Niall Craven and Peter Collins left the consultancy practice they founded to help an acquaintance manage an ailing hotel he’d bought for rollover tax relief. By 1997, the two, along with a third partner, had seven hotels from Cambridge to Nottingham, 281 employees and 75% of the company. Management Services International’s (MSI) chief strategy involves identifying old hotels with character that can be picked up at a good price. They then turn them into professionally-managed hotels, while attempting to leave the family-run business charm intact. Riding the wave of a swelling economy has also helped grow sales from £544,000 in 1994 to £5m in 1997.
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