Rubicon's ruby anniversary: Employee-owned recruitment consultancy marks 40th birthday

Lloyd Banks, Managing Director, Rubicon People Partnership. Picture: Dorset Biz News.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: May 3, 2022 | Updated: 4th May 2022

“Proud? I feel very, very proud.”

So says Lloyd Banks, Managing Director of Rubicon People Partnership.

This month – May 8 to be precise – sees the 40th anniversary of the Poole-based recruitment consultancy.

Originally founded as Carolyn Ash Recruitment, it was acquired by Lloyd and Jocelyn Browne in April 2000.

Annual turnover has since grown from around £1 million to the current £12 million while the team has expanded from 12 to 34.

It includes Moira Baker, Credit Control Manager, pictured left, who joined the consultancy just weeks before it was acquired in 2000.

Last year Rubicon was one of just four recruitment consultancies in the UK – and the only one on the south coast – to become wholly employee-owned.

All 34 Partners own 100 per cent of the business and enjoy an equal share of the business’s profits.

According to the Employee Ownership Association, employee-owned businesses are more productive, more innovative, and more resilient to economic turbulence.

Of the 6m or so registered businesses in the UK, currently more than 830 are employee-owned with the number predicted to surpass 1,000 this year.

Lloyd, 60, pictured right, served in the Metropolitan Police and also the British Army as a Captain in the Royal Engineers as well as Director Operations for Chubb Security.

Looking to acquire a business 22 years ago the future prospects for the recruitment industry looked promising.

It proved a smart move.

The sector has witnessed phenomenal growth.

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) – of which Rubicon is a member:

  • The recruitment sector employed 110,000 people in more than 30,000 businesses in 2020.
  • The recruitment industry contributed £35.9 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy in 2020.
  • During 2020, recruiters placed an average of 980,000 temporary workers on assignment every day and 450,000 people into new permanent roles.

With the exception of 2020 – and the effects of the pandemic – Rubicon has seen upwards of 20 per cent growth every year since 2013.

But the nature of the business has changed dramatically over the years.

From primarily looking after the commercial and industrial sectors to now encompassing everything from logistics and distribution to creative, finance and digital.

Lloyd said: “We have clients now across the UK but we have no intention to open offices outside Dorset.

“Success has meant that we’re consistently recognised as the trusted recruitment partner and staffing supplier to numerous successful businesses in the south and beyond.

“We have extremely high professional standards with integrity, happiness and positivity at the core of our cultural identity and we all enjoy working with, and helping, others.

“I believe what sets Rubicon apart from others is our core values, professional competence, high standards, collective sense of fun and innovative candidate attraction methods.”

Lloyd said his biggest personal satisfaction had been to see the personal development and career advancement of team members.

Lloyd with (left to right) Tina Perry, Director, Office Division; Jo West, Director, Industrial Division; Terry Porter, Director, Engineering Divison, and Jess Comolly-Jones, Director, Specialist Sectors Division.

They include Jessica Comolly-Jones, Director, Specialist Sectors Division, and Terry Porter, Director, Engineering Division.

Lloyd said: “Jess and Terry are great examples of how careers have advanced while with Rubicon.

“This is a people business and we have some superb people.

“I feel very proud about the whole team and what we’ve created here.

“Forty years is quite some achievement.

“I feel very confident about the future and that the business will continue to thrive in the coming years.”

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