Ryman named year's top company

Ryman Healthcare, Port of Tauranga, Fonterra and ASB are among the big winners in the Deloitte/Management magazine Top200 Awards.

Ryman was named Company of the Year, Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns took the Executive of the Year title, Fonterra's Sir Henry van der Heyden was named Chairperson of the Year, and Kaiwhakahaere (chairman) Mark Solomon of the iwi authority Ngai Tahu was awarded the Visionary Leader title.

The announcements were made tonight at a gala dinner at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland.

Deloitte chief executive Thomas Pippos saluted the winners and finalists as some of New Zealand's best home-grown businesses and individuals, calling them the who's who of the business community.

"With their staggering growth success, Ryman leads the group of world-class Kiwi enterprises that were recognised tonight. Together, the winners and finalists make a vital contribution to New Zealand's economy and hold the keys to our future prosperity," he said.

Judges said Ryman deserved the Company of the Year title because it reported "a record profit on top of a decade of record profits".

This feat of consistent double digit growth is not only remarkable in New Zealand but is achieved by few companies worldwide, they said. The business is now expanding globally, but in a measured and sustainable way. "It performs outstandingly well in a very competitive sector."

Executive of the Year winner Mark Cairns was highly regarded by the Port of Tauranga board, leading a management team that "exceeded expectations" in meeting the challenges of the past year, while still delivering a strong performance. 

The grounding of the Rena and the port's response to containers diverted from Auckland during industrial stoppages proved Cairns' "outstanding ability to drive a future-focused strategy while maintaining the day-to-day focus on customer needs," said the board's chair, John Parker.

Sir Henry van der Heyden's leadership of the Fonterra board had been outstanding this year, judges said. Sir Henry has twice previously been a finalist in the Chairperson of the Year category. His leadership had delivered the giant co-operative's Trading Among Farmers Scheme that will be critical to Fonterra's equity raising capability in the future, they said.

He had also completed one of the most important of all governance tasks - the transition to a new chief executive.

This year's Visionary Leader, Ngai Tahu's Mark Solomon, was "unquestionably one of the most constructive players involved in trying to deliver a positive, fair and enlightened future for New Zealand".

Investment returns from Ngai Tahu's substantial business activities were outstanding. But while commercial success was critical, from Solomon and the iwi authority's perspective that success was the means to secure financial, cultural, physical and spiritual wellbeing for future generations.

"The awards fairly reflect where New Zealand business has been and, more importantly, where it's going," said NZ Management magazine publisher Toni Myers.

"The primary sector is most strongly represented by our largest organisation, Fonterra, but it is undergoing significant change to ensure its continued growth and strength.

"Likewise the export sector will always be critically important to us as a small trade-dependent nation so strong performance from our transport and logistics sector will underpin our future fortunes. And with demographic shifts the demand and requirement for well-managed aged-care provision signals an upward trajectory for that sector."

The Top200 award winners

  • Deloitte/Managementmagazine Company of the Year: Ryman Healthcare Group
  • Deloitte/Managementmagazine Executive of the Year: Mark Cairns
  • NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year: Glenys Powell
  • QBE Chairperson of the Year: Sir Henry van der Heyden
  • ilume Best Growth Strategy: Mainfreight
  • Marsh Most Improved Performance: Port of Tauranga
  • Institute of Directors Responsible Governance Award: ASB Bank
  • Designworks Visionary Leader Award: Mark Solomon