Established 1989: BCMS and 25 years of deal making
BCMS is a family business with a global reach, and 2014 is our 25th anniversary year. Here we chart the company’s journey from the Berkshire borders, to international operations on five continents.
It was in 1989 – the year the Berlin wall came down, the first GPS satellite was launched and the first World Wide Web server was Mini cruise with the family to celebrate Brian and Anne's 50th wedding anniversary.developed – that Brian, David and Steve Rebbettes founded BCMS in a small village on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.
In the quarter century since, the business has grown into a market leading M&A advisor, with a growing international presence which now numbers 240+ staff across five continents.
Despite its current size, BCMS steadfastly remains a family business – after all, it was founded on a healthy dose of the family’s own personal experience.
In 1988 the Rebbettes family sold their own business, Contract Leads, giving them valuable insight into the fundamental principles of selling a business, on which the unique BCMS methodology is based.
One of these fundamental principles – uncompromising research – was forged in the company’s early days, when its primary service was helping UK exporters find trade partners in Europe. In those early years the company noticed that one client was buying BCMS research, but not using it to set up any export links. Intrigued, Steve Rebbettes made some enquiries and discovered that the
Brian speaking at a seminar run by Contract Leads.client was a German agent helping companies identify potential buyers.
This episode convinced Brian, David and Steve that BCMS’ research capability was second-to-none. The shareholders had also become convinced that the standard financial approach to selling companies was flawed. The sale of Contract Leads had proven this, with the family having to ensure success through a strong sales and marketing approach that their financial advisors could not offer. All of this convinced them that the company had all the tools required to offer a company sale advisory service in the UK. Over the next few years, the business developed its service offering and M&A became the primary focus for the company.
In the first decade of the new century, following impressive growth, BCMS was ready to take its next big step, international expansion.
BCMS established offices in the United States, in the heart of New York’s financial district. This was followed by a rapid expansion across Europe, China, South Africa and most recently Australia.
David, Brian and SteveIn 2014 BCMS is a very different organisation to its 1989 origins; but it shares the same ethos. The company is still based in Kingsclere on the Hampshire/Berkshire border and the company is still a family business. Today, BCMS has three generations of the Rebbettes family working in it as well as many staff who have been with the company for 10-15 years and more – key members of the ‘extended Rebbettes family’.
Steve Rebbettes adds:
“We’re keen not to show any preferential treatment to family members within the business. So we treat them equally. But the way we do that is not by treating family members badly, but by treating everybody else as though they’re family.”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of BCMS, the company will be publishing a special edition of iDeal magazine. This will feature an interview with the Rebbettes family talking over their experiences from the last quarter century, and looking ahead to what the future may hold.