Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

John Lewis Director joins Employee Ownership Event

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Business success through planned business succession will be the topic at a series of breakfast events hosted by Wales Co-operative Centre this month. The events will explore issues around business exits, succession and utilising employee ownership as a tool for long term succession planning.

Employee ownership experts from the Wales Co-operative Centre will be joined in the Cardiff event this Tuesday (“3rd April) by Chris Earnshaw, managing director of John Lewis Cardiff. Chris will look at how Employee Ownership in John Lewis gives the group a competitive advantage over other businesses within the retail sector. He will explore how John Lewis manages its employee ownership structure, its engagement with its Partners, (staff) and provide an insight into the benefits employee ownership can give companies of every size.

Britain’s most famous employee owned company, the John Lewis Partnership recently announced a bonus worth 17% for each employee – equivalent to nine weeks pay. The Partnership currently employs over 84,000 people and has paid a bonus of at least 9% since 1999/2000.

Employee ownership is a concept that is becoming more and more popular in Britain due to the increased recognition of it as a means of sustaining growth and encouraging innovation within companies. In fact, according to industry experts Field Fisher Waterhouse by September 2012, an investment of £100 in employee owned companies in 1992 would have returned £661 compared to the same investment at the same time in the FTSE All-share which would have returned just £244.

Employee ownership can also be effective as a long term succession strategy. Several models can be used to allow business owners to sell shares directly to employees or to a trust working on behalf of the employees (similar to the ‘John Lewis Model’). The move towards employee ownership is flexible and can be utilised over a timescale that suits the owners, the employees and the company.

Aberystwyth biotech company Aber Instruments is employee owned. It’s Finance Director Barry Wise and his co-founders decided to pass on the business to their employees as part of a long term succession strategy. Barry retires from Aber Instruments this year and is joining the Wales Co-operative Centre at the breakfast events to talk about the benefits of this approach for business owners looking to retire or for business owners looking to grow their business.

Places for the Cardiff event and the events in Swansea and Newport can be booked online at or by calling 0300 111 5050


Written by David Madge

April 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Posted in co-operatives

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