With effect from 10 December 2021 Ignite Consulting became employee owned
Mark Long and Mark Smith (the founders) transferred 70% of the issued shares to the Ignite Employee Ownership Trust, retaining a 30% stake in the continued growth and success of the business.
The transfer took two years to plan, partly because of the impact of Covid, with considerable involvement and engagement with staff. The founders had been thinking for some time about the best way to pass on the ownership of the business – partly to realise some of the value created in the business and partly to ensure there is a stable platform for the continued health of the organisation.
The business has a very clear public service mission.
We are an innovation and change consultancy dedicated to transforming the face of public services.
With our clients, we design, build and embed high-performing and financially viable organisations able to deliver sustainable, efficient, customer-centric services focused on the things that really matter. Together we strive to make a meaningful difference to the lives of millions of people through building vibrant local communities, enhancing quality of life and protecting the vulnerable.
Both founders are passionate about preserving the ethos and spirit of the organisation so that it can continue to deliver against a clear purpose. The founders were worried, based on a previous experience, that a sale to a third party would lead to the inevitable dilution of the Ignite brand, the mission and the values that together attract such a wealth of talent and which binds the team so tightly together. Having built the business over a period of 20 years alongside the employee team, it made sense to pass ownership to those employees and create the platform for a bright future.
The long-term implications are all positive:
- An Employee Ownership Trust is the ideal vehicle to ensure the business is managed for the benefit of current and future employees
- Our clients will continue to benefit from an organisation totally aligned to their purpose, unencumbered by wider corporate motivations
- Our staff will have the platform to grow and develop themselves and the business and to find increasingly innovative ways to support change in a rapidly evolving world
The founders will stay with the business for the foreseeable future and will participate in its continued success. As part of preserving their legacy, they expressed their thoughts on the future in a founders’ wishes letter (see below) which will be used as a guide for the directors and trustees.