Armstrong Craven Moves to Employee-Owned Business Platform

December 18, 2020 – Armstrong Craven, headquartered in Manchester, U.K., has
become a majority employee-owned business. The firm will
continue to be led by joint managing directors Rachel Davis and
Peter Howarth. “We have long believed that the well-known benefits
of employee ownership, when combined with our extremely
dedicated team, will be a recipe for success, and we expect to
see our business go from strength to strength under our new
co-ownership structure,” the firm said.

Everyone in the firm, slightly more than 50 people, is now part of the
new ownership platform. Armstrong Craven also has plans in place
that any new starters will also become owners. “Retention was obviously one of the things we thought about when we took the decision
to become employee owned,” said Mr. Howarth. “But it is more than
that for us. We ask a lot of our people and they are all experienced
and highly committed to providing great work for our clients. We felt
it was important that they were able to share in any future success
of the business, so better retention is hopefully the result of what we are doing rather than the reason for it.”

Mr. Howarth said that he, Ms. Davis and the firm’s chairman, Mark
Bates, led the change in ownership. “We had a majority PE owner
for six years which throughout that time worked with the leadership
team to develop Armstrong Craven,” he said. “Their guiding hand
helped us expand our global footprint in Singapore, Switzerland
and most recently the U.S., as well as develop great practices and
strong stewardship. In discussions with our former owner which
started in earnest very early this year we agreed that their direct
input to the business had run its natural course, and they agreed
to support our change to becoming a majority employee owned

Family Feel
According to insiders, Armstrong Craven has always had a real
family feel to it and alongside that a highly professional, quality
orientated mindset. “That is one of the main reasons why I joined
a year ago,” said Mr. Howarth. “Our people routinely go the extra
mile for clients, and because of that we have always had a small
shareholding for the wider team.”

“We are all ambitious about growth and think that the market is
ready for more flexible ways for clients to access the best talent,” he said. “We felt the best way to achieve that, given that we know how
much hard work it will take, is to give everyone a financial interest
in the company to go along with their emotional one. With this new
structure we have been able to increase the shareholding for all staff
tenfold, which we think is absolutely the right way to run a business
which is so reliant on the skill and dedication of its people – which
as with most talent businesses are our only real asset.”

Mr. Howarth said that the disruption from the pandemic, although
difficult for every business, will bring clarity to help clients to
change their mindset and try new methods of finding scarce and
senior talent.

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