10. Trustmarque

clock • 2 min read

Invoiced revenue: £461.4m (+39%)         

Staff: 382

Trustmarque is now "more than just a Microsoft house", CEO Ben Richardson told CRN in an exclusive Top VARs interview.

The York-based outfit more than doubled in size during its six-year stint under Capita, which ended on 1 April 2022 when the outsourcing giant offloaded it to One Equity Partners as part of a non-core disposal strategy. Its invoiced revenues climbed 39 per cent to £461.4m in calendar 2021 as Capita dressed Trustmarque ahead of the deal (business transfers made included trade for the final quarter of the year of a networks and testing business). Strong UK public software sales also contributed to the growth.

Richardson revealed that the Microsoft, Cisco and Dell partner is actively on the lookout for M&A under its new backer.

Q&A with Trustmarque CEO Ben Richardson

What does the Trustmarque business look like now it's emerged from Capita?

What went in is quite different to what came out. When I took it over (in January 2020), it was about 220 people working inside Capita, as a reseller. What has come out of Capita is a 400-person organisation. People historically know Trustmarque as a Microsoft house.

Microsoft is still a key part of our business, but we also have the Cisco Gold partner with us and the Dell Titanium partnership, which is a big part of us, and we work with a lot of other vendors as well.

In the process of leaving Capita, through some internal M&A we also brought with us the penetration testing team, which really supported our cyber presence, as well as a business called Acutest, which is a software testing business. We're looking to broaden out our services, and it's no coincidence that in both those areas there's an awful lot of professional and managed services.

Have your priorities changed since the ownership switch?

We've moved to a world where the question is ‘why not?', not ‘why?'. We have a well-known owner who believes in investment in the business to ensure it grows. We're in a buy-and-grow strategy, so we are currently investing inside the business - in our technical practices and our service delivery - as well as looking at external acquisitions to complement what we're trying to do.

Just this month, you acquired software asset management consultancy Livingstone. More generally, where will you focus your M&A attentions?

We're looking at cyber and around managed services, and we have this big connectivity business that's come with us with the Cisco Gold partner. So we're looking across all of those areas, both on market and off market. We are very much open for business on M&A.

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