Employee Ownership Day

Posted in News on 29 June 2021 
By Steve Kemp, Chief Executive Officer and Helen O'Brien, Creative Director

Employee Ownership Day 2021 was on Friday and is a national celebration of employee ownership. 

It was in January 2020 that Noel, Kingsley and myself sold 70% of the business to an Employee Ownership Trust. Having built a successful business with a strong and supportive culture, we decided a possible future transaction that potentially compromised what had been built did not appeal to us. We wanted to keep Emperor’s destiny in its own hands.

Ensuring that we remain engaged, entrepreneurial and produce quality work. Protecting our work community and ethos where people are respected, supported, cared for and recognised; 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. These are the things that are important and that employee ownership helps support.

In that vein, I thought I’d hand over to Helen O’Brien, from our Employee Board, to share some thoughts about Emperor’s employee ownership journey:

As we celebrate Employee Ownership Day, I’m delighted to reflect on what Employee Ownership means to Emperor and how this year's theme of #BetterTogether resonates for our partners and our clients.

We have been employee owned for 18 months, and all apart from the first two have been in lockdown. The move to employee ownership went, in a very short space of time, from a celebration of Emperor's culture, to an essential part of the business, informing and guiding decision making and ensuring we remain a people-first company in these challenging times.

Increased communication, transparency and feedback throughout the business keeps partners informed. Just as importantly, listening to and sharing partner perspectives and ideas informs and influences business decision making.

This years theme #BetterTogether, is particularly pertinent. The pandemic and working from home has taught us even if we are physically apart, this is no barrier for us being better together in business, and as colleagues. We are particularly proud of the work we have delivered and the impact we have created together with our clients.

While it hasn’t been the start to employee ownership life anyone expected, we believe that in the face of adversity the move has helped focus priorities and support the business. We come into 2021 in a much stronger, better prepared and more optimistic place.

" 'Employee powered for a sustainable future’ is our theme for our 25th year in business, and something that feels more tangible with each passing day "

Helen O'BrienCreative Director, Partner and Member of the Employee Board


News, Reporting

Emperor's first annual report

After 25 years as an independent agency, this report is an important milestone in improving our corporate and financial transparency. Not least, because in January 2020 we became an employee owned business and our annual report acts as a contract of trust between Emperor and our stakeholders.


Emperor celebrates 25 years in business

2021 marks 25 years since Steve Kemp and Noel O’Connor opened Emperor’s doors for business. Since then they steered Emperor to become one of the UK’s leading creative agencies, while growing a team of over 230 talented people.