Member news: MindWorks Marketing transitions to employee ownership in 20th year of business

EOA member, Hampshire-based marketing agency, MindWorks Marketing, has become employee owned.

Now in its 20th year with clients including Suzuki, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Royal Navy, Ford and Wiggle, it has announced its team of 34 have become owners of the business.

Mindworks Managing Director, John Harris-Burland, has sold his majority shareholding to a combination of the senior management team which will be held in Trust on behalf of all the employees, meaning all employees will share directly in the profits of the company.

John said: “Over the years, we have built a strong caring ethos at MindWorks. This is driven by our company values that dictate how we should work to deliver the best marketing possible for our clients, while working together in a caring and respectful way.

“By setting up an Employee Owned Trust, I can ensure this ethos continues as the new agreement specifies that the trust will be guardians of these brand values and responsible for overseeing the success of the company.”

As part of the transition, the company now has an elected member of staff on the board – making a female majority – and a further elected member of staff as a Trustee. Additionally, all the Directors are also now shareholders, adding to their commitment to the future.

Further significant changes for the company see John take on a new role as Chairman, while Michelle Leggatt – a chartered marketer who has worked closely with John for over 16 years – becomes Managing Director Designate, taking over fully as MD next year.

Talking of the changes, Michelle Leggatt said: “I am delighted to be taking on this new role at such an exciting time for the company. I look forward to taking on this wonderful new challenge of leading the company into its next phase of development.”

Deb Oxley, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “We congratulate Mindworks on its transition to employee ownership which will secure the future of the business in the local economy while retaining the brand, ethos, vales it holds dear for many years to come.

“We are seeing a trend of businesses which rely on people to differentiate their offer to consider employee ownership as a sustainable business model that empowers employees in a more meaningful way, which helps them to attract and retain the best talent and in turn helps to develop and maintain great relationships with clients.”