BESTrustees has converted into an employee ownership trust (EOT) in a bid to broaden the ownership of the business.
The conversion - which completed on Friday (21 June) - saw 100% of the shares of BESTrustees Limited transferred into an EOT.
EOTs are a form of employee benefit trust introduced by the government in September 2014 in a bid to increase the number of employee-owned businesses.
Following the conversion, BESTrustees' EOT will be governed by a board of three trustees - Denise Catterall, Clive Gilchrist and Christopher Wheeler. These trustees will be reviewed on a phased four-year basis.
The professional trustee firm will also be setting up an employee forum as part of the move to provide a route for all employees to share their views.
The six-strong board of BESTrustees Limited - currently comprised of Stephen Balmont, Huw Evans, Zahir Fazal, Heather McGuire, Alan Pickering and Rachel Tranter - will remain largely unchanged as a result of the move, although Heather McGuire will step down on 30 June to be replaced by Andy Boorman.
Chairman Alan Pickering said the move would align ownership and employment at the firm - noting that the share ownership of the business had become concentrated in fewer hands.
He said: "Since BESTrustees was created, shares in the business were owned by a number of current and former employees.
"From now on, all of the business will be owned by all of the employees. This inclusiveness will cover client-facing staff and the dedicated band of head office colleagues who make such a large contribution to the success of our firm.
Pickering said that BESTrustees already had a participative model - with its board meeting with employees at least once a quarter and each director being responsible for mentoring a group of client facing colleagues. The EOT, and its associated employee forum, would take the business to the "next level of inclusiveness", he added.
He said: "Through the establishment of an employee forum we will create a two-way channel of communication between the board and its employees. Building on our already collegiate working style, we will be able to secure a much higher level of dynamic interaction between the board and our employees.
"This will be to the advantage of clients and employees alike. The former will continue to benefit from the shared experience of every member of our team while each of these colleagues will be able to share equitably in the rewards that legitimately flow from a client base which is benefiting from leading-edge governance of workplace pension savings."
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