Aberdeen IT firm makes switch to employee ownership on tenth anniversary
A North-east IT provider has made the switch to employee ownership, with 17 staff given a stake in the business.
Established in 2010 by Philip Mowatt and Jill Ross, ITWorx is headquartered in Aberdeen and has recently expanded into Dundee and Angus. Many of its clients have a global footprint.
The founders wanted to mark the company’s tenth anniversary while looking ahead to the firm’s “next chapter”.
Ross said: “Ten years into ITWorx’s journey, we were in a great position – financially stable with a solid client base and a skilled and dedicated team.
“Looking ahead to the next decade, we wanted to use this strong position to reinvent some aspects of the company that would bring about long-term benefits.”
The firm provides a range of IT and communications services and tast year turned over some £2.6 million.
An employee ownership trust has been formed and holds 100 per cent of the shares on behalf of the employees. The transition to employee ownership was supported by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), with the process managed by Co-ownership Solutions LLP and legal services provided by Lindsays.
Ross added: “Our staff are key to our success, and some of the senior employees have been with us for a very long time so handing the company over to them shows them they are valued.
“It also offers peace of mind about the company’s future as there is no risk of the company being absorbed by a competitor further down the line.
“We also hope the structure will help attract and retain new talent. Young talent is so important, especially in an ever-evolving industry like IT.
“Philip and I have no plans to step back from the business any time soon, and will continue in our roles as usual for the foreseeable future. We envisage new ways of working to take course slowly and steadily, with increased input from the entire team.
“We’re very excited about this milestone and what the future holds for ITWorx – hopefully it will continue to thrive for many more decades to come.”
Within Scotland, there are now some 120 employee-owned companies operating, with about 7,500 employee-owners generating a combined turnover of almost £1 billion.
Clare Alexander, head of Co-operative Development Scotland, said: “The popularity of employee ownership continues to grow in Scotland, and we’re very excited to welcome ITWorx as the latest addition.
“Jill and Philip were looking for a way to mark the company’s tenth anniversary and open an exciting new chapter that would reward staff and help to attract and retain clients.
“Employee ownership is a fantastic fit for ITWorx and its values, and we look forward to following the company’s success under its new ownership model.”
She added: “There are a range of potential benefits to employee ownership and owners can choose to sell to their employees at any time. They don’t have to wait until they are considering their exit options, and can maintain their level of involvement in the business.
“Not only does employee ownership impact positively on the individual businesses, it is good for the wider economy, helping to secure jobs and keep businesses rooted in Scotland.”
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