Directorbank keeps growing

Leeds and London-based Directorbank has achieved its strongest year of growth since it was set up eight years ago, particularly tapping the growing market in appointments of independent, high achieving non-executive directors.

In September Directorbank added to its own team with the appointment of John Pearce, a well known and senior figure in the finance director recruitment market. He is the fourth senior recruit in the last year, two others having set up satellite Directorbank offices in Scotland and the north west of England.

John Pearce joins from the financial recruitment specialist ECHM, which was sold to AIM-listed Imprint plc earlier this year, to lead and develop Directorbank’s finance offering. Pearce trained with Arthur Andersen and has 14 years’ financial and accounting recruitment experience with organisations including Michael Page and Hays. In the last five years he has placed more than 80 senior financial candidates in to a wide variety of roles across Europe for FTSE 250 plcs, larger private businesses and SMEs.

Total turnover at Directorbank is up 24% on the previous year and operating profits are up 55%. Growth has come from all areas of the business: placements of chairmen and chief executives for VC-backed deals are up 30%; corporate appointments of both executive and non-executives are up 35% and the events management side continued with strong performance.

Directorbank is retained by more than 50 private equity houses; KKR, the American LBO firm is the latest to sign up. The retainer allows private equity firms to have constant access to Directorbank’s database of 2,500 top directors interested in leading, chairing or becoming a non-executive for management buy-ins and buyouts.

Chair appointments have been made for houses including ABN AMRO Capital, Granville, Hermes, Cazenove, Dunedin and LDC. Directorbank found three chief executives for MBIs who were critical to deal completions: Peter Selkirk at Taylor Continental Holdings; James Wilson at Palletways; and Tony O’Neill at The Original Factory Shop.

Directorbank worked with Neil Utley of Cox Insurance to source funding of £430m to take the business private.

Elizabeth Jackson, managing director of Directorbank, said: “The Higgs Report that called for more diversity and independence in non-executives has been a real opportunity for us.”

Directorbank organises networking events for management buy-ins and non-executive directors, including MBI Friday lunches in cities across the country for candidates interested in taking part in management buy-ins.