Adam started his career as a Lecturer in Thermodynamics (the study of the interchange of heat and energy). He was appointed by an agency of the MOD to design and build secure internet infrastructures. Following this he founded aql in 1999 as a domain name registrar and email and web hosting company. By mid 2000, aql was listed in the top 3% of registries (sales by volume of .uk domain names, source – Nominet UK annual statistics 2000-03) which enabled the company to invest heavily into telecoms infrastructure expansion, entering the mobile messaging market in 1999, with direct connections to the UK mobile network providers. Further expansion into wholesale telecommunications in 2003 allowed aql to create a full telecommunications network capable of supplying UK telephone numbering to the broadband industry to fulfill the growing demand for broadband voice “VoIP/IP Telephony" services. aql now hosts close to 90 Million telephone numbers for the UK IP telephony industry, one of the largest wholesale operators in the UK. Adam is regarded as one of the UK's authorities in datacentre security and datacentre efficiency. He has a holistic knowledge of communications, spanning many verticals.
Adrian founded the Arena Group as a six person start-up in 1991, after spotting a gap in the market for a company wanting to trade ethically and win long-term customer partnerships. Initially Arena’s business was primarily in servicing photocopiers; 25 years on, through a mix of organic growth and acquisition, Arena employs over 160 people across six regional offices and turns over in excess of £19m. With a portfolio covering print, copy and software for digital document management, the business now specialises in end-to-end solutions addressing every aspect of document creation, processing, storage and retrieval. Arena has won awards including The Times Best Company to Work for and numerous accolades for customer service excellence. Adrian attributes Arena’s ongoing success to the dedicated team of employees who lend the business a unique culture, customer-centric ethos and broad skill set. This high regard for quality people sees employees remaining with the business for many years – often welcoming family and friends into the fold. The future looks bright for Arena as it embarks on an ambitious plan to grow 10% pa over the next 5 years, through organic growth, acquisition and diversification.
From 1991 to 2010 grew a skills training business from 6 staff (£250k turnover) to 850 staff (£46m turnover). Inspired and envisioned the team to deliver what seemed impossible. In 2006 Adrian sold the majority stake in the business for an 8 figure sum. From 2007 to 2009 he turned around a second loss making (employment) business into a £4m EBITDA business. In 2007 Adrian diversified the business into recruitment to complement the skills training business. He acquired 2 businesses, stripped out cost, integrated them into the core business and grew turnover and EBITDA. Adrian raised group EBITDA organically from £4m to £8m to £13m in consecutive years to 2009. Re‐financed the business in 2009 ‐ paying a dividend to shareholders of £15m. Now ESG, Employment and Skills Group with a £46m turnover. Successfully lobbied senior civil servants and MP’s on behalf of the employment and skills sector. 2011 Awarded an OBE for "services to skills and training.
Alan was the joint founder and Chief Executive of Techtran Group Ltd, the first company in Europe to offer a complete outsourced technology transfer function to universities. Techtran was acquired by IP Group in 2005. IP Group is the largest and most successful investor in technology start-ups based on scientific research in the UK and has now backed over 100 such companies. Under Alan's leadership the IP Group has grown rapidly and is now a Footsie 250 company. Alan has unique experience of the challenges facing companies with strong intellectual property but limited markets and the issues of bringing new products to market successfully. From 1995-2002 Alan was a partner in KPMG and holds a BA in Economics from the University of Leeds and a MBA with Distinction from the University of Bradford. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a non-executive director of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).
Qualified as a lawyer but soon left that profession to take over control of the family Toy Company where he stayed until 2006, when the company was sold to the management by which time it had achieved a turnover of £80m. In 2002 he purchased out of Administration Silver Cross, the famous pram company, and was Chairman and sole shareholder from 2006 until it was sold in 2015. Alan during that time built Silver Cross into a quality British brand with a turnover in excess of £20m, supplying nursery products in over 50 countries worldwide and is the only pram manufacturer left in the UK.
Alex joined his stepfather's business, W.E. Rawson Ltd, in 1985 when sales were £4m. Alex became MD in 1998, sales this year are £73m. The company has 3 product lines, the traditional business of fibre fillings for furniture and bedding, heavy duty carpets and linings for pipes mainly sewers. The company employs 220 people in Yorkshire, 120 in the USA and 30 in India.
Their typical lead time is 3 days and they aim to have a small number of high value customers for each product line. The company has made several acquisitions in recent years both in the USA and UK; Alex spends a lot of time in the USA and elsewhere overseas.
Andrew was a founder member of Zenith Provecta in 1989, when he joined as Fleet Sales Executive. He progressed through the ranks to Sales and Marketing Manager and then Director, until his promotion to Managing Director in 1998. Andrew guided the company through four MBOs so has extensive experience of private equity and venture capital. He led the acquisition of Provecta Car Plan in May 2008 and the partnership with Morgan Stanley in 2011. Andrew was involved with, and for a long time responsible for, the growth of Zenith to a turnover of over £600m. Andrew left Zenith in 2014 and then became Executive Chairman of FMG Group, a vehicle claims management and vehicle recovery business which he took from £22m turnover in 2014 and 350 employees to a company which in 2015 will hit sales of £100m and a workforce of 290.
Andrew is the founder of three technology businesses with his last company, RandomStorm Limited, being acquired on the 18th December 2014 in a deal worth £10m. Andrew took this business from 2 staff to just over 60 in under seven years all through organic growth. Growth of technology based startups are what drives Andrew and in 2016, Andrew and Robin Hill started Rapid Spike, which provides monitoring of your website and other online services. Andrew is technical by trade and has achieved many professional qualifications and is the author of seven Cisco Press Books; two McGraw Hill Books, numerous whitepapers and articles and most recently co-author of "Social Engineering Penetration Testing", published by Elsevier in June 2014. Andrew won the Insider magazine's Yorkshire Digital Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2014 and gained an MBA from Leeds University in 2014.
After working in a variety of parcel delivery businesses, Andy started Leeds Parcel Company ("LPC") in May 1999 funded by 4 shareholders. The company started with 3 people, Andy himself, his daughter Lindsey and one other. Over the following 18 years LPC grew steadily and now has 7 depots across the North East of England and Scotland. One of the keys to the success of the companies in the LPC Group is that the managers of the depots and of the trading divisions meet monthly to iron out any issues and plan future growth. The shareholdings in the various depots and divisions are held by a holding company; the turnover of the group is over £40m and has 450 employees.