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Fast-growing BJSS aims to create 40 new jobs in city

David Clark marketing manager, Mike Buck, head of public sector practice, Frazer Robinson, head of marketing, Mike Buck, head of public sector practice, Glynn Robinson MD
David Clark marketing manager, Mike Buck, head of public sector practice, Frazer Robinson, head of marketing, Mike Buck, head of public sector practice, Glynn Robinson MD
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THE managing director of fast-growing IT consultancy BJSS said he expects the business to create at least 40 new jobs in Leeds in the next 12 months.

Glynn Robinson told the Yorkshire Post that the 20-year-old firm, which was founded in Leeds, saw its annual turnover hit £48m in its last financial year, up from £41.5m the previous year and up from £21m in 2010.

BJSS specialises in software development and IT advisory services.

The company works with clients in a number of markets including banking and finance, commodities, technology, media and telecommunications, retail and the public sector.

As well as its office in Leeds, BJSS has sites in Manchester, Derby, London, New York, Chicago and Houston.

Mr Robinson said: “Historically, most of our work has been in the financial markets and commodity markets so whilst we were based out of Leeds initially, nearly all our clients were in the city, banks, financial institutions and the like.

“Ten years ago... we opened up an office in London and that’s now half our organisation.”

In the last couple of years, BJSS has made key inroads into the public sector, winning work with the NHS, Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

Mr Robinson said this is partly due to a mandate by the Government to increase its procurement spend with small and medium-sized companies.

“We have won a lot of business recently in the government space where we have played on and utilised the skills we have gained in the private sector to improve the quality of delivery in the public sector.”

BJSS employs around 200 people in its Northern offices at Leeds, Derby and Manchester, including 180 in Leeds.

The business employs more than 400 people in total across the business.

“Underlying everything we do is the calibre of the people we employ,” said Mr Robinson.

“In the last year I think we recruited about 60 people in Leeds. We are going to continue to grow so I’d imagine we’ll put another 40 or so on to that number in the next 12 months if not more.”

BJSS is keen to recruit graduates as part of its new cohort for next year; it expects that 10 of the 40 new staff for Leeds will be graduates.

The firm has a relationship with the University of Leeds, where it carries out coding evenings and helps to develop the students’ skills.

“Clearly it’s an opportunity to see some of the potential candidates first but also it gives them the opportunity to see some of the techniques we’re using,” said Mr Robinson.

“It continues to build our reputation in and around the area.”

The business also plans to grow its New York office next year, he added.

“A lot of our work is in the UK, but having a strong financial markets background, a lot of our clients are global. A lot of our clients based in London have offices in the States as well.

“It’s a natural and obvious extension for us really.”

The office will help BJSS win additional work from existing clients, as well as secure new clients.

BJSS has won two awards recently: the Big Data award at the Tech Success Awards and Public Sector Project of the Year at the Techworld Awards – both were won together with the Health and Social Care Information Centre, also based in Leeds.

Mr Robinson said: “Some of our clients have been with us for the vast majority of the company’s life, so some 18 plus years.

“The reason we’ve managed to form those relationships I think is because we’ve always striven to go a bit beyond what the customer wants.

“We are very, very delivery focused.”

He added: “We’ve got some great opportunities for growth over the next 12 months.

“I think we’ve always had a reputation for delivery. What we have managed to achieve over the last few years is to get that story out to a wider marketplace, initially in the financial markets and then latterly broaden it out into other verticals, the government probably being one of our most successful ones.”

Mr Robinson said that a “significant” part of its work is repeat business. He declined to discuss the profitability of BJSS.

BJSS is owned by two core founders of the organisation, David Hunter and Andrew Vincent.

Boss leading from the front

AS managing director, Glynn Robinson is responsible for the strategic direction of BJSS together with the day-to-day running of the business.

He started his career as an academic obtaining a PhD from the University of London in computer science and undertaking post-doctoral research in computer vision at Yale University.

Over the last 20 years, Mr Robinson has worked in the IT supply sector, in the UK and US, for a number of industries including financial markets, automotive, manufacturing, energy, logistics and retail.