When London-based IRG took over Barclays’ share registration service in 1996 it saw its business triple. It is now the third biggest player in the share registration market, maintaining share registers for more than 1,000 clients in every industrial sector, including many companies listed in the FTSE 100. IRG was formed by the merger of two long-established share registration companies in 1991, and has grown primarily through acquisitions. Chief executive officer Stanley Davis says that growth was helped by the decision on the part of several leading banks to leave the industry when the Bank of England legislated in 1995 that share settlement should be made more efficient by computerising it. Many banks were shy of making the necessary investment in new systems and pulled out of the business, thus reducing competition. Having made the initial outlay on computerisation and data input, IRG saw its profits rise by 101% pa, from £1.1m in 1996 to £8.6m in 1999, while turnover in the same period increased by 57% pa to reach £21.4m. In April this year IRG sold to outsourcing group Capita for £100m. Founders Stanley Davis and Nigel Lindsey-Fynn stand to make £95.6m from the deal.
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