Consultancy firm Quod transitions to employee ownership to ‘formalise’ its culture as a people-focused business

Planning and development consultancy Quod says becoming employee-owned has “formalised its long-held belief that the success of the company comes from having a great, positively engaged team”.

Quod has announced its transition to become an employee-owned company, with the shares held in an employee ownership trust (EOT) for the benefit of all current and future employees.

Since its founding in 2010, Quod has experienced significant growth creating an award-winning, independent and dynamic consultancy at the cutting-edge of planning, development economics, socio-economics and environmental planning.

Based in London and Leeds, it says it will “continue to operate according to the values which we hold dear, and which makes Quod the consultancy of choice for our clients, providing them with outstanding advice through our unique blend of expertise”.

Quod chose an EOT because “it embodies the company culture in which we all feel responsible for the business’ performance and success” and it feels establishing the Trust is the next natural step in its journey, which has been characterised by a strong community of friendship, ethos of profit sharing and equal opportunity. A Trust also maintains Quod’s independence.

The Trust, which includes an independent chair, is there to hold the refreshed management team to account on behalf of the employees.

New Managing Director Tom Dobson said: “Becoming employee-owned has formalised Quod’s long-held belief that the success of the company comes from having a great, positively engaged team, where everyone is personally invested and plays their part to ensure that we deliver only the highest quality advice.”

He also believes that by remaining independent, the company will be able to retain its culture and reputation, adding: “As a people-focused business, the employee ownership model will provide long-term stability for all colleagues, and ensure we continue to serve our clients with genuine independence.”

John Rhodes OBE, co-founder of Quod, added: “Since founding Quod in 2010, we have seen the business grow into a renowned and respected consultancy, thanks to the commitment of our people.

“We have collectively taken the decision to turn the practice into an employee ownership trust in order to put the future of the business firmly in the hands of those that have built it – our employees.

“All the founders remain absolutely committed to the business, and we look forward to many more successful years of Quod.

“It’s a very exciting time and this step allows our colleagues to feel even more connected to the company. They have a real stake in the success of the business and can take pride in knowing that they are shareholders, building for the future.

“Together we will continue to grow the business for the benefit of our employee co-owners and our clients, shaping high quality development that creates a positive legacy for affected communities and the environment.”

James de le Vingne, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association, added: “We congratulate our member Quod on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values and culture of the businesses.

“Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose, and leaving businesses in a better position to flex and adapt.”

Quod has thanked the advisers that took it through the EOT process “seamlessly”, including Fox Williams, BDO, CBW, and Fieldfisher, and concluded by thanking everyone at Quod, “all of whom have engaged enthusiastically to help shape our new future,” says Elva Phelan, a director at the company.

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