IHS co-founder leaving to start firm in London


Integrated Health Services Inc., a leading provider of specialty health care around the country, said yesterday that its co-founder and executive vice president, Timothy F. Nicholson, was leaving to start a long-term care company in England.

The Hunt Valley-based company was among the first to fill the void between acute-care hospitals and custodial nursing homes. It created what it calls medical specialty units, or mini-hospitals, to offer lower-cost medical care to patients who were treated at a hospital but are not ready to return home.

Mr. Nicholson, 44, an attorney, founded the company in 1986 with Robert N. Elkins, a psychiatrist.

The company went public in 1992 and has been one of Wall Street's favored health care companies. Growth has been swift, as revenues rose 36 percent last year, to $195 million, and profits were up 54 percent, to $9 million. Integrated owns or manages 65 nursing home facilities nationwide containing 35 specialty medical units.

Mr. Nicholson is one of at least a half-dozen company executives to become millionaires -- on paper, at least.

In recent years, Mr. Nicholson was also involved in unrelated real estate projects, spending only 80 percent of his time at Integrated, according to the company's prospectus from last year.

Mr. Nicholson plans to move to London to start a company that will provide specialty medical services for the elderly. Integrated Health will have a minority interest in the new company and hold one seat on its board of directors. Mr. Nicholson will remain on Integrated's board and also serve as a consultant.

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