Selig and Aitken joint Power 50 winners

IVE Group executive chairman Geoff Selig and chief operating officer Matt Aitken were named the joint winners of the 2018 ProPrint Power 50 at a cocktail party attended by close to 100 people at the Cruise Bar on Sydney Harbour.

The win caps off a stellar year for the publicly listed company and sees Selig rise from 8th spot last year with Aitken leaping from 17.

The Power 50 – which acknowledges the leadership and innovation of Australian printers – has been running for eight years but this is the first to be held under the new ownership of the Printer Media Group. A panel of 20 judges voted for each nominee with the tallied results verified by auditing firm PKF.

“I couldn’t be happier to be sharing this award with our chief operating officer Matt Aitken, we are very close personally and we’ve also worked very closely over the last 20 years,” Selig said after accepting his award.

“It’s been a huge year for the IVE Group. A lot of initiatives that have all gone well for us and it’s nice to come together with others in the industry in this sort of environment.”

Selig also thanked sponsor Konica Minolta for its support of the Power 50.

“I acknowledge Konica Minolta for its ongoing support of the industry and for this function," Selig said.

[Full 2018 Power 50 list:]

Both Selig and Aitken paid homage to the company’s 1800 staff who they said do a fantastic job every day looking after IVE’s 3000 customers.

“I’m very grateful to Geoff for the support he has shown me and the team and the group. As Geoff said we’ve known each other for over 20 years and we’ve done some phenomenal things together and this evening is really a crescendo moment around being recognised together,” Aitken said.

Real Media Collective chief executive officer Kellie Northwood, who advocates for all things paper and print, placed third, while John Wanless, the owner of Melbourne printer Bambra Press was fourth with Whirlwind Print chief executive officer Andrew Cester in fifth.

Selig and Aitken’s shared win punctuates a mammoth year for IVE Group, which through a series of acquisitions and site developments has invested the best part of $200m into Australian printing.

It opened the third jewel in its high capacity crown, the $53m Franklin WEB facility at Sydney’s Huntingwood, in November complementing its other high capacity site at Melbourne’s Sunshine and Silverwater’s Blue Star Web.

It also has invested $10.4m in a new 16 page web offset press for Blue Star Web with plans to invest $5.5m in additional high speed continuous inkjet at Blue Star Direct.

Business developments, including the acquisition of direct marketing business Sema and Sydney based Dominion Print Group in the previous financial year, have fed a healthy bottom line with IVE’s revenue jumping 39.9 per cent to $695.4m and its EBITDA at $73.3m, up by 32.4 per cent this year.

IVE places a large focus on staff wellbeing and has implemented a Diversity and Inclusion Program, which Aitken has strongly championed in addition to his other external roles including deputy chairman of the Real Media Collective.

Aitken is also an ambassador for Man Anchor, started by Steven Gamble of Bottcher, centred around improving men’s mental and physical health, while also actively supporting RUOK? Day and implementing a mental health first aid program at IVE.

Rounding at the rest of the top ten is Kevin Slaven, chief executive officer at PMP who finished sixth, while one of Australia’s most awarded printers for 2018, Theo Pettaras of Sydney’s Digitalpress, was seventh.

Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) chief executive officer Andrew Macaulay, who advocates for printers at federal, state and local government level and was unable to attend the Power 50 event due to a dinner engagement with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, placed eighth, while Pegasus Print chief executive office Wayne Finkelde finished ninth.

Peter Orel, the executive chairman of Finsbury Green, finished in 10th spot.

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