Insiders describe Duplo UK managing director Tony Lock as “the driving force” behind recent record-breaking sales figures at the Surrey-based company. With Lock, who is also chairman of PrintIT!, at the helm, the finishing equipment manufacturer achieved £1.6m in sales in March, beating its previous record of £1.5m, which it hit at Ipex in 2010. Described as someone who “gets very involved” with staff development, our source credits him with motivating and inspiring the whole Duplo UK team. Lock’s efforts in this area appear to be paying off, as Duplo UK was named one of Britain’s best companies by the The Sunday Times this year, winning praise for its leadership and staff wellbeing.
Anyone who can grow a printing business from a one-man, single-colour Heidelberg GTO set-up, to a £24m fully fledged direct mail, point-of-sale, book, litho and digital printer is certainly worthy of a place in the Power 100. A great deal of hard work is apparently the secret to managing director Montgomery’s success, as is his straight-talking, no-nonsense style. As a firm believer that honesty is the best policy, Montgomery apparently never sugarcoats the facts when difficult decisions have to be made, such as downsizing the company’s bindery operation and closing the Perth facility. And this is an honesty that makes him popular with employees, suppliers and customers alike.
A new entry this year, managing director of Schawk’s UK office, Rob Moore has worked with the global packaging pre-press specialist since 1998. Previously, the father of two and lifelong Everton supporter was commercial director for Leeds-based packaging repro firm Winnetts, which, along with Seven Worldwide, was acquired by Schawk in a push to expand its UK and European reach. In October 2011, Schawk acquired branding network Brandimage for $25m and the firm continues to maintain its focus on global operations, in which Moore plays a critical role. Colleagues say he likes precision, hates clutter and answers emails on holiday when he thinks his wife isn’t looking.
The brand on everybody’s lips when the UK’s blossoming photobook market is discussed, Photobox has played a key role over the past few years in shaping the evolution of the product. And key to this influence is commercial director Merritt’s belief that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, an ethos that led to the development of the easy-to-use ‘Instant Book’ creation feature. Last year also saw Photobox acquire Moonpig.com and fulfil its highest yearly total of products. Having such a gadget-obsessed “digital native” as commercial director is certainly paying off. Since joining the company in 2007, Merritt has impressed colleagues with his “passion for personalised products” and “wicked sense of humour”.
When the Howard Hunt Group snared the title of Cross-media Company of the Year at the 2011 PrintWeek Awards, few members of the Grosvenor House audience were surprised. Under chief executive Pigott, the company has successfully managed to keep abreast of changes in the fast-moving world of cross-media communications over the past few years, thanks to its investment in new technology and the evolution of its services. While colleagues describe Pigott as “easy going”, the avid Spurs fan must have been pulling his hair out at his team’s inability to land a trophy last season – unlike his business, which also snagged a number of other industry accolades. One can only hope that the pain was slightly alleviated by a chance encounter with his hero Scott Parker.
Rafferty is a man who will give praise where it is due, but also give a dressing down if one is needed, making him an excellent boss to work for, according to one employee. The business has certainly done well this year, capitalising on the demise of Kall Kwik and Prontaprint parent ODC with a white label model attracting that business’s franchisees and launching its ‘W3P’ software that Rafferty boldly claims will give printers a “web-to-print system that works”. Away from print, Rafferty is a keen skier and would no doubt run his empire from Chamonix if he could. He also plays football once a week with a Printing.com team, meaning some employees get first-hand experience of this print player’s tenacity.
- Spending power
- Well connected
- Star quality
- On the up