The early days
Eleven as we know it was launched in 1998 but our history and the history of our parent company extends way before this and has taken on many forms, adjusting to the demands of the times. Ashley and Dumville Ltd was established in 1880 as a coal and coke wholesaler.
The founder, Sir Albert Smith is actually the Great-Grandfather of our current chairperson and former MD Nick Smith making us a family run and family-owned business to this day.
Sir Albert developed the business to become one of the largest suppliers of coal in the Manchester area, selling the coal and coke to the people of Manchester from horse drawn carriages. Due to our long-standing history in the area, we have a strong connection with Manchester and still have offices on Deansgate to this day.
After Sir Albert Smith came James Smith who developed A&D to an oil distribution and trading wholesaler in the Northwest of England in1939. In 1950, William Smith then took over the business and felt that more diversification was needed. He introduced the marketing of fuel oil and then Jimmy Smith established the Knutsford Domestic Fuel Oil Company to serve the growing market for home heating. In 1977, an area of the business that still exists today was created and this is the publishing arm of the business which was created with the launch of Fuel Oil News which is a newsletter for the region’s fuel oil distributors.
Whilst the business was expanding in different directions, we continued to supply coal up until 1999.
1998 is when Nick (our current chairperson) joined the business and noticed the declining sales for coal and fuel oil. However, he realised that there was a real need for a specialist recruitment provider in the industry and with A&D’s long-standing experience and connections, he founded Oil Recruitment (our original name).
Fast forward two decades and a name change, the recruitment business has become a key part of our operation, with well-established specialist teams in Alternative Technologies, Chemicals, Energy Trading, Renewables, Shipping and Finance & Risk.
The addition of the new teams again shows our ability to adapt to the needs of the time in the transition to greener technologies. At Eleven we care a lot about the climate, we recognise our past contributions to carbon emissions and to combat this we are introducing a climate policy. In a nutshell, in 2019, 64% of our revenue came from the petroleum fuel markets. However, we aim to reduce this to below 50% by 2025.
As you can see, a lot of changes have occurred to our business over the past 100 or so years and we plan to continue this adaptation and change as we and the rest of the world moves towards a greener future.