White Ink Architects has announced that it has become an employee-owned company through an employee ownership trust (EOT).
The business is one of the first Northern Ireland-based consultancies to adapt to employee ownership through an EOT, with the three founders stating the decision will “preserve the independent spirit of the practice”, as well as benefitting clients who will have access to a team of employee owners “more connected to their success than ever before.”
The EOT model, which has been established ahead of twentieth anniversary celebrations for White Ink in September, will manage 100% of the organisation’s shares on behalf of all employees.
According to the business, it has made several new appointments as part of the transition to “strengthen” the existing management team and “nurture talent”. Claire McAteer, Pearse McCann and Shane McCrory, who have a combined 13 years of working at the organisation, will step into management roles and become associates.
White Ink director Joan McCoy explained that the team believes that employee ownership heralds the start of a vibrant new chapter for the business, and they now have a “mammoth incentive” to continue to drive forward the performance of the practice, helping clients and improving lives through the buildings created.
Director Claude Maguire commented that the team is very proud of the organisation that has been built and the strong client relationships formed over the last 20 years, and that everyone is delighted to be placing the future of the organisation into the hands of employees.
“It was important that we protect White Ink’s legacy while acknowledging the contribution of our team to White Ink Architects’ success. The new ownership structure removes barriers to succession, ensuring that the choice of future leaders will be determined solely on talent, ability and the drive to deliver White Ink’s vision,” he said.
According to director Sean Tunney, remote working during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic reinforced that it is possible to compete in the UK marketplace regardless of location, and a key driver for staff is working on projects in London and beyond while enjoying the benefits of living in Northern Ireland.