Paradigm Norton introduces new employee ownership structure

Employment & Skills | Financial Services | South West
Barry Horner

Financial planning specialist Paradigm Norton has introduced a new employee ownership structure which has given all 65 team members a stake in its future.

The Bristol, London and Torquay based firm has transferred to an ‘Employee Ownership Trust’, designed to future proof it against senior shareholder retirements and provide stability and security for both clients and the team.

Paradigm Norton has worked with London law firm Fieldfisher since 2017 to prepare for the move to collective ownership. The transition was completed this year with 80% of the company shares being sold to the Employee Ownership Trust.

The multi-award-winning financial planning firm will continue under the same leadership team led by founder and CEO Barry Horner.

The board will include Horner, two employees appointed by the wider team and three employees appointed by the holding company board, Tommy Watson, Tracey Reed and Anne Hill.

Patrick Burns, the former CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, has been appointed as the independent chair.

Horner, who launched the company in 2001, said: “This is a really exciting move for Paradigm Norton, enabling us to realise our ambition to become a trans-generational business.

“The collective ownership by all the team secures the future of the business and our core values, meaning we can long outlast the founders and senior team without the threat of a takeover or sale that could result in a dramatic change in business culture. This will preserve our valuable long-term relationships which sit at the heart of everything we do.

“We can now build confidently for the future, continuing to offer all the team the very best of opportunities, thereby preparing to serve our clients’ next generation.”

Paradigm Norton service around 1,200 financial planning and tax planning clients but aim to increase this through organic growth and acquisition, having already merged with several other firms including London-based Red House Consulting in 2017.

With offices in London, Bristol and Torquay, the company has a stated mission to impact the lives of our clients, for the better, for ever. It already boasts few famous faces among its clients including Vanessa Branson, Tony Robinson and Nick Park.

Deb Oxley OBE, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “We congratulate Paradigm Norton Financial Planning on its transition to employee ownership supported by our members FieldFisher.

“By widening ownership of the business to its employees Paradigm Norton Financial Planning is securing the future of the business, including its ethos, values and employees, while rooting itself locally for the longer term to the benefit of the community it serves.”

The Employee Ownership Trust was introduced in 2014 in the UK Finance Act as a structure whereby a business can be owned collectively for the benefit of all those work there.

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