Changes at Exclusive Group Designed to Fuel Growth

Channel veteran Neil Ledger moves upstairs into new role guiding organic growth strategy; Barrie Desmond takes up reins as new COO

Exclusive Group has announced changes to its management team that underline its commitment to aggressive revenue growth and value with existing vendors. Having for many years headed up the Exclusive Networks UK business and driven it to 100m€ revenues, subsequently joining the Group management team to drive success internationally, Neil Ledger will now take on a reduced, more strategic role to oversee the next phases of organic growth on an increasingly large scale. The move sees Barrie Desmond stepping into Ledger’s shoes as Chief Operating Officer, kick-starting an immediate search for a new VP/Director of Marketing & Business Development.

“With our 2017 target of 1bn€ revenues rapidly approaching, we are planning for growth beyond this horizon by strengthening now to embrace our future as a truly global player in value-added services,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Networks Group. “Our latest half-year results have outperformed both the market and our own projections, but it’s the organic growth performance that really stands out. Neil and Barrie are a proven team, charged with continuing this success, and myself and the board are excited at the prospect of them working hand in hand.

“The achievements of the business to date are testament to a bold and ambitious plan that we’ve managed to execute very well,” said Neil Ledger. “Taking up this more strategic position gives us more resource as a team to ensure our existing vendors and territories are maximised for value and revenue. The Exclusive Group project has been both exciting and rewarding and I’m hoping to continue to contribute to what is an amazing journey.”

Neil Ledger will continue to steer the Group’s impressive organic growth in his position as Non-Executive Director and member of the board, with Barrie Desmond leaving his position as Director of Marketing and Global Accounts to become COO. The transition follows Nicolas Trombert and Julien Antoine’s appointments to the management team, to spearhead acquisition strategy and global business transformation respectively.

In parallel with organic growth objectives, the expansion of Exclusive’s international footprint to over 22 countries has come largely as a product of its ongoing acquisition strategy that, with last month’s purchase of Australia/New Zealand VAD WhiteGold Solutions, now sees the Group able to serve the Asia-Pacific region. Assuring the orderly transformation of service capability in step with this progressively more global presence is another key priority for the business.

“Following on from Neil’s tenure will be no mean feat,” said Barrie Desmond. “But having worked with Neil for over 20 years I’ve learnt a lot, and I’m confident and excited about the challenges ahead. Neil’s new role means guidance and counsel will be ever-present and, with our management due to be bolstered even further with a new executive, we’re certain that this strengthened leadership team will boost momentum, and ensure that our ambitions remain achievable.”

Exclusive Group’s Accelerated Organic Growth Beats Forecast

Group posts 232m€ revenues for H1 2014; up over a quarter on same period last year

Exclusive Group is staying ahead of projections with its latest round of financial results showing growth remains on target to hit ½ billion€ by the end of 2014. The 232m€ revenues for the first six months of 2014 are 5% ahead of expectations, and up 27% on the same period last year. Margins for the period were sustained and in line with expectations. The figures are positive proof of the Group’s continuing acquisition drive but, importantly, also reflect higher than expected organic growth brought on by stronger trading conditions in territories experiencing economic recovery, and continued strong vendor performances outperforming market rates.

“Organic growth has been well ahead of our expectations, and this is coming from many sources; strong performance in core vendors like Fortinet, Arbor, FireEye, and Palo Alto Networks; a return to growth in our southern European business; and a tremendous amount of traction in our Big Technology venture that targets the datacentre transformation market,” said Olivier Breittmayer, CEO of Exclusive Group. “Recent acquisitions to grow the Exclusive family are also performing well, and have extended our geographic footprint across EMEA and now into Asia-Pacific with the recently announced acquisition of White Gold, the highly successful Australia and New Zealand based security VAD. This market diversity has the effect of making us even more resilient to regional economic variations, whilst strengthening our proposition to our vendor portfolio, many of which outperform market growth rates.”

Barrie Desmond, Group Director for Marketing & Global Accounts commented, “For several years the Group’s long-term ambition has been the nurturing and innovation of value-add services to vendors and partners whilst offering accelerated scale and reach. The recent addition of two strategic geo-regions and continued investment in talent, back office and logistics continues in step with our robust financial performance and serves as testament to the continuing vision and ambition differentiating us in the market place.”

The figures stated are like for like, inclusive and adjusted for acquired companies, thereby representing a true reflection of actual performance.

Concluding, Breittmayer added, “As our investment strategy continues to target sustainable growth both organically and through acquisition, we always keep our unique principles at the forefront of our minds and give partners all the benefits of true value-adding expertise.”