50 years of Directory Publishing

1969-2019


When Alan Philipp graduates from INSEAD, the Business School in Fontainebleau, France, he started a career in banking.  He also became Treasurer of the UK INSEAD Alumni Association.

In 1969 Alan was asked to review the first INSEAD Alumni Address Book produced by the International Association, listing about 800 alumni. He made several constructive comments on this and was persuaded to take over the Editorial and Publishing work, despite having no expertise in this area.

It was not long before other Associations and Business Schools asked Alan to publish similar Directories or Alumni Address Books. First the Association of MBAs, then Cranfield School of Management, London Business School and the UK branch of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association. Eventually he published Alumni Address Books for most of the UK and European Business Schools. The INSEAD Address Book was published and edited by Alan Philipp for 47 editions and as a result the Business School received substantial extra funding and scholarships.

In 1977, as a result of a conversation with a family friend, he started working on his first Trade Directory which was launched in 1978 as Pension Funds and their Advisers. This resulted in Alan leaving his job at Rank Xerox and, with his wife Gail, set up a new company which eventually became AP Information Services. Over the next 30 years this company grew steadily and the employees rose to over 50. New titles were developed along regularly including Personnel Managers Yearbook, Marketing Managers Yearbook and purchases included Crawford’s Directory of City Connections. Over the years there were more than 12 Trade Directories as well as the Membership Books.

In 2004 Dun & Bradstreet asked AP Information Services to take over publication of all their Directories.

In 2001 the company was restructured and Alan and Gail gave away 10% of the shares to senior staff.

Over these years Alan had always been active in the Trade Association, which was initially the Directory Publishers Association. During his period as Chairman the name was changed, to reflect industry changes, to the Data Publishers Association.

By 2008 the company turnover was several million Pounds and the decision was made to sell out to Wilmington plc who had several complimentary Directories and databases. Alan and Gail kept the publication of the various Business School Alumni Address Books as well as the Dun & Bradstreet directories and created a new company GAP Books, which continues independently.