British insurance broker Thomas Carroll Group transitions to an employee ownership trust

ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, December 13 — Employee ownership trusts are inexpensive to execute and flexible in design compared to other structures like employee stock ownership plans, or ESOPs (see, “Through ‘ownership trusts,’ investors can help employees become owners and owners retire).

The UK has seen a surge in employee-ownership conversions since the government introduced EOTs in the Finance Act of 2014.

“We’ve seen many competitors being sold and swallowed up by larger companies,” said Rhys Thomas, who leads Thomas Carroll Group, which was founded by his father, Evan Thomas, and Terry Carroll in 1972.

Thomas refused to consider a trade sale and wanted to pass on its ownership to its 181 employees. “We wanted to respect the legacy and heritage of those that built this wonderful company and to find a suitable way to achieve a successful succession plan at the same time — and we believe that EOT does all of this.”

The number of EOT businesses in the UK more than doubled between 2020 and 2022, according to the UK’s Employee Ownership Association.

Business performance

In a separate deal, the owners of Interact Contact Centres, a UK-based customer experience outsourcing company, will hand over ownership to its roughly 1,000 employees via an EOT sale.

“Running contact centers is a people-focused business. Having a well-motivated team is critically important in delivering high standards of service,” said Interact’s Neil Barber. “Every member of our team now has a real stake in the success of our business.”