EO for Architects
Employee Ownership – Business as a force for good
A growing number of architectural practice founders and owners are choosing the employee ownership model as the basis for their exit plan or ownership structure. Employee-owned practices include Allford Hall Monaghan and Morris, Make, Assael, and Cullinan Studio.
Legacy is a prime driver for many founders of architectural practices, which is why employee-ownership is such a popular exit option. In addition, the collaborative nature of working lends itself particularly well to the employee-ownership model.
To find out what motivated practice founders Peter Morris of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Ken Shuttleworth of MAKE and Russell Pedley of Assael as well as Trustees of Purcell and Cullinan Studio, have a look at the videos on this page.
Peter Morris M.D. of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects shares his experiences of their recent transition to employee ownership.
Case Study: Page/Park
Page\Park is an architectural firm based in Glasgow that made the transition to employee ownership in December 2013. Since then, the business has recruited 12 new employee-owners, increasing its staff to a total of 54, to meet the growth in demand for their services – a positive commercial upturn which owners attribute in part to their transition to employee ownership.
As they had already developed a business model that shared responsibility across all levels of the office structure, the team at Page\Park held the view that employee ownership secured the future of the business well beyond the involvement of the present owners and perfectly fitted their existing culture of transparency and cooperation.
By sharing responsibility alongside sharing benefits, Page\Park has seen ever-increasing levels of staff engagement and a renewed impetus to drive success within the business. Now Page\Park is seeing more and more architectural firms expressing their interest in how employee-ownership has driven their success within their sector.
Brian Park, of Page\Park, said:
“The transition to employee ownership presented no real challenges. Instead, there was an atmosphere of interest and excitement from all involved. A tagline of “All change, no change” emphasized to staff and employees that, on a day-to-day basis, the business would run in the same way that it had always done. Page\Park very simply and smoothly transitioned to a different legal entity (a limited company with all shares owned by an Employee Benefit Trust). The official day of transition was celebrated with an event attended by clients, consultants, and employees and there was a great atmosphere.
“It may all sound too good to be true, but it has been painless and indeed energising to have made this change… I’m now even more convinced that making the move to employee ownership was the right thing to do.”