In October 2011, BGF made its first ever investment when it backed Benefex, a leading provider of flexible, online employee reward and benefit schemes. BGF initially invested £4.2m for a minority shareholding in the business.
Benefex enables large organisations to tailor their rewards and benefit packages to individual employees, communicate effectively online with staff and outsource the administration and support of their schemes.
Since BGF invested, Benefex has continued to expand, doubling turnover to £10m in 2015. The business has also trebled its headcount in the period and now employs over 160 staff across its two offices.
BGF’s investment has enabled Benefex to continue the development of innovative solutions, expand its product and service lines and invest in its new auto-enrolment tool for businesses of all sizes. In July 2012, BGF also introduced Steve Bellamy as Non-Executive Chairman to the business, bringing with him over 25 years’ experience in both managing and investing in high growth businesses.
Due to continued growth in the business, BGF committed a further £1.3m to Benefex in December 2012.
The company is led by Matt Macri-Waller, a 37-year-old entrepreneur, who started the business from his own home when he was just 25, and he has grown it to become one of largest online employee reward and benefits providers in the UK. Its clients include the Marks & Spencer, Mondelez, AA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, De Beers, E.ON, Philips, MTV and Centrica. It operates from its head office in Southampton, with a further presence in Marlow.
The market in which Benefex operates is enjoying rapid growth. Many employers are looking at how best to attract, retain and motivate their staff and recognise the value of flexible rewards and benefits packages that can be tailored to the needs of the individual. These arrangements are often complex, particularly for large companies, which in turn is driving demand for outsourced services.
Service providers which offer technological support are outperforming the market, growing at twice the rate at some 20%. This is due to an increasing need for technological support, use of online and intranet services and imminent legislative changes.