Ellwood Atfield, Europe’s largest team of specialist head-hunters and experts in communications and advocacy hiring, has become fully employee owned, the result of a strategic decision to support future sustainable growth plans.

In an announcement the brand revealed that it had finalised the deal which will see its staff have a greater stake in the firm and its success. In a move that has been in the pipeline for the last three years, the news is underpinned by leadership changes, with Jules Shelley being promoted to Chief Executive and Gavin Ellwood moving into a new role as Executive Chair, following Ben Atfield’s retirement from the business. There have been further senior management promotions for several key members of the team.

As a fully employee-owned company, Ellwood Atfield is now able to increase development opportunities for its’ employee owners and provides a wider range of incentives to current and future employees, including exciting progression opportunities and financial rewards from the firms’ profits.

“As we came out of the Covid pandemic we began to explore new ways to build a more sustainable business and becoming an employee-owned business stood out as a prime opportunity for us,” Jules Shelley explained.

“Our people are our competitive advantage and we are very much focused on supporting their professional development. By becoming employee-owned, we are putting greater power into their hands, which in turns creates more opportunities for colleagues to influence corporate success and reap the rewards. We chose to be 100 per cent employee owned which bucks the trend of others who have taken this approach, but if we were going to take this leap, we knew it would require our full commitment.

“We pride ourselves on delivering a high quality service across communications and advocacy headhunting and recruitment. In fact, we have an almost 90 per cent repeat business rate – but this is only achievable with the best team, and that’s why we have demonstrated our trust in them by making this move.”

Ellwood added: “Having founded the business almost 22 years ago, I’ve watched the company grow and thrive – even in difficult times. As we’ve expanded our remit and increased our headcount, our vision, values and culture has changed. We reassessed our positioning over the last few years, and this move made complete sense. We have some fantastic growth opportunities ahead of us and by empowering our current team and those who will join us on this journey, we are fully confident that we’ll see Ellwood Atfield thrive through 2024 and beyond.”

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