LONDON — Technology specialist agency Spark Communications has announced the buyout of major shareholder Lauren Richards, who founded the firm 21 years ago.

Existing shareholders and directors Kewal Varia and Ana Williams have completed a deal which sees them up their stake from 50% to 100% ownership of the agency. Richards will continue to work for the agency as an independent consultant.

Spark, which has a team of 24, had fee income last year of £2.4 million and works with B2B clients including Blue Yonder, HCL, SAP User Group, Viasat and Mulesoft.

Managing director Varia said: “Doing this deal during lockdown wasn’t easy. But actually, it underlined to us the strength of the business. The team are brilliant. Our clients really buy into our proactive, straight talking culture – the majority have been with us over five years and a number over ten years. They continue to be our strongest advocates, with referrals being responsible for the bulk of our growth.”

The new leadership team’s short to medium term plans include building out Spark’s content services build out sector-specific expertise in security, fintech and life sciences.

Varia said: “We’ll continue to expand our content services and invest in sector-specific expertise in high growth areas such as security, fintech and life sciences. In the last six months, we’ve taken on new security and life sciences clients, and signed a content-only six figure retainer. We’ve expanded our services in areas like video and multimedia and are now working with stakeholders outside of comms and marketing, including HR and diversity teams.”

Williams added: “We have the vital ingredients for future success: a great team who are driven by delivering campaigns that have real business impact, ambitious clients, and a supportive culture that we foster every day. We work in a stressful environment with seemingly conflicting demands. That’s when culture matters and why we place so much emphasis on the family feel of the company. Moving forwards, we’ll be investing in more programmes to support mental health and drive personal growth.”