The majority of shares in the business have been sold to a new Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Co-Founders Giles Fraser and Sarah Scales will continue to lead the business and remain the agency’s largest individual shareholders after the EOT.
The move allows the agency to give employees a tax-free bonus each year, in addition to Brands2Life's existing bonus scheme.
Fraser and Scales said in a statement: “We’ve always said that our staff are our biggest and most important asset – that’s why we put them into our corporate identity two years ago – so this move will enable us to further reward and motivate everyone here. It also gives everyone at Brands2Life even more opportunities to contribute to the performance and future growth of the business.
"At a time when agencies are being challenged more than ever, we think that collective ownership gives us the best possible platform to grow and thrive in the years ahead. In our 20th year we’re really pleased that we’re able to take this next step.”
Since late 2014, UK firms have been able to create EOTs if they transfer at least 51 per cent of ownership into the trust.
Other PR agencies to have become majority employee-owned using the scheme include Tangerine, Cirkle and Clear Marketing Communications. Richmond & Towers became entirely owned by staff following its sale to an EOT last year.
Brands2Life is ranked 23rd in the most recent PRWeek UK Top 150 Consultancies list, growing revenue 12 per cent in the 2019 calendar year, and it also topped the Technology PR rankings. The firm generated revenue of £16.4m in its 2020 financial year. It has offices in London, New York and San Francisco.