Emperor rewards staff with a stake in the company

24 January 2020 by Grace Coleman
blog author

A leading creative consultancy is bolstering its sustainable business status by transitioning to employee ownership to directly involve its staff in all business growth decisions, the
company has announced.

Emperor, one of the UK's leading independently owned creative consultancies, is one of only 350 companies to adopt the industry-leading change through the creation of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

The trust will ensure entrepreneurialism remains at the heart of the business by involving employees in decisions that drive business growth and, in addition, will act as a key driver in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Emperor’s move to the EOT model, which was managed by Grant Thornton LLP, will see employees with 12 months’ continuous service indirectly own a majority stake at 67 per cent of the business, following the transition. The remaining 33 per cent will be held by the original three founders; Steve Kemp, Noel O’Connor and Kingsley James.

The governance structure of the business will also see the management team joined by an Employee Board comprised of six members who will represent the interests of employees from all parts of the business and offices.

Moving forward, the Employee Board will have elected representatives to ensure the employee voice is heard to help guide the future direction of the business.  

There will be no changes to the leadership or business strategy, and the move further demonstrates Emperor’s desire to remain an agile, people-focused company that fosters transparency and innovation for its clients.

Emperor was founded in 1996 and specialises in corporate reporting, brand, employee experience and sustainability across numerous channels.

It comprises more than 200 employees and six offices in the UK and the Middle East, with a rich, diverse and international client base across a multitude of sectors.

Emperor’s continued independence and investment in staff will maintain this rich network of clients and will help to drive innovation beyond the business’s current offering.

Steve Kemp, CEO of Emperor, said: “Our decision to move towards employee ownership is rooted in our deep appreciation for the contribution our employees have made over our 24-year history. Emperor has built a collaborative culture that promotes the best talent and innovation. 

“This move will only strengthen it by emphasising our shared purpose and reinforcing the inclusive nature of our business. I believe this will put us in the best possible position to achieve
our future aspirations as an independent agency.”

Deb Oxley, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “We congratulate Emperor on its transition to employee ownership. Giving employees a platform to truly engage with business growth is an exciting prospect for all involved.

“By widening ownership of the business, Emperor is securing the future of the business, including its ethos and values, and we are looking forward to following the business on this journey.” 

Legislation to pave the way to employee ownership was passed in 2014.