Edinburgh and Glasgow events for professional advisers aims to increase availability of specialist support on employee ownership

Edinburgh and Glasgow events for professional advisers aims to increase availability of specialist support on employee ownership

Unique events are taking place in Edinburgh and Glasgow this week to help legal, accounting and banking professionals in the cities and wider regions to offer clients information and advice on employee ownership.

The Law Society of Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS) and Co-operative Development Scotland have joined forces to organise the events on Thursday 6th June.

They are the final events in a series which has been taking place across Scotland to promote employee ownership and raise awareness of the important role professional advisers have to play in informing clients on this business succession model.  

The three partner organisations came together to organise the Selling a business to an Employee Ownership Trust roadshow in response to the fast-growing popularity of employee ownership and increasing demand for specialist advice on it.

The number of employee-owned businesses operating in Scotland has trebled over the past five years and - with research showing they have proved to be highly successful, outperforming similar companies and achieving higher sales turnover - future growth is expected to continue at an accelerated rate. 

Designed to boost the number of firms that are able to offer professional guidance on employee ownership, extending the availability of specialist advice available to Scotland’s business community and improving its access to it, the events feature presentations from some of the country’s leading specialists in business buyouts.

Edinburgh and Glasgow events for professional advisers aims to increase availability of specialist support on employee ownership

Campbell Clark

On hand to share his professional expertise and insight with attendees at the Glasgow and Edinburgh events will be Campbell Clark, Partner at leading law firm Blackadders LLP.

Campbell leads Blackadders’ Corporate and Commercial team whose clients range from high-growth technology businesses and privately-held companies to major PLCs and large corporations with global operations.

His recent experience includes advising several businesses on the transition to employee ownership in a wide range of sectors, from manufacturing and construction, to professional services and the care sector.

Mr Clark said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in these events to help professional advisers in Edinburgh and Glasgow develop their awareness of employee ownership – which, in the long-term, will support an increase in availability of specialist guidance that the local business community can access and benefit from.

“Interest in employee ownership and its advantages as a business model has never been greater so it’s essential for solicitors, accountants and financial consultants to ensure they’re fully equipped to inform and advise their clients appropriately and can support them as they negotiate the transition process.” 

Also taking part in the Edinburgh and Glasgow events to talk about the experiences of a business which has already been through the process of transferring control to its staff - and capitalised on benefits as a result - will be Simon Poole of Jerba Campervans.

As co-founder, Simon has been the Managing Director of Jerba Campervans since it was established in 2006. He and his wife Cath, who is the Financial Director and joint founder, transferred 100% of the company’s shares into an Employee Ownership Trust in January 2018, with 15 staff becoming owners of the firm. Based in North Berwick, Jerba Campervans specialises in converting Volkswagen Transporter vans into luxury campervans. Since the ownership transfer, Simon and Cath have continued to work in their usual roles at Jerba Campervans and as part of the formation of the Trust are now sixteen months into their planned five-year exit strategy.

Mr Poole said: “Our experience of transferring the ownership of our company has definitely convinced us of the advantages and it’s testament to the fact that employee ownership is an excellent business model which benefits everyone. Cath and I can continue with our day-to-day roles in the business for as long as we need to, with the knowledge that the future is taken care of, while our employees share in the profits of the business and have a much greater interest in its growth and success.  We believe that this not only drives job satisfaction, productivity and innovation, it’s ensuring that the business’s unique ethos is preserved.

“We’d certainly urge any business considering succession strategies to explore employee ownership as a potential solution, and to seek out professional guidance on how to make the transfer process work to benefit both the business and its employees.”

There are around 110 employee-owned companies operating in Scotland, with approximately 7,500 employee-owners generating a combined turnover of around £950 million. Statistics consistently demonstrate that employee-owned businesses outperform their non EO counterparts in terms of higher levels of profitability, improved business resilience during times of recession, and increased productivity brought about by higher levels of engagement and enhanced employee wellbeing.

The Edinburgh and Glasgow event details and booking links are as follows:

Selling a business to an Employee Ownership Trust – Edinburgh :  8.30am to 10.30am, Thursday 6th June at Scottish Enterprise, Apex House, 99 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5HD. 

To book a place at: http://bit.ly/EOEdinburgh19


Selling a business to an Employee Ownership Trust – Glasgow :  12.30pm to 3.30pm on Thursday 6th June at Mazars, 100 Queen Street, Glasgow G1 3DN.

To book a place at:  http://bit.ly/EOGlasgow19

Share icon
Share this article: