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I Love Mondays: The autobiography of Sir Alec Reed CBE by Judi Bevan, Alec Reed

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CHAPTER 5Going public

AT THE END OF THE 1960s, the lure of a heady bull market was strong and the siren voices of bankers and stockbrokers seductive. Margery Hurst was the first to take the plunge, floating Brook Street Bureau in 1965, and then Bernard followed, taking Alfred Marks public in 1969. Logic seemed to dictate that we should follow that route even though I was not convinced it was the best. In the end, however, events left me with no choice.

Although Reed made good profits throughout the 1960s, cash flow was tight because we were expanding so fast. We needed money to open new branches, which by then I had learned would take about a year to show a profit. By 1969 we had more than 75 branches, but we were running an ever-increasing overdraft, ...

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