LDC Top 50 2020

The LDC Top 50 2020 - Champions of Ambition

Our third annual search for the Top 50 began shortly before COVID-19 struck the UK; it was uncertain whether the awards could - or should - go ahead. But, once again, the sheer number and calibre of the leaders nominated confirmed that British ambition is alive and well. We received an incredible 350 nominations, and it was never more difficult to choose just 50.

The LDC Top 50 Award Winners - revealed!

Watch our editor-in-residence Rebecca Burn-Callander as she reveals the individual award winners for this year’s Top 50, including the highly coveted Most Ambitious Business Leader award. These individuals wowed our expert panel of judges across several categories, including resilience, innovation, making a difference and international ambition.

Watch the video
The Most Ambitious Business Leader

Fokhrul Islam

CEO, Global Procurement Group (GPG) – UK trading arm Northern Gas and Power (NGP)

The Most Ambitious Business Leader of 2020 is Fokhrul Islam, CEO of Global Procurement Group (GPG), with its UK trading arm Northern Gas and Power (NGP). In under a decade, he has built a global group of companies. He impressed the judges with his energy procurement and management platform, which is generating international traction and helping 20,000 customers of all sizes reduce their energy consumption. If there's one person in this year’s Top 50 that personifies ambition, it's Fokhrul Islam.

Read more
read more arrow
Award for International Expansion

Marisa Hordern

Founder, Missoma

Marisa Hordern, Founder of Missoma, wins the International Expansion award for her ambitious international outlook and track record for growth in exports. Missoma sells “demi-fine” jewellery – priced between £50 and £350 – direct to consumers online. The judges praised her success in foreign markets, including China. Last year, exports rose almost 350pc.

Read more
read more arrow
Award for Resilience

Brigitte Read

Founder, Snag

Resilience is a required trait during a pandemic and Brigitte Read epitomises just that. Her inclusive tights business, Snag, ran into difficulty during lockdown. But Brigitte dug in and her loyal customers supported the business, with 2020 now set to be its best year yet. Today, the brand boasts 1m customers worldwide and is outselling every rival except M&S and Primark in the UK.

Read more
read more arrow
Award for Innovation

Dr Graeme Malcolm OBE

Founder and CEO, M Squared

Dr Graeme Malcolm OBE was difficult to beat in our Innovation category. He created M Squared to create the world’s purest light, which he’s now using to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems, from killing coronavirus to helping track climate change. The judges labelled Graeme a ‘true innovator’. He not only has the ideas and the vision, he has proved he can execute: the ultimate test for any innovator.

Read more
read more arrow
Making A Difference Award

Nick Hynes

CEO, Somo

The Making a Difference award goes to Nick Hynes of digital transformation specialist Somo. Many entrepreneurs care about giving back but Nick has made it his mission in life. Whether it's his work founding a digital board for the NSPCC, or his partnership with The Prince's Trust to provide advice, mentoring and encouragement, Nick has consistently made a difference to so many young people during his career.

Read more
read more arrow
Highly Commended – Ones to Watch

Pippa Begg & Jennifer Sundberg

Co-Chief Executives, Board Intelligence

The judges chose Jennifer Sundberg and Pippa Begg, Co-CEOs of Board Intelligence for the Highly Commended One To Watch award, the leaders destined for great things. They are changing the game on how boards operate, providing products and services to help unlock board potential. They have already quadrupled their client roster in three years.

Read more
read more arrow
Rising Star

Maxine Laceby

Founder and CEO, Absolute Collagen

Maxine Laceby, Founder of supplement business Absolute Collagen, is named a Rising Star by our judges. She has achieved extraordinary growth in a fast-expanding segment of the beauty market, and the judges love the passion of her army of fans, the Absoluters.

Read more
read more arrow
Rising Star

Rachel Pendered

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Media Zoo

The judges also selected Rachel Pendered, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Media Zoo, as a Rising Star. She is a hugely talented entrepreneur carving out a niche for herself in the creative communications industry and we can’t wait to see what she achieves in the coming years.

Read more
read more arrow
Rising Star

Cassandra Stavrou MBE

Founder, Proper Snacks

Cassandra Stavrou, Founder of health snack brand Proper Snacks is succeeding in an intensely competitive and crowded space. The judges believe Proper Snacks could be one of the super brands of tomorrow which is why Cassandra has been recognised as a Rising Star.

Read more
read more arrow
Meet our full Top 50 ambitious business leaders. These leaders have adapted and evolved their companies in changing times, proving that the pandemic hasn’t curbed the ambition of the UK mid-market. They continue to take considered risks and follow their gut instinct to go for growth, no matter the economic backdrop. Here you can read their inspiring stories of determination, innovation, ambition and resilience.

Meet The LDC Top 50

This year’s Top 50 business leaders have defied the odds in the face of extreme adversity. They hail from every corner of the country and collectively contribute more than £1bn to the UK economy, employing more than 5,250 people. Find out more about our 2020 programme and meet the LDC Top 50 and Ones to Watch for 2020.

Watch the video
Meet the leaders in our exciting and dynamic ‘Ones to Watch’ category. These are the leaders behind tomorrow’s mid-sized firms, growing businesses that are making a big impact on their customers and target markets. These business leaders will be the nation’s principal job creators over the years to come, generating growth and prosperity for the British economy.
Highly Commended – Ones to Watch

Pippa Begg & Jennifer Sundberg

Co-Chief Executives, Board Intelligence

The judges chose Jennifer Sundberg and Pippa Begg, Co-CEOs of Board Intelligence for the Highly Commended One To Watch award, the leaders destined for great things. They are changing the game on how boards operate, providing products and services to help unlock board potential. They have already quadrupled their client roster in three years.

Jane Asscher

Founding Partner & CEO, 23red

Pippa Begg & Jennifer Sundberg

Co-Chief Executives, Board Intelligence

Oliver Breach, James D Marshall & David Mullett

Founders, Pupil

Deepa (Dee) Bulsara

Managing Director, OceanSaver

Mike Callender

Chairman, REPL Group

Juliette Denny

Managing Director, Growth Engineering

Robert Elliott

Founder & CEO, Zinc Network

Michael Frisby

Managing Director, Cobweb Solutions

Michael Gietzen 

Group Managing Director, Identity

David Grimes

Founder & CEO, Sorted Group

Dr. Tim Guilliams

Co-Founder & CEO, Healx

Ian Henderson 

Managing Director, Boiler Plan

Jamie Hinton

CEO, Razor

Zak Johnson

Founder, NAECO 

Gareth Jones

CEO, Global Go!

Praveen Karadiguddi

Founder & CEO, Scrumconnect

Gareth Lewis

Co-founder & Chief Executive, Delio

Amanda Lowe

Founder & Managing Director, Story Comms

Iain McClune

Founder, Whisky Auctioneer

Matt Murphy

CEO, Genba Digital

Vlad Nanu & Andy Rogers

Co-CEOs, Amdaris

Jonathan Petrides

Founder & CEO, allplants 

Richard Proud & Alun Rogers

Co-Founders, risual

Adam Pye

Managing Director, John Pye Auctions

Prof Mark K. Smith

CEO, ContactEngine

Melissa Snover

Founder & CEO, Nourished

Richard Strongman

Managing Director, Harvest Fine Foods

Gregory Sutch

CEO, Intralink

Andrew Talbot

CEO, Custom Gateway

Stuart Thomson

Managing Director, Medovate

Francis Toye

Founder & CEO, Unilink

Paramjit Uppal

CEO, AND Digital

Mike Woods

CEO, Konsentus

Mark Wright

Director, Climb Online