Spotlight on software innovator setting a benchmark for success

Connected World:  Chief executive Richard Carter of The Nostrum Group says the company prides itself on delivering complex projects.
Connected World: Chief executive Richard Carter of The Nostrum Group says the company prides itself on delivering complex projects.
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RBS and The Yorkshire Post put focus on The Nostrum Group after its phenomenal growth in the financial technology sector by responding to rise in internet banking

A company which has seen its revenue increase by more than 800 percent in the last five years has been highlighted as a benchmark of success for businesses in Yorkshire.

RBS wants to spotlight the huge wealth of entrepreneurial spirit evident across the county, and asked the Yorkshire Post to help select a company which has shown real business acumen to help it flourish and succeed.

The Nostrum Group, which has recently been recognised as the fastest growing technology business in Yorkshire, is the perfect example.

The financial services technology company has opened a new central London office, and has recently expanded and consolidated its Harrogate headquarters into a single site. A number of new roles have been created, and headcount has increased from 55 to 85 since the start of last year.

The company was formed in 2001 and has enjoyed a meteoric rise, particularly over the last five years.

The company provides innovative loan management software to banks and other financial institutions, and Chief Executive Richard Carter said it prides itself on its ability to understand and deliver complex projects.

“The real breakthrough came a few years ago. A lot of lenders would be able to tell you very quickly whether you qualify for a loan, but actually getting the money into your account would take maybe 10 days.

“There would be forms that had to be sent out, filled in and sent back, and then it would take more time for the money to be sent out.

“We saw that the internet could be used to speed things up and money can now be in your account within an hour.

“We built our software, took it to large banks and financial institutions and it has been very well received.”

He said the internet hasn’t just changed people’s habits, for example in how they shop. It has now become such a large part of people’s lives that it is crucial for Nostrum to be aware of changing habits and to stay ahead in terms of technology.

“If you turn the clock back even just five years consumers were not as well connected as they are now.

“Things like high speed broadband and especially smartphones have transformed the sector.

“And things will continue to develop.” Nostrum Group’s success has seen it recognised by Deloitte as the fastest growing technology business in Yorkshire, and in the last financial year it achieved 84 percent revenue growth from £3.8m to £7m, with a significant increase in EBITDA of more than £1.6m.

It is the second consecutive year the company has appeared in the Deloitte Fast 50, which ranks the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK based on percent growth in fiscal year revenue over the last five years.

Last year, Nostrum was ranked 36th in the list, and in 2014 has risen to 35th.

Software and internet firms dominate the list of the fastest growing firms, accounting for 82 percent of the top 50.

Nostrum is keen to build on its recent successes, and hopes in the next few years to consolidate its position in the UK.

However, it is also looking to move into new markets, particularly the US and Europe.

“It’s great fun, and it’s also wonderful to be a Yorkshire company and be able to employ so many people in Yorkshire,” said Carter.

Staff key to performance

A number of factors have been key to the Nostrum Group’s success in recent years – and the most important has been to develop the best, and most talented staff.

Richard Carter, the chief executive, said a strong team working to a solid business plan can “deliver pretty much anything”.

“It is essential to have the best team you can possibly get and never compromise on that.

“And make sure you have the best business plan possible, and never be distracted.”

He said with the right guidance there is great scope for people looking to start a new venture or expand an existing one.

“I would say to young people just go for it. So long as the policy makers support entrepreneurs, there is great potential.”