Managing Director of Banner
Banner is a market leader in the contract supply of business products and services in the UK and Ireland. From its roots in office supplies, Banner has expanded its range of business critical services to include secure document destruction and managed communication. Banner has also created a new Closed Loop™ recycling service which allows customers to buy back their confidential waste paper as recycled copier paper.
Banner is the largest subsidiary of the office2office plc Group, which employs over 900 people throughout the UK and Ireland. It has locations nationwide, with the head office based in Norwich.
Sharp business sense and a keen eye for opportunities single out Blair Ainslie as the inaugural winner of the director of the year award. He has successfully steered Seajacks from start-up a $100m business and from being a quoted company to private equity ownership. His vision for how to take the company forward will see Seajacks move into a broader range of operations and the launch of third vessel in its fleet next year. His passion for his business is matched only by his desire to see Great Yarmouth fulfil its potential as the UK's centre of renewable energy operations – and a modesty that prompts him to play down his own contribution to Seajack's success and hail the hard work and achievements of colleagues.
FINALISTS:Blair Ainslie, Seajacks
Blair Ainslie is one of the founding directors of what has become one of East Anglia's success stories. The firm's innovative lift-boats are much sought-after mobile platforms - originally intended for use in the North Sea oil and gas industries, but which have now in great demand by the offshore wind industry. Mr Ainslie's leadership has seen the firm move from concept to a fleet of two vessels, with a third under construction. But he has also led the firm from quotation on the Oslo stock exchange to its purchase by private equity.
Graham Hacon has built a multi-million pound global operation from a standing start in 2008. Passionate about the energy industry and retaining skilled people, Mr Hacon has won business across international markets and with some of the biggest names in the industry. As well as rapid organic growth, Mr Hacon has led 3Sun through the acquisition last year of Argyll-based Dawson Energy, He has also created new revenue streams by creating solutions to problems identified by customers - moving into the inspection has well as maintenance business.
When David Matwij arrived at Hain's food factory in Fakenham in 2008, a question mark hung over the future of the business. Since then, under Mr Matwij's leadership, the firm has turned around multi-million pound losses. Mr Matwij has removed complexity from the firm's management processes and its production operation. Jobs have been secured and Hain has won new business with the major supermarkets. Mr Matwij has also seen the development of new business with a move into dessert products.