Derby rail sector specialist on track for growth following MBO

A Derby-headquartered recruitment and performance consulting business specialising in the rail, mechanical engineering and digital sectors has been bought by its management team in a seven-figure management buy-out (MBO) backed by Allied Irish Bank (GB).

With a track-record spanning over 10 years, Ford & Stanley is based at Pride Park, Derby with offices in London and Birmingham. The business has an annual turnover of over £10m and currently 30 employees across its divisions: Ford & Stanley Recruitment, Talentwise and GENIUS Performance. The company’s client base spans rail, digital, infrastructure and sports sectors.

Founded by Peter and Kate Schofield, who will continue to play a meaningful role within the business, the MBO team comprises Chris Jones, Dan Taylor, Sam Ford and Eoin Grindley.

Dale Cowdell, relationship manager at Allied Irish Bank (GB) in Nottingham, which has provided debt funding for the MBO and working capital facilities, said: “In the last three years sales at Ford & Stanley have grown by 300 per cent, and the business’s continued emphasis on providing high quality recruitment services combined with its diversification into complementary arenas such as training, occupational mental wellbeing and performance support are certainly bearing fruit.

“Chris, Dan, Sam and Eoin are exemplars of the strong management teams we seek out in the businesses we back and we look forward to working with them as they take the business forward to the next stage of growth.”

Peter Schofield said: “The management team will provide energy and focus for the Group recruiting business, allowing me to concentrate my energies on the performance, mental health and leadership side of the business with GENIUS Performance Ltd. 

“I am delighted at the way everyone worked together to make this happen and would like to specifically acknowledge the contribution of Andy Delve of Smith Cooper for his guidance and advice over the past 25 years in helping us reach this point.”

Allied Irish Bank (GB) was introduced to Ford & Stanley by Neil Wade of Independent Banking Professionals in Nottingham. Fraser Brown provided legal advice to the Bank, with the vendors advised by Simon Davers of Geldards and the management team advised by Fraser Cunningham and Mark Wilcock of Smith Partnership.