Brothers Peter and Steve Anthony set up Elan Computing in 1987 with their university friend Andrew Derx after spotting a gap in the market for the provision of skilled IT staff. In January 2000 recruitment giant Manpower paid £88m for Elan after it had achieved 52% pa profit growth, from £2m in 1995 to £7m in 1998. Sales rose by 54% pa in the same period to £142m. London-based Elan attributes its profit increase to early entry to a growth market. It also says that it was one of the first recruiters to specialise in IT, giving it access to lucrative corporate contracts. It claims that it could pinpoint good staff at a time when other recruiters were simply blitzing clients with dozens of poorly analysed CVs. By the time Elan was sold, it had become one of the UK’s largest IT recruiters, with 13 offices and around 2,000 contractors working at any one time from a database of over 150,000 candidates. Manpower plans to rebrand its own IT recruitment activities in the UK under the Elan banner.
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