The Employee Ownership Association’s Conference, 2019

The EOA Conference took place in Birmingham earlier in November and for the first time it was a sell-out. 750 delegates and very long queues for the bar on the Monday evening.

RM2 were delighted to be an exhibitor and a contributor, and the feedback from the friends and clients we met at the conference was overwhelming positive. The increased numbers attending is indicative of the momentum that is now being generated relating to Employee Ownership Trust (“EOT”) transactions.

The key note discussion was given by Aardman Animation founders, Peter Lord and David Sproxton. After a detailed and passionate debate with the floor about favourite Aardman characters, Peter and David explained their reasons for rejecting offers from the Hollywood studios and choosing an EOT model. Their overriding priority was to protect the independence, culture and workforce of the business, and they were very happy with the results. The duo came across as thoroughly decent individuals. Four Oscars, but not Hollywood.

The conference organised a wide array of speakers, workshops and sessions, covering virtually all aspects of Employee Ownership. If you are employee owned or considering employee ownership it would be well worth considering attending in 2020. If you are not a member of the EOA and would like to join, let RM2 know. You get a discount if you are introduced by us.

One word of warning amongst all the positivity, for the first time at an EOA conference RM2 were approached for help by a small number of companies where their EOT transactions had not been sensibly structured and had caused issues for the businesses. The message is: if you carry out an EOT transaction use experienced advisors, who you are sure know what they are doing in all aspects of the transaction, and do not cut corners. You are selling your business. It is a big and important transaction so do not take the risk of nasty surprises down the line.

If you wish to find out more about whether an EOT could be right for your business contact us at or call us on 0208 949 5522.