Case Studies

Edgar Stewart

Partner: Ultimate Finance Group
Region: Scotland
Location: Edinburgh
Programme: Investment Programme and our other commercial investments

Edinburgh-based recruitment specialist, Edgar Stewart has had a remarkable year having increased its turnover by 300 per cent to nearly £3m and more than trebled its headcount following its launch of recruitment spin-out Cyrus.

Cyrus is the latest brand to be incubated at professional recruitment specialist Edgar Stewart and is the only dedicated recruitment service to specialise in Scotland’s largely public-funded water and energy markets. It is now targeting further expansion following a £425k invoice finance deal from Ultimate Finance which will enable the firm to focus on the contract business to meet the growing demands for Cyrus’ services and provide continuity in revenue streams.

The invoice finance facility was arranged to help boost cash flow by covering the gap between Edgar Stewart paying Cyrus’ placements on a predominantly weekly basis and receiving payment for client invoices, which can take 30 days or more.

It also enables the firm to plan ahead and fuel growth because, unlike permanent positions which provide a one-off fee, income from temporary placements is ongoing throughout the length of the contract.

Sara Zorriasatein, founding director of Cyrus, said: “The invoice finance facility has provided us with the flexibility to further develop the service we are able to provide to our clients.

“As well as supplying temporary cover during our clients’ busy spells and supporting them with specific projects, we can now also provide staff for holiday cover, maternity leave and long term sickness.”

The demand for Cyrus’ services, coupled with the ability to utilise invoice finance, has helped to grow Edgar Stewart’s turnover from £500,000 to nearly £3 million in a very short space of time.

Zorriasatein added: “The benefit to us is that we can plan business growth better, as we are able to project fee income months in advance.”

“We wouldn’t have been able to develop this service without the funding line supplied to us by Ultimate Finance. As demand for the service grows, so would the pressure on cash flow, caused by the period of time we have to wait from paying the contractors wages to being paid by our clients.

“We are extremely grateful to Lynsey Innes and her team at Ultimate Finance. They quickly understood our requirements and worked in partnership with us to provide the support and flexibility we needed to take the business to the next level.”

Lynsey Innes of Ultimate Finance said: “We have worked with many recruitment companies, so we understand the business model and requirements when working in the temporary contract market.

“Edgar Stewart has an excellent business which was being held back because of the funding gap. With a knowledgeable and committed management team and blue chip clients I could quickly see the potential for the business to grow and therefore had no hesitation in providing the invoice finance facility.”

Zorriasatein launched Cyrus in April with £20k of her own money – which Edgar Stewart quickly matched, taking the total investment to £40k.

After taking up residency at the firm’s business incubator and start-up hub in Stockbridge, Cyrus became the third successful spin-out to be launched as part of the Edgar Stewart family, which also earlier launched Talented, a recruitment service for start-ups, SMEs and high-growth spin-outs, and Focus, a dedicated food and drink service, which has since ‘flown the nest’ after being fully incubated.

Find out more about Edgar Stewart

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