THE London-based Severn Group was founded in 1988 by Jonathan Ward to provide consultancy, training and auditing services for high-technology projects that were being launched by established companies. Ward was later joined by his wife Lesley and another three directors. Severn recently opened offices in Frankfurt and New York and its clients include leading financial-services companies such as ABN Amro, Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch. Rapid expansion with blue-chip clients has led to sales increasing 72% a year, from £820,000 in 1996 to £4.1m in 1999. ‘We are a lot more flexible and responsive when it comes to replying to a client’s needs,’ says Lesley Ward. ‘Big organisations simply don’t have the speed of manoeuvre.’
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