Member spotlight: Agilisys

Company name: Agilisys

Number of employees: 1,900

Headquarters: Hammersmith, London

EO established: 2nd April 2015

Agilisys has almost two decades’ experience using technology-driven transformation to help public sector partners reduce cost, increase revenue and improve their services for millions of citizens across the UK.

After trading for over 15 years, the Agilisys Board began to consider alternative ownership structures as a means of preserving its employee-focused ethos and ensuring the future of the company remained firmly in the hands of those people who shared the same values and visions of its co-founders.

As a result of the comprehensive legal and financial advice delivered by Fieldfisher, Agilisys began to realise the potential benefits to be reaped from a transition to employee owned status, welcoming the opportunity to align the common goals and share the successes of employees, shareholders and trustees alike.

Consequently, Agilisys made the decision to implement an indirect ownership structure, whereby 57% of the company’s shareholdings are held by an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

The transition has had a transformative impact both internally and externally, moving the business’ brand profile from one which was very traditional in look and feel, to that which wholeheartedly embodies Agilisys’ three core values: innovation, integrity and passion.

As part of the journey to achieving company-wide support and understanding of the employee ownership structure, the business has created a sound employee representation mechanism, with the first round of elections seeing over 50 candidates participate and more than 500 votes cast. The 30 elected representatives were subsequently awarded full governance powers and equipped with the necessary authority to really influence the approach to the EOT and employee engagement.

Alongside this, Agilisys has invested in enhancing communications both internally and externally, by connecting with the wider employee ownership network and beginning to measure engagement through an inaugural employee engagement survey.

With the employee ownership sector receiving mounting government support, evidenced by the introduction of recent tax incentives, and continuing to grow at 10% per annum, it’s clear that Agilisys joins the EO community at an exciting time – and that the move is paying off.

As the first business in its market to adopt the EOT model, the company has found its EO status offers a real competitive advantage, appealing to local and central government and existing public sector clients, many of whom share the same ethos as EO businesses.

Not only this, but as one of the largest employee-owned businesses in the UK and with a revenue in excess of £146 million, Agilisys has made it into the EOA’s Top 50 rankings for 2016 – the highest new entry, at number 11.

The success the business has achieved in such a short space of time is testament to its commitment to employee ownership and one which looks sure to continue for the long-term, evolving with the business’ objectives and proving that employee ownership is not a destination in its own right; it is a journey.