Education's Entrepreneurs

19th December 1997 at 00:00
Name:RAY MERCER. Age:31. Name:JOHN HEFFERMAN. Age:35

Qualifications: joint owners of supply agency Capstan Ltd. Moved into the education business five years ago when they saw a gap in the market. The existing private supply agencies already operating were often run by former teachers. The two recruitment professionals realised their expertise could give them a competitive advantage. Their annual turnover is now at Pounds 15m and is set to rise to Pounds 25m

Name:KEVIN McNEANY

Age:54

Qualifications: founder of and major shareholder in Nord Anglia Education. He is one of the few teachers whose professional background has helped make him a millionaire. He left his secondary school job 25 years ago to teach English to overseas students, then established his own worldwide chain of TEFL schools. By the beginning of this year his company also owned 15 independent day schools and 18 nurseries, and had won contracts to inspect scores of schools and train almost 1,000 nursery inspectors. When Nord Anglia was floated on the Stock Exchange in the spring Mr McNeany was said to be worth Pounds 7m.

Name: FRANK BELL

Age:64

Qualifications: owner chairman and managing director of Castle View Services Ltd. Established his contract catering company in 1964, and spent almost 20 years working for business and industry. But after the firm won its first school meals contract in 1982, its focus began to change. Last year the business and industry catering division was sold off. A facilities management division has now been established to provide a wider range of services to education. Castle View now caters solely for schools, generating a turnover of almost Pounds 50m a year.

Name:NEIL McINTOSH

Age:50

Qualifications: chief executive of CFBT Education Services. Moved into education after serving as director of VSO and director of the charity Shelter. CFBT, which provides a wide and widening range of educational services, 5 non-profit making but competitive and hungry for expansion. Staff numbers at the head office in Reading have grown from 12 in 1990 to 50 today. Its turnover is approaching Pounds 40m. Mr McIntosh expects his schools services division to grow - and fast.

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