CO-FOUNDERS Ian Mattioli and Bob Woods were today honoured by the Prince of Wales. The two men, who set up the company in a converted garage more than 25 years ago, were presented with MBEs by Prince Charles in an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. They were named as recipients of the awards in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of their “services to business and the community”. Today, both were given their insignia by His Royal Highness in front of their proud families in the palace’s elegant ballroom, built in 1854. Mr Mattioli, chief executive officer of Mattioli Woods plc, said afterwards: “It was an amazing occasion, a real mixture of excitement and adrenaline, but at the same time incredibly humbling. “It was so nice to be there alongside so many people who were being recognised for their selfless actions, ordinary people who give freely of their time and efforts yet seek no reward”. Both men chatted with the Prince of Wales for 30 to 40 seconds as he pinned on their awards and asked about their achievements. Former chairman Mr Woods, now senior adviser to the company, said: “He was extremely friendly, with a real mischievous smile. He wanted to know whether our community services tied in with the business. “To be there, surrounded by so much history, and to think we were a small part of it was an incredible feeling and something I’ll always cherish”. Ironically, two clients of the company were also among the recipients at today’s ceremony as the honours were handed out. Mr Mattioli said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many families here, all sporting big booming smiles, as their relatives have been honoured”. Mr Woods added: “It has been a real celebratory atmosphere, but at the same time incredibly moving. Something neither of us will ever forget”. As today’s ceremony unfolded at Buckingham Palace, staff throughout the group celebrated with commemorative cake marking the royal occasion.