Putting Our People First: Sledge and SWM Partners Become Proudly Employee Owned

The agencies have transitioned to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) model, in a move that further bolsters the group’s people-first commitment

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Sledge, the UK-based agency with a global footprint and expertise in live experience and film, and global healthcare event and communications agency, SWM Partners today announce that they are now proudly employee owned. 

The news comes as the group’s former owners, CEO Robin Fawcett and Sledge Managing Director, Sarah Yeats sell the majority of their shares to a newly formed Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). It sees the group’s existing 35 staff members, as well as future talent, become shareholders in the EOT, and ensures it maintains its independence. 

This move is designed to empower employees, and provides them with greater opportunities to contribute to the group in a manner that positively impacts its people, clients and partners. They now have a stronger voice, and more say in both the future of the agencies, and their own career progression. 

The group’s clients will also benefit from this new model, in that the EOT will produce higher levels of employee motivation and commitment, and see it attract the industry’s best and brightest talent. Its continued independence will ensure projects and partnerships are managed in clients’ best interests, that all deliverables remain of the highest quality, and that they not only achieve, but exceed their objectives. 

Job roles, and organisational processes and procedures remain unchanged, however employee motivation, wellbeing and development will be placed even further at the forefront of the group’s operations. 

The EOT owns 75% of the group, and all employees’ shares are held in the trust, meanwhile its former majority owners maintain a 25% stake in the business.

Fawcett says: “We have always been an employee-first group, and the decision to transition to an Employee Ownership Trust model further exemplifies this. While their positions remain the same and it is very much business as usual across both agencies, the group is now majority owned by our people, and overseen by a trust who will ensure it continues to operate independently, and in employees best interests. 

“While we have sold the group to the EOT, Sarah and I will remain involved in both agencies, and remain wholly committed to their continued success.” 

Yeats explains: “We value the insight and expertise of our people. We are passionate about empowering them to contribute to the ongoing development of the group, and the EOT model champions this. 

“I look forward to collaborating with our team members to further enhance our culture and operations, and deliver on our people-driven approach in a way that enhances the wellbeing and development of all employees, and ensures we continue to deliver for our valued clients.” 

Rebecca Dixon
Author: Rebecca Dixon

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