Mike Hammond has downsized headcount by 15% in three years

Lockton International has grown its top-line revenue by 30% and cut its headcount by 15% in the three years since Alexander Forbes was acquired by Lockton.

In an exclusive interview marking the anniversary, chairman Mike Hammond said 600 staff had left the company since he took the reins in 2006, and 300 had joined.

He said top-line revenues had grown by 30% in the three-year period, and 15% for the first half of 2009 year-on-year. He refused to reveal the underlying figures, as it is against Lockton’s policy as a private company, but market sources suggested the first-half revenue this year was around £58m.

Hammond said: “Six hundred people have gone from this company since I’ve been here – that’s over one third – and 300 people have come in. We’ve downsized the headcount by 15% and grown the top line by 30%.”

Hammond said Lockton International would continue to grow in 2010, but ruled out acquisitions.

He outlined his commitment to the firm, saying he had agreed to hold his shares until 2013, when he would have the option to sell half of them.

He said the same was true of senior colleagues, including chief executive Julian James, adding: “I intend on being here quite a while. Lockton is a long-term play for us. The executive committee is now perfectly balanced between people who stayed [from Alexander Forbes] and people who came in.”

He also dismissed rumours circulating in the market this time last year that he was leaving the company. He said: “If someone wants to create some malicious rumours, whether that’s at a corporate level or a personal level, in the hope that it might derail some things, go ahead.

“But if that was true, don’t you think you’d have heard about it?”