COMPANY | OF THE YEAR

IT WAS fantastic to see four British companies on the shortlist for business of the year, said the judges.

The Cambridge-based microchip company Arm Holdings, hedge fund Man Group, which started life in the eighteenth century as the rum supplier to the Royal Navy; engineering business Weir Group; and the media giant BSkyB are all doing “terrific things around the world from their bases in Britain”, noted the panel.

Throw in the Dutch-founded global generator rental company Aggreko, which enjoyed strong growth over the last financial year, and this category was tough to call.

After much deliberation, however, the “very well-run” Arm Holdings emerged as this year’s winner – deemed to be “a good example of a British company becoming an international player”.

Arm, which began life in a converted turkey shed 20 years ago and has expanded to employing 1,700 people around the world, is still “under the radar”, said the judges – but that is all set to change following the Las Vegas technology show in January, when Microsoft announced it is designing its new operating system with Arm microchips in mind.

Microchips developed by Arm already feature in 95 per cent of the world’s mobile phones, including the “brains” of the iPhone, the original iPad and the iPad 2.

COMMENDED:

AGGREKO

CHIEF
EXECUTIVE
RUPERT SOAMES

SHORTLISTED:

MAN GROUP

CHIEF
EXECUTIVE
PETER CLARKE

SHORTLISTED:

BSKYB

CHIEF
EXECUTIVE
JEREMY DARROCH

SHORTLISTED:

WEIR GROUP

CHIEF
EXECUTIVE
KEITH COCHRANE