Olly Magnus, CEO of Magnus Group, has been named winner of the Director of the Year award, sponsored by The Churchmanor Estates Company plc, at the Suffolk Business Awards 2022.

Magnus Group is a logistics company offering warehousing, haulage and freight-forwarding services, as well as 350,000sq ft of warehouse space and a fleet of 60 trucks.

Olly bought into Magnus Group and took over as CEO in 2019 after his father Paul, who started the business in 1973, passed away. Olly now leads a team of 150 people in Great Blakenham and Felixstowe and endeavours to follow a ‘people-first’ ethos.

The judges said the recent growth of Magnus Group was “undoubtedly” down to Olly’s “drive and commitment” to the business. They were impressed by his determination to create a company that has clear values and a mission informed by both the leadership team and the staff, and said that he demonstrated to them that people are at the centre of everything both he and the business do.

“It honestly feels amazing and it’s without a doubt the biggest achievement in my business life,” Olly commented when asked how it feels to be named this year’s Director of the Year.

“Buying Magnus Group personally was a massive gamble, but one I thought I could make happen and I would never have achieved this without an amazing team around me who all believed in the project with me,” he added.

“It kept getting mentioned to me that we should enter as the Suffolk Business Awards are such prestigious business awards locally.

“I didn’t think I would win but we entered anyway and the rest is history!”

About the sponsor

The Churchmanor Estates Company plc has for 35 years been one of the foremost commercial property developers in the East of England, renowned for adopting a collaborative approach to the process of property development.

Through joint ventures with landowners, Churchmanor has helped to unlock the development potential of its landholdings, and for individual local and national business, Churchmanor has developed new premises for relocation or expansion, for example the new Birketts HQ in Ipswich.

Churchmanor believe in creating brilliant spaces for work and for life, and has developed over three million square feet of commercial accommodation, which has included research and development parks, business parks, offices, retail and leisure and major town centre regeneration.

The finalists

Brian Keane – Cameron Ventures Group

Headquartered in Mildenhall, Cameron Ventures Group is a hotel group with hotels in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The judges said that it is clear that “people power” is at the heart of everything that founder Brian Keane and the company do and commended its growth despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic.

Jake Nicholls – Tru7

Jake Nicholls is managing director of Tru7, a family business based in Kesgrave that supplies a range of premium plant, vehicles, operators and materials to the construction industry.

Jake’s commitment to staff and “hands-on attitude” impressed the judges, and they said that he demonstrates a desire to build on the company’s existing beliefs whilst embracing new ideas.

Tom West – RentMy

In 2022, Ipswich publican Tom West, who owns the Jolly Good Pubs group, founded RentMy – an online platform that allows people to rent out their belongings.

The judges said that Tom’s passion for the local community “shines through in everything that he does,” from his work with the Jolly Good Pubs group to his vision for RentMy.