This year marks the 30th anniversary of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, celebrating excellence among private Canadian-owned enterprises with revenue of $50 million or more. We profile 29 newcomers in a wide array of industries, from seafood processing and bookselling to data centres and scrap-metal recycling—plus one quirky family-run retailer that makes zero sense on paper but has a die-hard fan base that just keeps growing. These companies join 456 repeat winners that must requalify each year to stay on the list.
Established in 1993, Canada’s Best Managed Companies, presented by Deloitte, recognizes excellence among private Canadian-owned companies. The Globe and Mail’s first is the program’s media sponsor.
To be eligible for the Best Managed program, companies must be headquartered in Canada and have revenue of $50 million or more. They also must be privately owned, including private-equity portfolio companies, Canadian-owned co-operatives or those that are foreign-owned with Canadian-based headquarters; private companies where the management team resides in Canada; or closely held Canadian-owned public companies with fewer than 50% of shares or units traded.
Each applicant undergoes a multistep evaluation of their management abilities and practices across four pillars: strategy, culture and commitment, capabilities and innovation, and governance and financials.
In terms of strategy, Canada’s Best Managed Companies must have a formal methodology for strategy development, ensure the strategy reflects all stakeholders, have the right capabilities and metrics in place to execute, and clearly and consistently communicate the strategy to all levels of the organization.
Best Managed Companies must also prove their culture and commitment by building a strong corporate culture and legacy, actively develop their people and leadership team, provide a holistic compensation system, and address continuity issues with the company.
To show their capabilities and innovation, Best Managed Companies develop valuable capabilities and resources, are highly execution-oriented, are focused on productivity and innovation, and are thoughtful about hiring the right people to execute their business model and strategy.
For the fourth pillar, governance and financials, Best Managed Companies are expected to install strong governance structures, use key performance indicators to manage their progress, maintain a strong balance sheet, and apply the financial discipline required to drive revenue growth, improve operating margin and increase asset efficiency.
For 2023, there are 30 new Best Managed Companies on the total list of 486. The remaining 456 companies are divided into three groups based on the number of years they’ve been included in the program. Best Managed winners: two to three years; Gold Standard winners: four to six years; Platinum Club members: seven-plus years.