ECS cyber security in MBO, relaunches as Adarma

David Calder

Scottish IT consultancy ECS Group said on Wednesday that ECS Security, its cyber-security arm, has completed a management buyout (MBO), supported by private equity firm Livingbridge.

ECS Security has been relaunched with a new name — Adarma — based on the Latin phrase for “call to arms.”

“The divestment allows ECS to focus all its efforts, and speed up investment, on its successful strategy of assisting FTSE 100 and 250 clients with all aspects of their digital transformation strategies,” said ECS.

“In just 10 years, ECS has become a £100m turnover business and a trusted long-term partner for customers, including many of the UK’s largest banks.

“The firm helps customers in highly regulated industries with their enterprise transformation, cloud, Amazon Connect, DevOps and security strategies.

“During this time there has been a clear divergence between the goals, business models and focus of the ECS Security team and those of the other core practice areas: cloud enablement, customer experience transformation (Amazon Connect), DevOps, cloud cost optimisation, and data management & analytics.”

ECS Group CEO Paul Thomson said: “The time is right for ECS Security to separate from the ECS group as an independent entity and we wish the team a successful future.

“The decision makes sense for both businesses – and importantly for our growing roster of partners and customers.

“We will have a laser-like focus on delivering the gold-standard cloud and digital transformation services that our customers have come to expect – enabling them to adapt and thrive in a cloud-based world.”

A particular focus for ECS is deploying Amazon Connect, the cloud-based contact centre technology.

The Adarma private management buyout was led by David Calder and Nathan Dornbrook with capital from Livingbridge and debt from Bank of Scotland.

David Calder, MD and co-founder of Adarma, said: “Our decision to create Adarma is part of our desire to focus exclusively on the security space with the aim of becoming the UK market leader for FTSE 250 organisations across a broad range of industries.

“We are thrilled to receive backing from Livingbridge as we start this new chapter in our journey.

“Typically, our customer base consists of larger organisations who accept that attacks and breaches are inevitable.

“Security is a priority at board level as well as within Security Operations departments at these organisations.

“They realise that it is not a case of if, but when they will face critical security incidents and want to be prepared for this.

“Our tailored solutions and in-depth engagements with our customers ensure a deeper understanding of their business and requirements, enabling us to deliver improved results for each client.”

Nathan Dornbrook, CTO and co-founder of Adarma, said: “Another core principle of the Adarma ethos is a focus on skills and experience that is complemented by, but not replaced by, technology.

“Our clients tend to have complex environments, with technical and cultural requirements that define them in often unique ways.

“Our teams are made up of skilled and highly certified practitioners that have deep, real world expertise in working with large organisations.

“Many of our staff and clients have been with us for a decade or more and we see this partnership journey as key to building a sustainable and trusted business as well as assisting in fulfilling our objective to help close the security skills gap in the UK.”

Matthew Caffrey, partner at Livingbridge said: “Adarma is a very exciting business for us to partner with.

“We believe there is an opportunity to partner with the team to build a business of real scale in the growing cyber security market.

“The team have built up a great business and we’re excited to work with them as they grow.”