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Firms awarded in prestigious KEiBA business awards

28 June 2013
by Trevor Sturgess

Employer of the Year Gerry Humphreys and Lizzie Smith-Foreman from Markerstudy with Russell Bell

Employer of the Year: Gary Humphreys and Lizzie Smith-Foreman from Markerstudy with Russell Bell

A firm that likes to put fun into insurance scooped a premium double on Kent’s business night of the year.

Markerstudy Group, based in Sevenoaks, was named Large Business of the Year and Employer of the Year in the fifth annual Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA).

The KEiBA 2013 logo

The KEiBA 2013 logo

Words such as “fun” and “funky” are not normally associated with the insurance world but that is how a judge summed up this double-winner.

It employs 2,000 people and is known mainly for Markerstudy Insurance and Zenith Insurance which underwrite motor products. It also owns Auto Windscreens.

More than 500 guests attended the glittering gala dinner of KEiBA - produced and staged by the KM Group and Kent County Council and now firmly established as the county’s premier business awards. This year’s contest attracted a record entry across 14 categories.

KEiBA Gala Dinner 2013

KEiBA Gala Dinner 2013

Kent Event Centre, Detling, was transformed last night for the black-tie occasion and studded with sparkle and dazzle. Giant white letters spelling out K – E – i –B – A formed an impressive backdrop to the stage. Winners were picked out by spotlights as they paraded along a catwalk to accept their handsome glass trophy crafted by Maidstone artist Annie Ross.

Geoff Miles, chairman of the judges, said the awards just got better and better. “But then I cannot say I am surprised. For me, it’s all down to the attitude of the Kent people. Kent for me is God’s country - it has the best of the best.”

He added: “These awards symbolise the spirit of our business community and the thousands of hard-working people who make Kent and Medway a beacon of business success.”

Customer Service and Commitment Jason Crow, centre, from Better Body Shop with Roger Pitt and Julia Inshaw

Customer Service and Commitment: Jason Crow, centre, from Better Body Shop with Roger Pitt and Julia Inshaw


Jason Crow, managing director of The Better Body Shop, winner of the Customer Service and Commitment Award, declared: “It’s a fantastic event.”

The evening was hosted by Paul Hendy, whose Kent-based company Evolution Productions produces pantomimes for the Marlowe, Canterbury, and other leading theatres.

Trevor Sturgess who won the outstanding contribution award

Trevor Sturgess who won the outstanding contribution award

He donated his fee to Dave Lee’s Happy Holidays charity in memory of the late Kent comic. 

During the evening, nearly £3,500 was raised for the Kevin Lynes Apprenticeship Scheme, and Beanstalk, a children’s literacy charity.

Trevor Sturgess, KM Group business editor, won a KEiBA for his Outstanding Contribution to the Business Community.

The awards were sponsored by Aon, Santander, MidKent College, Ward Security, Southeastern, Hadlow College, Brachers, Vertex Law, University of Kent, Kent Reliance, Skanska, Kent County Council, asb law, Kent International Business, HSBC, Headley Brothers, EMC Business Management and Corporate Finance, the Institute of Directors, Lloyds TSB, The Kent Foundation, and Kent County Council Skills and Employability.  

Click here for more pictures from the KEiBA award ceremony

  • For a full report and picture special see next week's Kent Business.

The KEiBA award winners of 2013 


Large Business of the Year

Markerstudy Group, Sevenoaks

SME Business of the Year

Component Force Ltd, Rochester

Start Up Business of the Year

indEx Enclosures Ltd, Ashford

Best Leisure and Tourism Business

Howletts & Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, nr Ashford

Best Science and/or Technology Business

Aquaread Ltd, Broadstairs

Best Land Based Business

Chapel Down (English Wines Plc), Tenterden

Business Commitment to the Community

Golding Homes, Maidstone

Business Commitment to the Environment

Canterbury College, Canterbury

Customer Service and Commitment

The Better Body Shop, Sevenoaks

Employer of the Year

Markerstudy Group, Sevenoaks

Success in International Markets

Scarab Sweepers Ltd, Tonbridge

Entrepreneur of the Year

Gary Mayatt, Enevis, Dartford

Young Entrepreneur

Owen Hunnam, Vine Publishing Ltd, Sevenoaks

Apprenticeship of the Year

Amelix Ltd/Nathan Jenks, Whitstable

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