Legal search and recruitment consultancy SSQ has become an employee-owned business in a bid to provide long-term stability for its employees.
All shares in the London-headquartered business, which has several international offices, have been sold to an employee ownership trust (EOT) for an undisclosed sum.
SSQ said the move would enable all members of staff to share in the potential financial rewards of the new format.
Founded in 2003, the business works with law firms and other organisations to build their legal teams. Its shareholders decided to explore their strategic options and the executive team worked with independent business advisory firm FRP Corporate Finance.
Following a review, shareholders found that an EOT would provide them with their desired outcome while also giving the organisation and its employees a platform for continued growth.
FRP Corporate Finance partner Dave Howes and director James Cooper designed the structure, created a detailed financial model, drafted the heads of terms, and prepared a share valuation for the directors and the trustee.
Law firm Fieldfisher provided tax and legal support throughout the process.
Jonathan Field, joint group chief executive at SSQ, said the move was “the right outcome for our employee colleagues, SSQ’s ongoing management team and our selling shareholders”.
Howes added: “This is a fantastic outcome for the team at SSQ and creates an organisation with a new structure that can effectively drive employee engagement and business performance going forward.
“We’re seeing more and more business owners appreciating the benefits of the employee ownership model, which offers an increasingly attractive succession route and far less disruptive than other exit options.”
SSQ has 90 members of staff working across 13 offices including Paris, Rome, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Firms transitioning to employee ownership recently include Birmingham-based corporate finance business Orbis Partners and marketing and communications agency Newhall Publishing.