UKFast family firms yield results

Article date: Tue, 01 Nov 2016 17:05 GMT

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE is hailing the early success of a number of the lesser-known brands within the UKFast stable, which have been spun out into their own legal entities.

By separating areas of the UKFast operation into individual registered businesses, Jones is creating more opportunities for top talent to develop leadership skills, increasing staff retention. The businesses include building and office refurbishment firm UKFast Space, technology magazine BusinessCloud and cyber security and ethical hacking specialists Secarma.

UKFast Space is in line to become a registered firm in its own right this year and employs the team responsible for the award-winning refurb of UKFast Campus in Manchester and the transformative refit of Jones’s stunning après ski bar and hotel, Le Farinet, in Verbier, Switzerland.

 Jones said: “As UKFast develops, there is incredible talent and amazing leadership flourishing in every corner of the business. To retain that talent and grow great leaders we are creating opportunities and challenges, allowing people to develop quickly. It’s a business model based on freedom and trust and it’s proving to be a great success. Talent creates this kind of incredible momentum and energy that is driving our expansion.

“All of the companies within the UKFast family were born from the needs of the main business. We bought Le Farinet in Switzerland to neutralise costs of staff training and team building weeks, turning a negative into a positive. Now, the hotel turns over around £3 million a year and has an incredible leadership team in place.”

Another company, graduate recruitment and headhunting firm MySort is on track to handle 12,000 applications for UKFast alone and will soon be opening the door to external clients to provide cost-effective talent search and recruitment for business.

The largest parallel company in Jones’ portfolio is security consultancy, Secarma, which acquired ethical hacking and security specialists Pentest Ltd in June this year. The move adds over 50 ethical hackers and a list of global clients to the firm’s books and marks the first in a series of planned acquisitions.

Jones said: “Secarma is the perfect example of this business model working in practice. Several years ago our clients were telling us that they needed dedicated security solutions, so we created a new arm of the business and at the same time created opportunities for our team to flourish. The business is going fantastically well and is on track for impressive growth in the current year.”      

UKFast has enjoyed 17 consecutive years of organic growth, generating revenues of £34.3m in 2015, and is on track to achieve £40m this year. The firm employs over 300 staff at its campus HQ in Manchester.

Following the incredible success of UKFast’s summer festival, UKFest, the firm is considering options for the development of a full commercial festival in Cheshire next year. 

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