Hockley invests in IBA Group


IBA Group at Corporate Jet Investor London

The International Bureau of Aviation (IBA) has completed a management buyout of Laurie Hatcher, the founder of the aviation consultancy. Hockley Investments has financed the buyout. Hatcher is retiring 27 years after launching IBA.

Hockley Investments is the family office of Dave Allen, the founder of DHL Australia. It does not have any other aviation investments.

Phil Seymour, formerly president and chief operating office, is now chief executive officer. Steve Fisk is now chief operating officer; Owen Geach, chief commercial officer; and Stuart Hatcher, chief intelligence officer.

“When I set up IBA in 1988 to provide technical advice and appraisals to the aviation industry, I hoped it was the right service at the right time. Seeing the business succeed over the last 27 years has shown it was, and what a fantastic journey it’s proved to be,” said Laurie Hatcher, founder and retiring chairman. “We have built relationships all over the world with a broad range of aviation investors and businesses. Now that it is time for me to step back, I hand over the reins to a great team who I know will continue the success of the business.”

ALSO READ: IBA: Private jet demand increases but prices fall

IBA Group is still a leading appraisal company, but in the last 15 years the company has expanded into aircraft management, aircraft sales and technical services. Aircraft management – mainly of commercial aircraft – now accounts for almost half of its business.

It has also grown fast in business aviation. In the last two years it has helped a number of banks and financial institutions manage their portfolios. IBA has managed the sale of a business jets ranging between Cessna Citation CJ2s to Boeing Business Jets. “Although there are lots of very good aircraft brokerages they don’t tend to have the depth of appraisal and technical skills – including CAMO – that we have,” says Geach, CCO.

IBA Group has been working on the buy-out for more than one year.

“Speaking on behalf of the all the team, we are very excited about the future and the new opportunities we have for the development of the Company through organic growth and acquisition,” said Seymour. “Our new investor will ensure that we have the capability to further develop our services in key emerging markets as well as grow our already strong managed portfolio of aircraft. Equally, as IBA enters this new era for the business, we will ensure that the strengths we are known for, and that ultimately make us an excellent investment choice for Hockley, continue to lead the Company forward. Our existing Clients can feel confident that it will be ‘business as usual’ but with the added benefits of enhanced services in the future.”

In a press release Hockley said: “IBA presented a unique investment opportunity for us to partner with an experienced management team in a vibrant and challenging sector. IBA are renowned for their insight and professional expertise, and we are inspired to be part of the team that will lead the business on its new growth trajectory.”

Owen Geach, CCO said: “We have always been a nimble, lean business and have great assets in our highly experienced people and the extensive data records we hold. Our total independence, private ownership and strong relationships with key aviation stakeholders across the globe, mean we are always at the fore of key sector issues and trends. We have an unparalleled understanding of the aviation market, gained over more than 25 years of business, and are proud to be seen as one of the world’s leading aviation consultancies. But there is still so much scope for growth and development of the business as the Company moves forward in this latest stage of its lifecycle.”