Speaker announced for ‘investing in employee ownership’ event

The EOA and Unity Trust Bank have confirmed their keynote speaker for an event that aims create understanding of the opportunities for finance in the employee ownership sector.

On March 16th the EOA in association with Unity Trust Bank will be hosting its first finance symposium to discuss the opportunities for financiers to invest in the UK’s employee owned sector.

Eric Leenders, Managing Director – Personal Finance, UK Finance will deliver the keynote address on the important role employee ownership can play in the UK economy as well as how investors and lenders can benefit from supporting businesses to make the transition to employee ownership at the event, which will take place at Chartered Accountants Hall from 1.30pm to 5pm.

As one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK; employee owned businesses have the potential to contribute significantly to economic performance and productivity, yet evidence suggests that the sector is often overlooked by investors and lenders.

In his role as Managing Director, Personal Finance, Eric is responsible for all personal finance matters, including credit cards; complaints handling, conduct regulation, consumer credit, mortgages, payments, savings and supporting vulnerable customers across retail and private banking portfolios.  Eric, a Chartered Banker with an MSc in Banking, is accountable to retail, private and mid-tier bank CEOs for development and delivery of sector specific strategies, maintaining active senior-level engagement with politicians, regulators, consumer advocates and policy makers on a range of issues to support the economy, serve customers better and earn trust in the sector.

Eric, who is a Non-Executive Director at the Buckinghamshire Building Society (chair of risk committee) and Registry Trust Limited, also holds a non-executive role on the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The event attendees will also hear the experiences of employee owned businesses and have the opportunity to contribute to policy ideas and identify action required to transform the role of finance in this sector with Baroness Sharon Bowles of Berkhamstead. Baroness Bowles chaired the Ownership Effect Inquiry that resulted in findings and an action plan being published in the 2018 business backed report The Ownership Dividend. The inquiry revealed that awareness of EO amongst professional advisers and funders was one of the biggest barriers to seeing faster growth for the sector.

Attendees will also receive copies of a new report from think tank, Ownership at Work, and hear from its authors – industry experts Baxi Partnership and Capital 4 Colleagues – about the opportunities and challenges for finance in this rapidly growing sector.

Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “With thanks to all of our contributors, and the support from Unity Trust Bank, we hope that this event will stimulate conversations and support the development of solutions that better support the growth of the employee owned sector.”

Further details of this ground-breaking finance symposium are available on the EOA website here.

For those interested in attending the event, or for other enquiries regarding the event, please contact anne.richardson@employeeownership.co.uk or call 01482 692544