Employees take on ownership at events firm

Specialist events company First Event has become an employee-owned business.

Over the last five years the Leeds-based organisation has grown to become one of the largest independent events companies in Yorkshire.

Over the last 12 months the company has succeeded in expanding its virtual event offering. And as live events tentatively begin to make a return, First Event says it now looks to have an even brighter future under its new ownership model.

The business ownership has transferred into an employee ownership trust (EOT), with employees set to instantly benefit from the future success of the firm.

All previous shareholders and directors will remain within the business in exactly the same capacity, with the day-to-day operations remaining the same.

Richard Murphy, managing director, said: “The last 12 months have been really hard on the events industry, but it has also been a real eye-opener to how devoted and invested our employees are in making First Event succeed, not just for our company but for our clients too.

“The pandemic has highlighted how important teamwork is and how much we have pulled together to grow stronger as a company.

“The EOT is all about empowering the team and the employees who all are now direct beneficiaries of the business.

“Becoming company owned isn’t just good for our company and our growth plans, it’s also aimed as a ‘thank you’ to every member of our amazing team.”

Catherine Wallace, employee engagement manager, added: “We believe an Employee Ownership Trust is a great way of ensuring the legacy and integrity of First Event.

“One of our main aims is to ensure our employees have even more of a voice in the company through the creation of an employee council.

“The benefits of First Event becoming an EOT are vast. Statistics show EOTs have greater employee engagement and commitment which in turn drives innovation and business performance.”