Oxford-based Fast Track slows to close later this year

Photo shows: Hamish Stevenson with Richard Branson
Hamish Stephenson and Richard Branson

The highly respected, Oxford-based research and events company Fast Track  will close in June. Founder Hamish Stevenson has announced he will  close the company at the end of June after hosting its final virtual events; including the annual flagship Fast Track 100 awards, which is where it all began.

The pandemic has resulted in too much uncertainty over some future sponsorship and marketing budgets. Fast Track requires economies of scale to properly produce the research and events for all six of its annual private company rankings, from the fastest-growing to the biggest.

Hamish, who also holds an associate fellowship at Oxford University, said: “It has been a tough decision, but I think the right one, to end on a positive note.

“I want to thank everyone for helping create the Fast Track network of Britain’s top-performing private companies over the past 24 years. In particular, Sir Richard Branson, our media partner The Sunday Times and seven business editors, our long-term sponsors and staff, and all the great companies.

“It has been a privilege tracking their success and getting to know so many impressive entrepreneurs and directors through hosting over 500 events.

“I look forward to getting involved in new challenges that I feel equally passionate about, ideally on a part-time basis.”

Over the past 24 years Fast Track has featured rising stars such as ARM, Ocado, Fever-Tree and THG, and almost all the UK’s unicorns ranging from BrewDog and Cazoo to Revolut. Their founders have attended and shared their stories at Fast Track’s events, with other keynote speakers including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Gordon Brown.

Fast Track has published 127 league tables featuring 5,800 companies, and has hosted more than 500 events attended by 18,000 entrepreneurs and directors.

Some 540 founders and shareholders of Fast Track alumni companies featured on the last Sunday Times Rich List with a combined wealth of £340bn, including Sir James Dyson, Sir Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS, Denise Coates CBE of Bet365 and Tim Steiner OBE of Ocado; and 33 alumni made the Sunday Times Tax List of the UK’s 50 biggest tax payers. Many have also attended and spoken at Fast Track’s events; entrepreneurs on the Fast Track 100 generously donated over £3m to the Virgin Unite charity auctions.

Fast Track has enjoyed the support of key sponsors who have contributed to and benefited from meeting the UK’s top private companies. Key sponsors have included: Virgin, PwC, Lloyds Bank, UBS Wealth Management, HSBC and BDO.