer Clarke from Ballymena; and Newry-headquartered waste management group Re-Gen Waste.

Aisléan Nicholson, lead partner for the Best Managed Companies programme at Deloitte in Belfast, speaking at Strabane-based cooking oil supplier Frylite, which first achieved Best Managed status in 2020, said: “We’re consistently impressed with the standard of applications for our programme and I’m excited to see the calibre of businesses who come through this year.

“The process is rigorous and challenges the management teams to demonstrate strategic thinking and ambition.

“Over the last 15 years we’ve seen great change in what constitutes a best managed company but one trait we continue to see in successful businesses is their ability to adapt strategies based on their external environment. Northern Ireland companies in the network have continued to go from strength to strength and we hope to welcome more new entrants this year.”

Applicants to the programme can expect to receive dedicated coaching from Deloitte and Bank of Ireland. The application process provides participating companies with the opportunity to analyse their entire business, including performance, management practices and goals, which is a vital exercise for any company.

Danielle Whoriskey from Bank of Ireland said: “We are looking forward to seeing Northern Ireland companies continue to demonstrate that they are ambitious and worthy of being named Best Managed Companies.

“As businesses face new and growing challenges, it is more important than ever that management teams show agility and long-term strategic thinking as they lead their companies. We’re excited to celebrate and reward their innovation and resilience.”

The closing date for phase one entries is Friday February 24 (details at Companies that progress to phase two of the application process will be notified in March, with the winners officially announced at an awards dinner in September.