- Estimated 200,000 employee owners in only 300 businesses in the UK
BRISTOL, England, June 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Torchbox, a digital agency with 65 employees and offices in Bristol and Oxfordshire, has become the first digital agency in the UK to transfer 100% of its business to its employees. The company offers digital product development and marketing services to clients across non-profit, healthcare and higher education sectors. It created Wagtail, the popular open source CMS now used by the NHS, NASA and Google. The founders first revealed plans to staff in March and expect the sale process to complete on the 28th June 2019.
The Employee Trust will work alongside Torchbox's Directors to oversee strategy and growth, with an emphasis on ensuring that the business's sense of purpose and values remains paramount.
Torchbox founders Olly and Tom will be part of the Trust for five years, until their majority stake is repaid by the business. Staff will eventually be able to decide how to direct agency profits and will continue to input into the running of the business via the Trust, in a model similar to that of the John Lewis Partnership.
"When we were considering the future of Torchbox, we thought about the importance of retaining our independent spirit and continuing our fast growth," explained Olly Willans. "We decided that by far the best people to own Torchbox are the people who have made it the success it is today, and the people who will continue to make it a success tomorrow."
Tom Dyson continued: "We plan to spend the next five years focused on maintaining the business's growth and success, continuing with our US expansion plans and ensuring we hit our targets. We've been lucky enough to work with an amazing array of clients who all have a strong purpose - from our first big client the MS Society to huge non-profit organisations like the NHS and NASA. However, the thing I'm most proud of is the team we've built at Torchbox - many of them have been with us for more than a decade and two employees have worked here since year one."
Torchbox's news coincides with Employee Ownership Day 2019, which aims to highlight the benefits of employee ownership and celebrate the successes of the UK's 300 employee owned businesses.
Notes to Editors:
*Research from http://wreoc.org/