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Forget the “old school” sectors of manufacturing and construction. The superstars in this year’s Hot 100 list of the fastest growing companies in the UK are derivatives data providers, hedge fund managers, recruitment consultancies and support services firms.

“This year’s Hot 100 is peppered with a new breed of entrepreneur – highly trained individuals who have dumped a major employer to start their own business, offering niche services to sectors they know inside out,” says Grant Berry, a managing director at LDC, the private equity company that sponsors the list.

“In a service-led economy and a rapidly changing global marketplace, demand for complex business services is huge.”

Less than a fifth of businesses in the 2008 Hot 100 are from traditional industries such as construction, manufacturing and engineering – trades which helped Britain carve out its reputation in the global marketplace.

While several "old world" companies have earned a place among the elite 100 – such as Birmingham-based housebuilder Probuild in ninth place – the figure was more than half in the 1997 rankings.

This year’s top 100 also demonstrate remarkable bullishness when asked about their predictions for the year ahead, with almost 70 per cent believing growth will be as fast or faster than 2007, despite the current economic backdrop.

Berry believes this highlights how certain businesses will always rise above the jaws of a credit crunch or economic downturn.

“While the overall make up of the Hot 100 has shifted over the years there is still strong diversity evident within the companies represented and they come from all regions of the UK. This is a testament to the richness and resilience of the UK economy.”

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The Hot 100 is sponsored by LDC.

We’ll be featuring more stories about the UK’s fast growing companies throughout the week.

Related links:Hot 100: the UK's fastest growing companies

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