In 1990 Gary Smith got canned from his job as an IT contractor for Midland Bank when the bank’s acquirer decided to bring the work he and other contractors were doing in-house. Smith called up his childhood friend Jerry Cave, then a chartered accountant at KPMG, and suggested the two of them sweep up all of the newly displaced contractors at Midland and start a company. Cave agreed. While continuing his day job, he devoted his evenings to helping Smith launch Plan-Net Services. To make sure the company was not at the mercy of tide changes like the one that originally displaced Smith, the pair created a flexible array of offerings, says Cave, who joined full-time as financial director in 1995. Plan-Net provides IT installation services, consulting, a help-line, and recruitment services. With sales of £4m in 1997, Midland Bank is one of its main customers.
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