EOT move

Harper McDermott in employee ownership switch

Thomas Fox
Thomas Fox: exciting future

Personal insolvency firm Harper McDermott is transferring to employee ownership in a transaction led by business advisers Grant Thornton. 

The Glasgow-based company trades as Trust Deed Scotland, which, since 2009, has helped more than 25,000 people resolve their problem debt.

The Trust Deed Scotland brand was founded by Mark Sommerville and Jon Paul Kelly and is a provider of protected trust deeds in Scotland.

The business is currently managing debt solutions for more than 9,000 customers with £234m of debts under management, and a team of around 70 people – who are all now part-owners of the business – led by managing director and insolvency practitioner, Thomas Fox.

Mr Fox said: “We are all looking forward to the future with excitement and confidence and to helping many more people deal with their debt issues in a practical and compassionate manner.

“Employee ownership provides many benefits; from existing staff retention through to attracting the best talent, it gives our team job security and brings us closer together as one team all working towards similar goals.”

Neil McInnes, partner and head of corporate finance in Scotland at Grant Thornton, said: “We have been working with the business to help them consider the range of strategic options open to them.

“Ultimately the best option for all stakeholders was to move to employee ownership via an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), which gives the entire team a stake in its future success and provides a great incentive for staff loyalty.

“We are seeing an increasing number of profitable mid-sized companies looking at EOT as an option. For exiting shareholders it can be an attractive alternative to the more traditional trade sale or private equity process, and allows the business to continue to thrive in the safe hands of the incumbent team.” 

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