The shareholders of Manchester’s Clear Marketing, have transferred ownership to its 30 employees.
A majority stake has been placed into an Employee Ownership Trust, with staff becoming partners, and receiving a proportion of its operating profits.
“The success we’ve enjoyed over the past 18 years is down to the passion, commitment and hard work of our employees, many of whom have been with us since the start,” explained Founder Jim Smith, who will become Executive Chairman.
“Transferring ownership was a natural step in the evolution of the business. It further reinforces our close client relationships, as the teams servicing them now have a tangible stake in the business.
“Over the years we’ve been approached by various London-based agencies seeking to establish a base further North. But for us there was only one option that safeguards the interests of employees and clients alike.
“I’m very much looking forward to assuming my new role and continuing to build long-standing client partnerships within this new ownership structure.”
The agency was founded by Smith, the former chairman of J Walter Thompson, in 2001.
The move means that board director Gemma Stirling becomes Managing Director of the Manchester office, working alongside her counterpart in Glasgow, Matthew Mitchell.