Advisers hoping to pass their business on by succession planning will be given a helping hand with the launch of an online programme to help set up employee ownership trusts (EOTs).
While some business owners say they would prefer to hand the reins to people within the firm already, rather than hand their legacy, staff and clients to an acquirer, it can be difficult for those staff to afford the required buyout. With an EOT, shares are owned by the trust.
An EOT has been used recently by Aardman Animation, the Bristol-based animation company behind Wallace and Gromit, and the Oscar-winning film Chicken Run. Aardman’s owners sold a 75% stake to the EOT, which comprises of 140 staff.
The Eternal Business Programme has been created by adviser Chris Budd (pictured), chairman of financial planning business Ovation Finance. In March Budd sold Ovation to an EOT.
The programme is made of three courses. The first is just for owners, the second adds the leadership team and the third brings in all other employees.
Each course comprises over 60 individual lessons including articles, activities, videos and quizzes. Budd said at the end of course three the business will be in a state the owners will feel able to sell to the EOT. The first course launches today. (Find it here).
‘The interest in the EOT as a new form of succession planning is enormous – I have been contacted by so many business owners wanting more information and help,’ Budd said.
‘There are some 280,000 companies of the right size to sell to an EOT; there are currently around 250 EOT companies. With this sort of demand, I realised I wasn’t going to be able to help everyone by myself. I’m therefore delighted to announce the launch of the Eternal Business Programme.’