News Article Allies moves to 100% employee ownership

Tom Stanley

Allies Computing is now entirely employee-owned and the team, already working well and effectively together, has even more purpose and enthusiasm.

Allies moves to 100% employee ownership

When Peter and Lorna Allies started a computing company in 1987, they wanted to create a happy team that cared about how they sold as much as what they sold; a company dedicated to treating its people and customers with respect and fairness, based on their own Christian principles.

They were nurturing what was then a radical culture long before the corporate mottos of “Don’t Be Evil” and “Fanatical Support” had been conceived.

Their philosophy has well served Allies Computing and its customers over the past three decades, and remains at its core today. Importantly, it makes the team conscientious but still driven and hungry for success.

Last year, with an effective business strategy in place, an 18-strong team and a turnover of £1.6M, the founders decided the time was right for them to sell their majority shareholding.

In the middle of 2015, we initiated a review of sale options with Sarah Nice (the company’s finance director) and our accountancy team.

Seeking external investment through a corporate or individual investor is often favoured in this scenario, with management buy-outs being a popular alternative.

During preliminary discussions around both approaches – each with their own pros and cons – we identified a third option known as employee ownership.

Employee ownership provides employees with a stake in the success of their company and is widely regarded as a sustainable business model which encourages staff innovation and commitment.

The UK Government strongly backs the concept and introduced tax initiatives in 2014 to encourage adoption.

Ownership can be direct, where the employees own the shares, or indirect, where all the shares are held on their behalf by a trust. In the case of indirect ownership, which is similar to the John Lewis model, annual bonuses of up to £3,600 can be paid to employees entirely tax-free.

As a board of directors, we unanimously agreed that 100% employee ownership could only strengthen our position of being a different sort of company.

In November 2015, we established our own Employee Ownership Trust. We appointed trustees and installed governance to ensure we retain strong commercial agility while still allowing every employee to have a voice.

Last December, we finalised the deal that saw Peter and Lorna sell all of their shares to the trust, with the transaction entirely funded by the company.

Allies Computing is now entirely employee-owned and the team, already working well and effectively together, has even more purpose and enthusiasm.

Latest news,
press releases & announcements
Our email newsletter goes out once a month. We will only use your details to send you links to products and articles we think might interest you.
Live Start Loading NowChatting Offline

Cookie consent

We use some essential cookies to make this website work. We'd like to set additional cookies to help us measure your experience when you view and interact with the website.

Cookie policy