Perkz sets up HQ in city after feeling benefits of takeover

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​Employee benefits firm Perkz is to set up its headquarters in Leeds after being sold to larger rival IBH.

​Perkz offers thousands of employees discounts at stores like Tesco and House of Fraser​ and money off holidays with Eurocamp and SuperBreak.

​Its clients include Centrica, Honda, Age UK, University of Manchester, Tesco, PSA​,​ Peugeot Citroen and Biffa.​ Companies sign up to the ​Perkz ​online employee benefits platform​ ​in order to reward staff.

IBH​ already owns Reward Gateway​, another employee benefits firm that counts McDonald’s, Sky, ​American Express​, ​Aviva, Diageo and Heineken among its clients.

​Perkz will operate separately to Reward Gateway​ and ​IBH said ​it will​​ maintain its own distinct product position with a different benefits offering and customer base. ​

IBH said the move to Leeds is a strategic business decision as it believes there is a lot of potential in the city and will allow the business to be closer to its clients and provide a better service.

Leeds is the home town of Joe Gaunt, who will take on the role of managing director at Perkz. Mr Gaunt is a mentor at Leeds University and he said that there is a lot of talent in the area.

In the UK, Reward Gateway has offices in London and Birmingham. The firm said that opening the Birmingham office was an important milestone and introduced it to a new client base. It has been keen to open a office in the North of England to draw upon the success of Birmingham.

Perkz currently has a small team of three people, but will be recruiting heavily in the near future.

Reward Gateway currently employs 330 people across six offices in five countries.

There will be no redundancies following the deal. Reward Gateway will share support functions with Perkz, but sales and service will be kept separate and the two businesses will operate as separate entities.

Reward Gateway currently has 17 Yorkshire based clients, including Bradford & Bingley, Trustmarque, Go Outdoors, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and Westfield Health.

Reward Gateway is the global leader in employee engagement software which was valued at £140m by US private equity firm, Great Hill Partners in July 2015.

​Perkz is aimed at smaller ​companies that don’t have the budget to offer a full employee engagement service.

IBH said the deal will boost its market share and its revenue, which currently stands at £180m a year.

It added that the acquisition will increase its product offering and support network, whilst streamlining operations and resources.

Glenn Elliott, founder of Reward Gateway and I​BH, said​:​ “This acquisition is an important milestone in our story.

“Perkz offers fantastic value to its customers through its much-loved discounts offering and now as part of the IBH portfolio, we can offer a wider range of products for companies of all sizes and have the solutions in place for those businesses at the start of their engagement strategy to companies looking for the complete integrated technology package.”

David Tedford, founder of Perkz, added​:​ “We’re delighted that Perkz is set to enter the next phase of its journey as part of the IBH family​.

“​I’m confident that in Glenn’s hands, the business will continue to put its customers at the heart of everything it does.

​“​I was impressed by Reward Gateway’s values, as well as its open honest culture​,​and felt that it is very much aligned to the Perkz philosophy.”

Mr Tedford, who founded Perkz in ​Northamptonshire in ​2003, will be stepping back from the Perkz business to spend time with his family.

​IBH said Perkz will soon ​launch a​n upgrade that will include hundreds of additional offers and new features for customers.

Perkz is a straightforward discount platform and is ​aimed at businesses at the start of their engagement strategy or those looking for a simple discounts offering.

​Glenn Elliott ​founded ​​Reward Gateway in 2007 after realising that the existing benefits models didn’t serve employees so much as the vendors behind them.

​“​Existing companies offered employees uninteresting benefits like death in service insurance – not exactly motivating stuff​,” he said.​

He ​said that ​Reward Gateway ​gives​ employees access to the highest available discounts ​at​ everyday retailers through an employer funded business model, delivering high employee engagement and ​return on investment​ for employers.

The business has since expand​ed​ into employee communications and reward programmes. It has helped 1,100 businesses to​ ​connect with their employees.