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ECS security services business spun out in MBO

The security services business of the ECS Group has been spun out as part of a management buy out backed by private equity. Adarma, previously ECS Security, has launched following an MBO led by David Calder (pictured) and Nathan Dornbrook with capital from Livingbridge.

With over 250 staff, Adarma provides a broad range of IT security consulting, solutions and services with expertise in threat management, including security operations centre (SOC) design, build and operation services for large enterprises. Adarma’s says its 20 largest clients have a combined annual turnover in excess of £150bn and rely on Adarma’s expertise to help protect sensitive data “covering over half of the UK population”.

David Calder, MD and co-founder of Adarma, said: “Our decision to create Adarma is part of our desire to focus exclusively on the security space with the aim of becoming the UK market leader for FTSE 250 organisations across a broad range of industries.

“Typically, our customer base consists of larger organisations who accept that attacks and breaches are inevitable. Security is a priority at board level as well as within security operations departments at these organisations. They realise that it is not a case of if, but when they will face critical security incidents, and they want to be prepared for this.”

Adarma runs its own dedicated UK-based 24/7 SOC and core Adarma technology partners include Splunk, ServiceNow and Tenable. Paul Thomson, group chief executive at ECS, said: “Over the last six years ECS’ security business has grown rapidly within the group into a truly industry-leading provider of cyber security services. Strategically, it makes sense for ECS Group and Security to separate, allowing both companies to further focus on their core areas of expertise.

“For the group, this also enables us to expand our core offerings and expertise in digital transformation in our key markets, namely, enterprise IT infrastructure and public cloud, as well as investing heavily to build out other areas of the business.”

Earlier this year, the ECS Group appointed ex-HPE VP Mark Farrington as its new managing director of enterprise cloud business. His appointment came as the firm set its sights on revenues of £125m this year, following a stellar 2018 when group revenues reached £100m and the workforce grew from 850 to 1,000. A quarter of these are now at the new business.

ECS’ AWS Connect contact centre transformation business is “growing fast”, said ECS, and builds on the firm’s work with large enterprise clients. The group business says it “fills the sweet spot” between the industry behemoths and the niche cloud-native players that “lack enterprise experience”.