Forster Communications opens up ownership to staff

Forster Communications has been bought by its staff as part of a major shift in its ownership structure.

Jilly Forster: Agency founder
Jilly Forster: Agency founder

Jilly Forster, who founded the agency in 1996 and was previously the sole owner, has reduced her stake to 20 per cent.

Fellow directors Amanda Powell-Smith and Peter Gilheany are each taking a 20 per cent stake, with the remaining shares made available to the rest of the staff through an employee benefit trust.

Forster declined to reveal the sum at which the transaction valued the agency.

Under the new ownership structure Powell-Smith becomes MD, Gilheany PR director and Forster takes on the role of chairwoman.

She said: ‘We’ve always said we’re the social change communications agency and we wanted to be built, owned and driven by our employees so it is fantastic that is now a reality. Employee shareholders have the opportunity to become custodians of the agency and to benefit directly from consolidating our success. I just want to acknowledge the unique energy and commitment of Forster staff and spread the ownership as widely as possible – to those who work here.’

Her role will be as a full-time strategic lead, giving direction to the board and providing consultancy.

Powell-Smith will spearhead client delivery and building teams, while Gilheany will lead on major campaigns and PR strategy development, as well as providing senior counsel to clients.

The management buy-out comes as the agency gears up to expand the breadth and depth of its work, with a specific focus on businesses and charities looking to create positive change.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers to join Warner Bros

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers to join Warner Bros

Warner Bros has appointed former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers as EVP for worldwide corporate communications and public affairs, effective September 2.

Max Clifford trial jury loses second member as deliberations enter third day

Max Clifford trial jury loses second member as deliberations enter third day

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford is down to 10 people after another juror was discharged this morning, on the third day of deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Edelman takes a ride on Branson's slow-motion space adventure

Edelman takes a ride on Branson's slow-motion space adventure

Virgin Galactic is probably on every PR agency's dream assignment list, but previous delays to Richard Branson's space venture suggest it may not be a complete blast.