EO Trustee Search

In our most recent survey of our members, one of the top asks was support for finding an independent trustee – below are three options to help EO businesses with their Independent Trustee Search.

Why appoint an independent trustee?

Employee-owned businesses, where a majority stake of the businesses held in trust on behalf of the employees, have a Trust board that represents the interest of the employee owners.

While there is not a set format for the Trust board, the EOA sees good practice as having at least one elected employee trustee as well as an independent trustee.

The independent trustee helps to represent the interests of employees as owners, including protecting the values of the business over the long-term and making sure that the company board and senior management team understand their accountabilities to the trust/employee owners.

Benefits of having an independent trustee:

  • an independent and neutral voice
  • offers objective insight, support and guidance
  • Supports the delivery of robust governance.

This is invaluable at a time where there is great change in the business as an owner is exiting.

Three Options to support your trustee search

Independent Trustee Placement Service

The Independent Trustee Placement Service offer finds best-fit Trustees with a unique delivery model that allows you to flex support and cost to suit your need, and avoids expensive recruitment fees or multi-year contracts. Jointly delivered by EO experts Eternal Business Consultancy and specialist non-executive services firm Boardroom Advisors.  

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    • Candidates are senior professionals with deep knowledge and experience in business governance. Each has had additional EO Trustee coaching from Eternal Business.
    • You set the level of support you need from your Trustee from a range of affordable options and can switch that up, down or off at any point with no penalty.
    • You pay a minimal up-front fee of just £300.
    • Best-fit candidates are selected from a hand-picked pool of 75, available from each region of the UK with experience across multiple business sectors.
    • You can also use this service to find Non-Executive Directors for your main board who understand the needs and nuances of employee owned firms.

    The process is simple: Fill out a short form, have a brief discussion to set a clear brief and the Independent Trustee Placement Service will recommend at least two candidates for consideration. You only pay if you go with a candidate.

    Launch the Independent Trustee Placement Service web page 


Employee Ownership Trustees Appointment Service (EOTAS)

J Gadd Associates, are independent advisors who offer a range of employee ownership services supporting transition, governance and culture, that helps bring employee ownership to life. They have partnered with executive search experts Russam to provide an independent trustee appointment service drawing on a large pool of high calibre individuals.

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    As a business searching for an independent trustee:

    Whether you are looking to appoint for new board being established, managing the succession of roles and changing requirements within your board or looking for specific expertise, EOTAS matches your needs with an extensive candidate pool. They will:

    • Work with you to established your trustee needs
    • agree a profile and advert to help attract candidates and match your needs with suitable individuals
    • undertake targeted marketing to identify quality applicants
    • Support you in shortlisting and agreeing an appointment

    The service has a fixed fee, which is offered to EOA members at a discount of £3,000. On commencement a deposit will be taken, with the balance required on confirmation of an appointment.

    As an individual interested in becoming a trustee:

    A number of Associates have trustee and governance experience themselves within the EO sector and recognise the value independent trustees bring.

    EOTAS encourages registrations from those who have already worked with the employee owned sector as a trustee. Whether you are an established trustee, looking for your first post or coming to the end of your term and seeking a new opportunity, the EOTAS database connects you to opportunities for roles. For those who have been an elected representative on your business’ employee trust, this a great route for the individual to further develop their leadership skills and experience.

    Launch the EOTAS web page


EOA Independent Trustee Search

The EOA offers a self-service trustee search in the member platform the EO Hub. This offers individuals a chance to showcase their credentials and to be considered to be an independent trustee and offers businesses a chance to share their independent trustee vacancy.

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    As an individual you can:

    Showcase your skills and experience that are relevant to being an independent trustee for one of our member businesses. You can update your EO Hub profile to indicate you are seeking a position which is searchable by businesses who have a vacancy.

    You may have already been an independent trustee, or you may be looking to further develop your experience after completing your term as an elected employee trustee or employee director in your own business.

    As a business you can:

    Advertise your organisation’s Independent Trustee vacancy on the Hub and search our pool of potential candidates. You can then connect with them in the EO Hub to start a conversation.

    Login to the EO Hub and see the Trustee Search page for instructions