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The most highly-regarded managers in the marketplace are Yitzhak Tshuva, controlling shareholder of the Delek Group, and Nochi Dankner, the owner of the vast holding company IDB, according to a survey conducted by the business information firm BDI among 500 senior managers.

Dankner and Tshuva were followed by Eli Hurvitz, the man behind Teva Pharmaceutical Industries - he had been chief executive for more than 20 years before passing the scepter to Israel Makov and assuming the chairmanchip of the board. Makov last year suddenly passed the scepter on again, to Shlomo Yanai of Makhteshim Agan fame.

Also on the list of heavyweights who earned respect are Lev Leviev, who bought Africa Israel Investments and grew the company from a plant into a forest, and the chief executive of Bank Leumi, Galia Maor.

Amos Shapira won tremendous respect as CEO of El Al Airlines, whence he changed flight suit and took the helm at cellular Services provider Cellcom.

Ofra Strauss, of the Strauss foods group, features alongside Israel Makov (yes, the one from Teva), Erez Vigodman (who works with Ofra Strauss) and Amikam Cohen, another cellular powerhouse. According to the survey, Arcadi Gaydamak joined the list in the 41st place. The managers were rated according to their financial and marketing successes.

The leading companies were Teva and Partner, followed by Africa Israel, Delek, Strauss and Cellcom. Check Point was added to the list among the top 10 firms, after rising from 13th to the 8th place, while the IDB Group placed 10th in the Bdi Code 2007, it fell to number 13 this year, despite Nochi Dankner's top ranking among managers this year.

One outstanding company whose rating rose significantly this year is the Blue Square grocery chain, which managed to move from the 70th to the 32nd place, despite tough competition in the grocery chain industry, and in the midst of a stormy year in the chain's top management.