A Birmingham claims management firm has doubled its workforce following a £12.3 million management buy-out engineered last year by private equity specialists Gresham.
Quinton-based Lanes Assistance Services has seen investment in IT, telephony and other infrastructure pay off handsomely with a big boost in business and staff numbers.
And the firm, which arranges claims for building repair work, now plans to double in size again within the next few months, according to managing director Darren Cooper.
“I set the business up four-and-a-half years ago. We were based in Manchester and the senior management team were all from Birmingham.
“The business had got to the point where we were starting to stagnate a bit.
“We completed the MBO on April 1 last year and the company was renamed Lanes Assistance Services.
“Since then, we have increased our staff by 100 per cent, with 90 in Birmingham and 20 in Manchester.
“We now have a couple of contracts pending with a couple of other large insurers; we would hope to see 200 staff in Birmingham within the next three to four months.
“The focus is now very much on Birmingham.
‘‘The investment from Gresham means that we have been able to invest in IT and telephony.
“Our turnover will be somewhere in the region of £30 million this year and next year we would hope for that to be £50 million.’’ he said.
Paul Franks of Gresham said: “This is a good buyout story.
‘‘Private equity has a relatively tainted image, you tend to see the negative stuff. But it’s about finding raw talent, professionalising it and selling it on as a much better business.
This is about improving the quality of the business we invest in.”
Darren Cooper added: “This was a bit of a leap of faith for us. LAS would not be in this position of growth if it were not for Gresham.”
LAS has now launched a new roof survey product for its insurer clients and a new professional services division. It has also introduced five new people to its senior management team.