Founded in 1978, this employment agency originally provided technical, engineering and IT staff for clients like BP, Network Rail and Shell. NES of Altrincham, Cheshire, now has 20 offices worldwide and manages more than 3,000 white-collar contractors in 40 countries— its overseas business produces about a third of the group’s profits. In 2006, chief executive Neil Tregarthen led an £86m secondary buyout, backed by Graphite Capital. Increased hiring in the energy sector and 2012 Olympics construction projects lifted 2007 sales to £217.1m.
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