Damian Cox: EK Straas

Focus: Outdoor advertising

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Damian Cox
Age: 28
Company: EK Straas

Childhood friends Cox and Ben Goor, 30, set up giant outdoor advertising operation EK Straas last year. By September this year it will have banked £1.6m and expects to follow that with £3.5m next year. The small London-based team of six has proved size is no impediment to competing with big names. However Goor and Cox are already turning down big money offers to buy the business from larger competitors.

2012 update:

Soon after being named a Young Gun in 2003, Cox and co-founder Ben Goor sold the business to advertising giant Clear Channel. Having served an earn-out, Cox started Ocean Outdoor in 2004, which has grown to post revenues of more than £17m in 2011, following investment of £5.7m from Smedvig Capital two years’ earlier. Cox himself left the board in 2010 to pursue other business interests, which included starting outdoor advertising consultancy Wildstone in 2011. Meanwhile, Ocean Outdoor was bought by management for £35m in 2012.

2016 update:

Wildstone has grown to become one of the UK’s largest outdoor advertising consultancies, offering design, planning, project management, construction and marketing. Its secured an enviable client base including the Royal Mail, Transport for London, Hilton, Tesco, Shell and a number of London borough councils including Camden and Hackney Council. Cox remains as CEO of the business.

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