Zimbabwe-born former Harrod’s manager Stephen Sellers admits he wasn’t an ideal banking customer. So it came as no surprise when his local bank manager showed him the door after Sellers asked him to fund his start-up recruiting company. Undaunted, he used some remaining overdraft from his own account, and rang up an additional £10k on a Gold MasterCard. Since Computappoint’s founding in 1991, sales have grown to £6.8m in 1997. Customers include Citibank and Merrill Lynch. Like most of the chief executives on this league table, Sellers is hardly some remote figurehead. He works 12-hour days and still accounts for 60% of sales. “I’m still very much hands-on,” he says. “Giving away regular customers to other people is difficult. It’s not so much trusting people as it is getting them to do it right. And customers don’t like it.”

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Company details
Year1998
Rank81
CompanyComputappoint
ActivityRecruitment agency
LocationLondon
Annual sales rise over 3 years71.76%
Latest sales £000s6,836
Staff16
Founded1991
Websitewww.computappoint.co.uk

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure