Jim Durkin, Cenkos

“Access to capital, together with entrepreneurial and managerial talent, has been, and will continue to be, a critical enabler of growth”

Sponsor foreword

We are delighted to be sponsoring the third edition of London Stock Exchange Group’s report showcasing companies to inspire Britain. Since the publication of the first edition in 2013, the UK economy has continued on its path to recovery across a range of businesses. Access to capital, together with entrepreneurial and managerial talent is a critical enabler of this growth.

Looking ahead, we feel optimistic about the UK business environment and prospects. Domestic demand growth remains strong, business investment is at its highest level since 2007 and levels of unemployment have fallen consistently. In addition to this, we have seen a recent upward trend in productivity, which we expect to continue fuelled by investment and increased capacity utilisation.

We recognise the challenges presented by the current weakness in emerging markets and the political uncertainty around the globe but feel confident that UK companies are well positioned to operate and create opportunities in this environment, and to prosper in the medium term and long term. 

The local equity markets represent a competitive advantage for businesses in the UK, particularly in the case of smaller companies where London Stock Exchange’s AIM is unmatched. Equity finance has always been an ideal way to fund growth companies. It is permanent capital that takes a long view and which provides a continuous funding ladder to be used time and time again as companies mature. In 2015, £34.5bn was raised in the London equity markets. This compares with £32.3bn and £28.5bn in 2014 and 2013, respectively.

We continue to see investor support for promising businesses with ambitious managements. In 2015, Cenkos raised in excess of £3bn for its clients, reaching a total of around £15bn since inception in 2005. We are proud to have contributed to the success of some of the companies highlighted in the following pages from executing an initial IPO to raising the capital and providing the advisory support for ambitious corporate transactions. Our clients are representative of the sector and regional diversity of the 1,000 companies and our efforts are aligned to meet their needs. In 2015, we established an office in Liverpool to serve the North West, complementing our existing presence in Scotland.

For the past ten years, Cenkos has been committed to bringing together capital and enterprise and to play an ongoing role as a leading stock broker in fostering shareholder returns. This effort sits at the core of the virtuous cycle of investment and reinvestment in the leading businesses of the future.   

Jim Durkin, CEO, Cenkos

Accelerating Growth

Cenkos Securities is helping some of the UK's most promising businesses realise their potential

Cenkos Securities is an independent, specialist securities firm. Like many of the companies profiled in this report, we are an entrepreneurial, growing business.

In our short history we have raised around £15bn for our clients through the public markets in order to fund and accelerate their growth. In 2015 alone we raised £3bn. 

“The UK equity capital markets provide an excellent source of funding for UK businesses with ambitious plans”

Through London Stock Exchange’s AIM and the Main Market, the UK equity capital markets provide an excellent source of long-term funding for UK businesses with ambitious plans. The UK markets benefit from an exceptionally strong base of institutional investors who understand and support growth companies. Their commitment spans many decades and has been essential in scaling up promising businesses to become industry leaders.

  • £3bn – The amount Cenkos raised for its clients in 2015

Since inception, Cenkos has been active in advising and raising funds for some of the most successful businesses in the market, from technology to support services, and from small companies to large.

These have recently included the AA, British Car Auctions, Benchmark Holdings and Restore. Across the page we share with you the story of Benchmark and Restore, businesses that have been identified as companies to inspire Britain.

Setting a new benchmark


Benchmark is a pioneering company in the aquaculture, agriculture and animal health sectors. It was founded in 2000, with the vision to build a profitable business based on the growing need to create a sustainable and ethical future for global food production.

With five divisions and bases in 27 countries, Benchmark engages with major industries to help repair and build a global food chain that is more efficient, economical, ethical and environmentally friendly, and that can serve the future of humanity.

Benchmark’s success can be attributed to the early decision to participate in the aquaculture, sustainability and technical knowledge sectors. This, coupled with a high level of reinvestment and management’s ability to move quickly to grab opportunities, has allowed Benchmark to position itself as a leader. It listed on AIM in 2013 with the objectives of accessing capital to fund its ambitious expansion plans, enhancing its profile with customers, partners and suppliers and attracting high calibre talent.

Building a national leader


Restore has grown rapidly over the last six years to become the UK’s leading provider of office services. Its biggest business is records management – the storage of hard-copy documents – where it has actively consolidated its sector through acquisition to become the second-biggest operator behind Iron Mountain.

At the same time, Restore has broadened the range of services it provides to encompass secure document shredding, scanning, IT recycling and office relocations – its Harrow Green business is the UK industry leader. Restore’s stock market value has shown tremendous growth, rising from £8m in 2010 to around £300m today. CEO Charles Skinner says: “One of our key aims has been to build a truly national network, so that we are able to offer customers with a national presence the opportunity to consolidate their supplier base. Moreover, our services are inter-related, with a similar channel to market – the IT and facilities managers responsible for keeping the workplace running smoothly.

“Not only do we benefit from very long-standing customer relationships, particularly in records management, but we are also increasingly seeing the opportunity to sell our clients our full service offering.”

  • www.restoreplc.com
  • Sector: Professional Services
  • Region: South East England
  • Revenue: £50m to £75m