The winning firm, Stephens Scown, has embarked on a truly transformative journey in the last few years. The judges were most impressed by their compelling submission, which described their refreshingly and authentically different management approach that has delivered excellent all-round results. Their ‘organic growth, regional focus’ strategy is bearing fruit, with turnover increases significantly outstripping the sector, client satisfaction running high and staff numbers up by 75%. Of particular note are Stephens Scowns’ new employee ownership scheme, a ground-breaking initiative to be proud of, and the firm’s high ranking in the 2016 Sunday Times 100 Best Businesses to Work For feature.
From left: Austin Healey, Robert Camp and Margaret O’Donoghue (Allied Irish Bank)
The last year for Smith & Williamson, the runner up in this category, has been an exciting one, characterised by significant management change, technological innovation and high profile new strategic partnerships. While operating across multiple sites and business streams brings its own challenges, the firm’s submission provided clear evidence that it is an exceptionally well-managed, growing business. The judges found the clear focus and integrated approach to achieving their desired positioning of the ‘go-to-firm for growth businesses, their owners and investors’ a most compelling narrative.