Emperor becomes employee owned

Posted in News on 22 January 2020 By Steve Kemp, Co-Founder & CEO

Nearly 25 years after we opened our doors, Emperor is transitioning to be an employee-owned business.

I’m delighted to announce that Emperor has become an employee-owned business.

As one of the founders, when we opened Emperor for business nearly 25 years ago I had no idea how far we could go. It’s safe to say that where we are today far exceeds my wildest expectations.

We’re now the UK’s largest corporate reporting agency, we have over 200 people in six offices, and have built the business through strong organic growth and acquisition. More importantly, we have a strong culture of collaboration, care and support; we have started, developed and nurtured too many careers to mention, created many enduring friendships and the quality of our work never ceases to amaze.

These days there’s rarely a month that goes by where I’m not asked what we plan to do with the business. Maybe that’s because people think I look close to retirement! What has become increasingly apparent is that a transaction that potentially compromises what we have built has become more unappealing. And it is for this reason that the ownership passing to another corporation, a big media group, private equity investors, venture capitalists or into public stocks is not an option.

What’s far more important is remaining engaged, entrepreneurial and ensuring that the quality of our work remains intact. Protecting our work community, ethos and culture; giving people careers at all levels, where they can keep learning and developing; creating a meaningful social impact and doing more good along the way. And with so much existing and emerging talent across the agency, keeping Emperor’s destiny in its own hands.

With this in mind Noel, Kingsley and myself have agreed to sell 67% of the business to an Employee Ownership Trust. This effectively means that everyone – whilst employed at Emperor – will be a partner in the business.

As we enter the next decade we already have strong foundations in place.

  • We have a clear strategy that provides us with the platform to remain successful and relevant in our ever-changing world.

  • Our strategic priorities and governance structure ensure we have a microscope on today and a telescope on tomorrow.

  • Our Pledges and new Principles reinforce the commitments we have as a company, and the behaviours we expect from our colleagues.

  • As an employee-owned business we will need unity in our aims and a shared belief. We are introducing a Charter that defines our essence and guides our everyday behaviour, activities and decisions.

As Emperor’s CEO, I have the honour and privilege of working with – and leading – over 200 individuals. We are collectively responsible for our continued growth and success and it’s in all of our hands to create a truly sustainable legacy business, a legacy where there is a clear direction, a sense of purpose and we consistently create great work. A business where our people will continue to grow and which is fiercely protective of our special culture.

I am as excited about the future as I’ve ever been.

Emperor's move to employee ownership: Emperor's move to employee ownership

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