GroupBC appoints Wes Simmons as new CEO
Simmons appointment enables founder Sanjeev Shah to focus on building new strategic industry partnerships.
The previous CEO and GroupBC founder Sanjeev Shah remains a board director, and will be focusing on expanding the company's relationships with industry partners. Simmons will take over the day-to-day operational management of the GroupBC business.
Simmons started his construction career as a quantity surveyor and has worked in construction IT for major corporates including SAP, Unisys and Misys. As MD of Eque2 for four years from 2013, he grew the business from a £5m business to one generating annual revenues of £15m.
Simmons has also worked with private equity partners to grow businesses the size of GroupBC into more successful and more valuable assets through both organic growth and mergers and acquisitions.
"With Eque2 and GroupBC sharing some investors, the board identified that the next stage in GroupBC's growth needed a sustained focus on instigating and building relationships with new industry partners. Sanj has led the development of current strategic partnerships with firms like PCSG, Wienerberger and IBM, and we believe he will help GroupBC extend its reach both across the industry and geographically, including internationally."
A founder of the GroupBC business – initially known as Business Collaborator – in 1998, Sanjeev Shah steered the company through several changes of ownership, and in November 2014, led a management buyout of the GroupBC business from Unit4. Under his leadership, the business's revenues grew to £3.795m in the year to 30 November 2016, increasing sales by 33% and boosting profitability by 77% year on year. In the past two years, GroupBC has nearly tripled its headcount, from 20 to 55 employees. Recent new customers include retailers Sainsbury's and JD Sports, and Jarvis Construction.
"Since the MBO, we have doubled revenues, and more than doubled the number of employees. Have already seen the benefits of our existing industry partnerships, I wanted the board to invest further in our partner channel strategy. They readily agreed to this on condition that it was led by a senior director of the business – and I am pleased to be leading this next stage in the company's growth, including expansion into overseas markets."
• GroupBC (http://www.groupbc.com) was founded in 1998 as part of the software solutions arm of the Enviros environmental consulting and software group. It traded initially as Business Collaborator, and underwent several changes of ownership – CodaSciSys, Coda plc and Unit4 Agresso – before a £4 million management buyout, backed by YFM Equity Partners, in November 2014.
• Software – GroupBC was one of the UK's pioneers in construction collaboration software with its core application, BC Enterprise (previously Business Collaborator)
• Customers – Long-standing GroupBC customers include Thames Water, Balfour Beatty and Costain, while the company has also expanded successfully into the retail sector, supporting projects for, among others, Sainsbury's, Monsoon and JD Sports. Over 15,000 companies access GroupBC's platform each month to share and collaborate on some of the UK's most prestigious projects.
• Partnerships – GroupBC has developed industry partnerships with construction consultancy PCSG, building materials specialist Wienerberger and IT giant IBM, among others. It is also expanding its portfolio of technology partnerships, working with vendors including CEMAR, Basestone and Opentree to offer construction-