Sheffield Forgemasters’ chief executive Professor Graham Honeyman has been named CEO of the Year at the prestigious national Private Business Awards.
Prof Honeyman took the top boss honour at the awards, sponsored by PwC in association with HSBC Private Bank, set up to highlight the cream of the UK’s privately owned businesses.
Amid an uncertain economic backdrop, the awards at the Guildhall in London saw a further strengthening of the presence of manufacturers among the nominations and winners, reflecting the sector’s growing importance to the country.
Prof Honeyman said:
“Most of what we have achieved has been through motivating a workforce to deliver at the highest level and continued investment so that we can make the most advanced, biggest and best products for our chosen sectors.
“I am delighted to receive this award in such esteemed company. I hope this can act as an incentive for other UK manufacturers to aim high and position the country at the apex of the manufacturing world.”
The third year of the event proved to be its strongest to date, with a record 700 nominations.
Charlie Hoffman, managing director at HSBC Private Bank (UK), who headed the judging panel, said:
“We were not looking for the largest, we were looking for the best – we wanted to see companies that had solid cash flows, a strong market position, growth in products or services, and excelled during 2012.
“We wanted to see a motivated management, businesses with a long-term strategy, those that were ambitious, and that support their local community – British businesses that punch above their weight.”
Other companies winning awards on the night included Ella’s Kitchen, Hotel Chocolat, BrewDog, Jamie’s Italian and Dr Martens and R Griggs Group. Sheffield Forgemasters was one of just two Yorkshire companies to be shortlisted.
In February this year, Graham was appointed chair at the University of Sheffield’s management school.
In May 2012 he was named the winner of the Bessemer Gold Medal by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) after his work was judged to have promoted the manufacture of engineering components to national and international importance.
Previous to this, he was presented with the silver medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering, a CBE for his services to the steel industry and was named Overall Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors in 2010.