MM-Eye starts ‘new chapter’ as it becomes latest market research agency to transition to employee ownership

The EOA congratulates member firm MM-Eye after it announced “a new chapter in our story” by becoming employee owned.

The London-based market research agency finalised its transition to employee ownership on January 11, meaning all its employees will now have a say in how the business is run and will share in the profits it generates.

MM-Eye was formed 15 years ago and has transitioned through several owners, most recently being acquired in 2020 by its longstanding management team.

Damien Field, Alison Phillips and Deborah Fitzpatrick, the directors who secured the company’s independence in 2020, will remain in their operational roles while developing and mentoring the next generation of leaders for MM-Eye.

Speaking about the decision to pursue employee ownership, Damien Field said: “We’re very excited to pass on ownership of the business to the team who have contributed so much to its success. It’s good for the business, good for the team and good for us!

“Normally when an owner sells it is time to think about slowing down – we’re massively energised by this new chapter for the business.”

He added: “MM-Eye is grateful for the invaluable advice and support received from its accountants and business advisors Beavis Morgan and solicitors Lawrence Stephens.”

In its statement about becoming EO, the company said: “Employee ownership is an exciting, progressive way to structure our business, that holds benefits for staff, our clients as well as suppliers and everybody else we work with.

“Becoming an employee-owned business aligns firmly with our imminent B Corp certification and our mission to deliver Insights That Power Positive Change.”

Alison Phillips added: “Employee-owned businesses are proven to be more creative, adaptable and customer-focussed, all of which will be good news to our growing client base of blue-chip corporates and high-growth businesses who are driven by an ethos of positive impact.”

Empowering its team

MM-Eye is a diverse and growing team of 20 people, some of whom have been with the company for 10-plus years, others just a few months.

Speaking about the team, Deborah Fitzpatrick said: “MM-Eye has always been committed to being a Great Place to Work. Employee Ownership will take this to the next level, empowering the team to take ownership of their personal growth and development as well as own their collective future.”

Meg Rudman-Walsh, a Research Director who has worked at MM-Eye for eight years, will be the first Employee Trustee, ensuring that the interests of the employee partners are properly represented in the running of the business.

Meg said: “Everyone is so excited about the prospect of being partners in the business. Already work feels like it has more meaning and you feel more connected to your colleagues.”

MM-Eye is the fifth in a growing band of market research agencies who feel that employee ownership is the right model to secure their future growth and development. The other four are Britain Thinks, The Nursery, DJS Research and Vox Pops International.

James de le Vingne, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), said: “We congratulate our member MM-Eye on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values, and culture of the business, uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose, and making the business more able to flex and adapt.”

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