From NHS nurse to AIM star

Marion Dakers
SERIAL entreprener Kate Bleasdale stands to lose more than her job if HCL flatlines – she has amassed more than 18 per cent of HCL’s shares through her personal stake and holding company Healthmark UK.

Bleasdale graduated as a nurse in 1983 but left the NHS in 1987 to found recruitment agency Match Healthcare, which had revenues of £185m by the time Bleasdale was dismissed in 2001.

She filed a sex discrimination claim against chairman Sir Tim Chessells, and hit headlines in 2002 when she walked away with a £2.2m payout.

Bleasdale used the money to start rival recruiter Healthcare Locums in 2003, which floated on AIM in 2005 with the help of nominated adviser Fairfax IS.

She was named entrepreneur of the year at the 2008 AIM Awards.