Two former managers at SThree recruitment (parent of Progressive Computer, which was No 1 on the Fast Track 100 14 years ago), Peter Hart and Derek Simpson, founded Reading-based Austin Fraser in 2007 in a rent-free garage. The firm specialises in making permanent and contract placements in the IT, engineering and renewable-energies sectors, almost exclusively south of Birmingham. It says it invests heavily in staff training and career development. Sales grew 142% a year, from an annualised £500,000 in 2008 to £7.1m in 2011, thanks in part to repeat custom. The firm plans to open a Munich office soon.
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