60 jobs saved as insurer goes under

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A Sheffield telemarketing firm has taken on 60 staff who lost their jobs when a health insurance firm went under.

Ant Marketing contacted employees of Leopold Health when it collapsed into administration at the end of April. The firm interviewed candidates the same afternoon and offered jobs to 26, starting the next day.

A further 34 have since been recruited.

Ant Marketing, based at St Mary’s Gate in the city centre, employs 400.

Chief executive and founder Anthony Hinchliffe said he knew he had to act quickly.

He added: “The team had the kind of skills we were looking for so it was a sound business decision as far as I could see.

“Having gone through it myself years ago, I remember that awful feeling of being made redundant and I wanted to take that away from them as quickly as possible.”

Gareth Millar, aged 29, had been at Leopold Health, based at Fountain Precinct in the city centre, for eight weeks.

He said: “We were all called into a meeting and told the firm was insolvent, we had to clear our desks and leave there and then.

“It was hard for many people as we were finished two days before pay day so everyone was worried about paying bills, rent and mortgages.

“We were all in shock but somehow Anthony got to hear about it and started to contact people. Word started to ge t around that if they were good candidates and able to have an interview that day then there were jobs available.

“I had an interview and started the next day.”

Training manager Joey Underhay said: “We completed interviews and then it was a matter of finding the right roles for people - they had a wide range of skills, sales, lead generation, appointment bookings and so on. Just a few weeks on they have all settled in.”

Former Leopold Health employees are invited to apply for a job, he added.

A meeting of creditors was held at insolvency firm Wilson Field on May 28.

Robert Dymond and Joanne Wright, of Wilson Field, were appointed liquidators on June 2.