Aware of the huge potential for the business around the world, we supported Blackrock’s overseas ventures, especially in the Middle East. The resulting growth created the need for a new IT strategy, finance and HR function, and we’ve been delighted to help with all three.
In March 2015, we had the opportunity to invest in Blackrock, mainly to support its international expansion plans, building on opportunities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa. The company opened an office in Dubai, which has contributed significantly to total sales in the Middle East, with new markets established in the region, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq. In 2016, Blackrock’s international sales accounted for £22.8 million out of a total of £25.7 million. Up from £7.1 million in 2014, this represents international sales growth of 221% over the two-year period. In April 2017, Blackrock received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade Category.
As the company grew, we supported its developing IT strategy, which included implementing a new customer relationship management database, introducing new accounting and time-recording software, and upgrading IT security. We also helped expand Blackrock’s finance team, to give a solid foundation for further growth – and sourced consultants to build the HR function, and helped with managing people and recruitment.
Blackrock and Dunedin have a lot in common – in the way we run our businesses and our approach to expansion. As David Barry, Principal of Blackrock Expert Services, put it, “We shared with Dunedin a strong cultural fit and ambitions for international growth. We worked alongside Dunedin to develop the infrastructure of our business and to create the very best operating platform to service our customers and clients, both in the UK and internationally.”
During the time we worked with Blackrock, the business was transformed. It grew from a boutique practice with a small number of experts into a forensic consulting business with real critical mass, capable of handling the largest and most complex projects around the world.
So in August 2017, we were delighted to announce the refinancing of Blackrock, with debt and equity financial support from Intermediate Capital Group. During Dunedin’s period of involvement in Blackrock the revenue almost tripled from £9m to £26m and the number of consultants doubled.
Blackrock is now embarking on its next growth phase, expanding even further geographically and increasing the services it provides – while maintaining the qualities that have driven its success to date.
David Barry, Principal, Blackrock Expert Services