New employee-ownership structure for M&A advisor BCMS

BCMS – which specialises in advising privately owned businesses on company sale transactions – has announced a new ownership structure.

BCMS is now majority owned by its employees, under an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) model. The majority shareholding has been acquired from the founders of the business, on behalf of its employees.

 “We believe this is the first EOT for the Corporate Finance sector. Just like our clients, we are all now business owners too” – Jonathan Dunn, CEO, BCMS

The change in ownership is the latest positive news for BCMS, which has completed a number of sizeable transactions in 2022 (including the £80m sale of Geotek to Judges Scientific plc) and posted its highest end-of-year profits since 2016.

Benefits of employee-owned businesses

BCMS joins high-profile businesses including the John Lewis Partnership, Richer Sounds, Welsh Power and Mott MacDonald in pursuing an employee ownership model. The employee-owned sector in the UK is growing year-on-year, and analysis published by The Employee Ownership Association indicates co-owned companies are typically more successful, competitive, profitable and sustainable.

Jonathan Dunn, CEO at BCMS, who led the EOT initiative said: “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.

“The new structure engages colleagues across all roles here at BCMS, encourages an even greater sense of belonging and unity and allows every employee to benefit financially from our ongoing success.  We’re also expecting to attract new talent to join us as they seek to further their careers and enjoy the numerous benefits of this approach.”

Top left: BCMS founder Brian Rebbettes announces the change of ownership. Main image: the BCMS team, July 2022

Advantages for clients and colleagues

Dunn added: “We believe this is the first EOT for the Corporate Finance sector, and as the UK’s only employee-owned M&A specialist, it provides another point of distinction in our market, as we seek to build a business that really stands out in our industry.  We believe this new ownership structure will give us a number of advantages over competitors and allow us to connect even more strongly with our entrepreneurial client base. After all, just like our clients, we are all now business owners too.”

The Rebbettes family, founding shareholders of BCMS who established the company in 1989, will retain a sizeable minority stake. Dave, Steve and Brian Rebbettes commented: “We’ve enjoyed seeing BCMS evolve under the current management team, and now is the perfect time for the whole staff base to literally take ownership of our future success and direction. It is exciting to see the business we started move on to the next chapter.”

BCMS was advised by specialist law firm Cooper Cavendish on the transaction.

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