South West-based Chartered Financial Planning firm Goodmans has become the latest Financial Planning firm to move to employee ownership.
The Plymouth-based firm became an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) on 11 July with employees owning most of the shares.
The firm says that the move is a “key step in securing the independence, client-focused culture and sustainable growth of Goodmans in the years to come.”
Employee ownership, the so-called John Lewis partnership model, has become a trend among some Financial Planning firms in recent years with Bristol’s Ovation Finance and Paradigm Norton and Darlington’s Eldon Financial Planning all opting for some form of employee ownership.
At Goodmans the EOT now owns 60% of the company’s shareholding on behalf of 18 staff members.
Goodmans’ managing director Andrew Moore has retained 35% with senior managers holding the remaining 5%.
The firm was founded by David Goodman in 1996 with Andrew Moore acquiring the business in 2010. He brought in Finbarr O’Reilly as a fellow director in 2014.
The three original directors were recently joined by David Byworth as finance director, Laura Milroy as compliance director and Holly Moody as Financial Planning director.
To enable the change of ownership, Mr Moore has reduced his shareholding and Mr O’Reilly has sold all his shares to the EOT. Mr O’Reilly will remain on the team, the company says, as a Chartered Financial Planner until his retirement, at which point he will become chair of the Goodmans Investment Committee.
Andrew Moore said: “Finbarr and I intend to remain very much involved and see this as an exciting development in Goodmans’ history and our legacy.
“We’ve built a special business here, and we really value the close, long-term relationships we have with our clients. We didn’t want to lose that or risk watering it down by selling to a third party. That would have been the ‘easy’ thing to do but not the right one for us. We want those who help build the business to benefit from it too, so an EOT was by far the best option.”
Mr O’Reilly, Financial Planner and former director at Goodmans, said: “Good firms plan for succession, and the EOT serves that purpose well, ensuring that I can structure my retirement as I wish, along with the reassurance that the team and our clients will stay aligned in the future.”
Goodmans Financial Planning (EOT) Trustees Limited is run by three trustee directors – all existing Goodmans directors who will continue to be responsible for oversight and governance of the company.
Goodmans Financial Planning serves clients across the South West and has offices in Plymouth, Exeter, Totnes and Bristol. It supports over 420 client families and has 19 staff in total, including pension transfer specialists, a Chartered Accountant, Paraplanners and client service professionals.