ROBERT BENAIM has sold the firm he founded 18 years ago to give himself more time to concentrate on engineering projects.
In a deal completed last week, a management buy-out team of four directors took equal stakes in Robert Benaim & Associates and secured the firm with their own money.
Benaim formed the firm in 1982 and built a strong reputation for providing innovative, cost-saving solutions for clients and design and build contractors.
With offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, the firm was ranked 76th largest consultant by fees rendered in the NCE Consultants File 2000 with fees of £5.7M in 1999.
The business will be run by its four new owners, with none taking overall charge. Benaim will stay at the firm after the buy-out and will be actively involvedin engineering projects.
The four new owners - Simon Bourne, Jeremy Cooper, Geoff Hassett and Mark Raiss - are all long serving Benaim engineers. Bourne was Benaim's first recruit. Cooper and Hassett are based in Hong Kong, while Bourne and Raiss work from London.
Benaim said that at 62 years old, it was time to hand over toa younger generation of engineers. They have bought the firm using their own money rather than using venture capital to help keep control of the firm's development.
'The intention is for a natural progression to develop the business together and not to make a quick buck,' said Raiss. Venture capital companies could pressure the firm to change strategy in the name of profit growth, he added, compromising its commitment to innovative engineering.