Winch Design, a design studio for the yachting, aviation and architecture sectors, has become fully employee owned.
The new employee ownership trust (EOT), which is now the sole shareholder of the business, was established in line with its ethos of placing the highest value on its staff, with their “loyalty, talent and commitment” playing a vital part in the company’s success.
According to Winch Design, rather than a change to its current and future modus operandi the move was a “natural progression”, making the organisation one of more than 470 EOTs in the UK. The EOT will ensure that Winch, which was created by Andrew and Jane Winch 35 years ago, remains privately held and under the ongoing stewardship of the team.
In the past six years at the company, Clive Beharrell became chairman, Aino Grapin was appointed CEO, and long-standing studio heads Simon Tomlinson and Jim Dixon were made directors. Grapin, Dixon and Tomlinson will continue to have responsibility for the business together with the rest of the senior leadership team.
The EOT will also be governed by a board of trustee directors, whose role it is to represent Winch employees’ interests and to ensure “high levels” of employee engagement. The operating board will continue to act as a decision-making board, overseen by the trustees.
Grapin commented that she has been honoured to drive Winch forward for the past five years supported by a “fantastic” team, and that clients and partners will benefit from the owner mindset that will permeate the business.
“Andrew has long been a visionary in the industry and this has inspired us to develop a truly innovative studio, both in terms of the projects we design and the management style we adopt. Employee ownership will enable us to stay true to our colours, serve our clients even better and further empower our next generation of talent,” she said.