SysGroup boss charting a course to become an MSP powerhouse

In the eleven months he has been at the helm Adam Binks has set out a course that should see the business expand significantly

It has been just shy of a year since Adam Binks became chief executive at SysGroup and in that time the firm has managed to bolster its position as a leading managed service provider.

When he took up the position the business employed around 60 people and had a market capitalisation value of close to £9m. Eleven months on, with the recent acquisition of Welsh firm Certus IT completed, the staff numbers have risen to 140 and Binks is looking after a £21m market cap company with a revenue run rate of around £22m.

"In eleven months I'm pretty proud of that. It's been hard work," and he went on to talk about the strategy that he is focusing on to keep the growth coming.

"My objective was to put a five year strategy in place for the company so we sat down [after my appointment] and said where do we want to take this market cap AIM listed stock and what does that journey look like for us? So we put a strategy in place that is publicly known and stated as 1023 and what that strategy is that we want to take this company to be delivering £10m of EBIDTA by the end of financial year 23. At that point, given market variables, should see us trading as a £100m market cap company. That is the aspiration and that's what we want to do," he added.

The deal for Certus IT means that the company now has strongholds in the South West, North West, Midlands and central London. Recurring revenues account for 70% of the turnover with the other 30% coming from deals where customers have needed servers, desktops and other kit to support their move to working with a MSP.

Binks has helped refresh the board and brought some fresh expertise into the business with Mark Quatermaine, who was the chief executive of Alternative Networks, joining as a non-exec and Michael Fletcher, chairman of Inspired Energy, who is a serial M&A expert to help with acquisitions. We also brought in Martin Audcent as CFO, who joined from NCC Group and he has a lot of acquisitive experience to really help take us on that journey and grow this business through acquisition.

SysGroup has plenty of experience with acquisitions and Binks views the integration process as key and it is already going through that process with Certus.

"Most people will buy a business then they won't touch it. We are very different to that. Certus will become Sysgroup in the first three months and all of the staff will become SysGroup staff very quickly, so they feel part of the family," he said.

As the Group grows the opportunities for cross-selling also increase and Binks has identified an opportunity there: "Of the core six product sets that are currently offered customers on average buy about 2.4 of those so that shows there is a long way to go".
Binks lists the verticals the firm now has a strong foothold in: financial services, insurance, charity and not-for profit and retail and only last week the business landed a million pound contract with a finance firm that represented net new business.

Looking ahead the fragmented MSP market means that there are likely to be more acquisition targets for Binks and the team to focus in on.

"There are a huge number of self-proclaimed MSPs out there and it is a fragmented market place that is good news for us because we can take a business that might be doing 50/50 in terms of recurring revenue and VAR but once you dilute that into our business it looks very different and it still aligns with our 70/30 split. It is ripe for consolidation and what I am trying to do here is what some of the big boys in the telecoms market did in the last 10 to 15 years and take all these smaller resellers and wrap them up into a much bigger player," he said.

"We don't lead with products. While we have vendor relationships with all the key players and we have really good badges above the door we will never lead with a product...We will sell you a solution," he added "Our sales journey is different to what I see out there. We want to sell a solution and go on a journey with the customer, moving from a capex to an opex model and taking your infrastructure off-prem and into the cloud."

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