BCMS – an employee-owned corporate finance advisor

Liz Jackson MBE writes: We’ve had a brilliant response to last month’s announcement that BCMS is now majority owned by us, the employees. In fact, the news made a splash in the business media – via coverage in publications including Insider Media, Business Leader and The Business Magazine – and on social, where the story has been picked up by commentators who have identified the uniqueness of the move for a corporate finance advisor.

We’ve joined the membership body for employee-owned businesses, The Employee Ownership Association, and had some welcoming and insightful comments from the Chief Executive James de le Vingne: “We congratulate our members BCMS on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values and culture of the business. Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose, and leaving businesses in a better position to flex and adapt.”

BCMS: a people-first company since 1989

Very true. But BCMS has always been a people-first company: innovating, disrupting, different – with the entrepreneurial spirit of our founding shareholders, the Rebbettes family. And our former clients – the BCMS Fellows, who’ve partnered with us in the past – were quick to note how the move really reflects the approach we’ve always had as an advisor. “The employees made BCMS,” said one former client, succinctly.

All the feedback was positive. I counted quite a few uses of the words “exciting”, “fantastic”, “marvellous” and “brilliant” – as well as some “wows” and “bravos” – in the flurry of congratulations we received. And they came not just from Fellows, but partners, colleagues across financial and professional services, and even potential clients. Thank you to all who got in touch – it was very kind.

One particular comment (which I have permission to use publicly, of course) stood out, because it wraps up why we’ve done this in a nutshell. That came from Jon Crabtree, who sold his specialist regulatory and complaints management services business to Davies Group with BCMS.

Here’s what he told me: “It’s really amazing and great news… It’s very clear that this is a massive incentive to all the loyal employees like you who believe passionately in BCMS, its values and principles. It will, I’m sure, mean that as a business you continue stand out from the competition and set new standards whilst also delivering your unique tailored service for all your clients.  The news was that exciting it almost made me wish I was still working myself! Although I soon calmed down!”

Employee owned – and women led

The leadership team of Jonathan Dunn, Andy Denny, Debbie Henderson and I have been leading BCMS for three years, but now we all join Jonathan as legal Directors of the business. As well as being employee owned, it’s unusual in corporate finance to have such a strong female presence at a senior leadership level – another differentiator for us at BCMS.

Prior to BCMS, I ran my own business for 17 years. If you know me, or have heard me speak publicly, you’ll know I’m passionate about the potential of women-owned companies, and the dynamic, fresh approach that women leaders can bring to business. We’re currently working with some dynamic women-led businesses, and a personal ambition to make BCMS the M&A advisor of choice for the women-in-business community at large.

A pretty positive few weeks then: topped off with the news that BCMS has been shortlisted for Corporate Finance Advisor of the Year at the Insider Media awards. We’re excited here at BCMS – we now have a powerful platform to continue to grow, and a loud voice in how that happens. As Jonathan Dunn said when we announced the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT): “This is fantastic news for BCMS and our clients and allows us – as employees – to really drive and deliver our future success. We’re now all in this together, officially, as co-owners.”

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