NZ Post officer joins Fronde

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 07:14 05/02/2014

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Information technology services firm Fronde has hired New Zealand Post's former chief customer officer, Gary Woodham, as it mulls a possible sharemarket float.

The Wellington firm, whose shares are traded on the Unlisted securities market, has seen its fortunes rise since it opted to specialise in helping customers, which include NZ Post, implement cloud-based software and services from the likes of United States heavyweights Google, Amazon, Netsuite and Salesforce.

Fronde appeared to be treading water for several years before it embraced the cloud, but last year increased its revenues 37 per cent to $60 million.

The company's lightly-traded shares have risen in value five times since June last year, giving it a paper value of just over $20 million.

Woodham will join Fronde as its New Zealand country manager, part of a new seven-person "executive leadership team" headed by chief executive Ian Clarke.

Clarke said Fronde had a tremendous amount of opportunity. Capital and the skills shortage were the main factors constraining the company.

He expected Fronde's board would be able to say more about its options for raising more capital in two or three months. Options include a full sharemarket float or seeking private equity.

Fronde's workforce has grown to more than 350, up from a little over 200 staff three years ago. Clarke said that during the past three years it had always had 20 to 30 vacancies on its books.

"This year is starting no differently. Some other information technology companies are hiring very heavily and we think that is going to continue. There are more and more really clever technology companies coming through that are going to place very heavy demand on our pretty thin supply of young people who want to be in the industry. We have really got to get attention to that at the secondary school level."

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- The Dominion Post

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