Harper McDermott becomes Employee Owned
LEADING personal insolvency firm Harper McDermott Ltd, one of the largest providers of Protected Trust Deeds and Debt Payment Plans under the Debt Arrangement Scheme in Scotland is embarking on an exciting future after transferring to employee ownership in a transaction led by business advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP.
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 the best-known provider of Protected Trust Deeds in Scotland. It has an industry leading No.1 ranking on Trustpilot in the debt relief service category with almost 6,000 five star reviews from Scottish customers.
The business is currently managing debt solutions for over 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.
Thomas Fox said: “I am delighted to have become a part-owner in the business alongside our knowledgeable and experienced team, who I believe provide a best-in-class service to our customers.”
“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.”
“I am very grateful to the Grant Thornton team for leading us through this transition with such dedication and diligence.”
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.”
“We wish Thomas and the whole team at Harper McDermott every success in the future.”
Neil was assisted in the transaction by Akshay Sharma and the firm’s dedicated EOT team led by Monique Beaulieu and supported by Ollie Dewdney, which provide a holistic end-to-end service advisory service to businesses transitioning to employee ownership.