‘I can’t think of a better succession plan than handing the reins over to my amazing team’ | Chartered Accountancy The Peloton transitions to EO

The founder of a Chartered Accountancy firm says he “can’t think of a better succession plan” after The Peloton transitioned to employee ownership.

The Peloton, based in Penryn in Cornwall but serving clients across the UK, has created an employee ownership trust (EOT) – going forward, all employees will have a say in the running of the business and share in the profits.

In a statement, the business said the transition marked “a huge moment for our founder, Mike Hutchinson, the wider team and the accountancy profession as a whole”.

Reflecting on the occasion, Mike said: “Just over 11 years ago I set up a firm of Chartered Accountants called The Peloton. Building this company has been the most incredible, exciting, maddening, and wonderful experience.

“Over the last few years though I’ve been reflecting on my future. I don’t want to work forever. I want to sail around the world, write that book I’ve been meaning to write, and begin the next chapter in my life.

“I can’t think of a better succession plan than handing the reins over to my amazing team. I’m petrified and excited… but that is where the magic lies.”

Employee trustee view

Oliver Twentyman, speaking as the employee trustee on the newly created EOT, added: “When I first heard about employee ownership trusts, it sounded too good to be true. A company owned by the people who work there. When the company does well it doesn’t just benefit a few top people, it benefits everyone. A company where you can look around the office and know you’re all in it together, that your work benefits everyone and everyone else’s work benefits you.

“Over time, what I’ve learned about employee ownership has only reinforced that belief. The ability to sell, for full market value, tax-free, makes this an eminently viable exit route for business owners. The tax-free bonus for employees is icing on the cake!

“Increasingly I’ve come to believe that employee ownership represents the future of work. A vision of employment which is more rewarding, collaborative, challenging and fun. Where everyone is on the same team and takes pride in the company they not only work for, but own.”

Growing sector

Employee ownership is one of the fastest-growing business succession solutions in the UK. There are now more than 1,000 employee-owned businesses, with the sector more than doubling in the past three years.

The fast pace of growth amongst businesses has taken off with the use of the employee ownership trust (EOT), introduced by the government in 2014 to encourage long-term employee ownership. One in every 20 private company sales is now to an EOT, with The Peloton joining a network of EOTs in the UK that include Richer Sounds and Go Ape.

James de le Vingne, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), said: “We congratulate our members The Peloton on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values and culture of the business, as well as rooting jobs in Cornwall.

“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.”

About The Peloton

Partnering with leading lawyers in the employee ownership community, The Peloton provides end-to-end support when it comes to EOT transitions. Be it valuing the business, modelling cashflow, obtaining tax clearances, the legal documentation, or determining the profit share formula. Having been through the journey itself, it’s committed to helping other businesses with their own transition to employee ownership. Learn more here >>

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