Group marks 140 years in business by becoming employee owned

Architecture, engineering and net zero specialist, DB3 Group, has become a majority employee owned enterprise.

In its 140th year the Leeds-headquartered group has moved to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) model.

Group chairman, Alistair Hamilton, has held the majority share in the company since its incorporation in 2008, and said he was excited to be handing over a major portion of ownership to the employee trust.

He added: “I have felt for some years now that employee ownership would provide a positive future for the firm and am delighted to be able to pass on this fantastic legacy to many of those who have helped shape the company.”

Nathan McNamara, CEO, said: “Our team are what makes us so successful, and after two strong years of growth we are pleased to be able to make this change and recognise the contribution that every employee makes to our success.

“Aside from setting up the trust, the team and board remain the same. It will be business as usual with our focus around the ambition to grow, develop new services and support our clients for years to come.”

The existing Board and team at DB3 will remain in place, with Alistair Hamilton as group chairman and Nathan McNamara in the new role of group CEO, supported by the three directors across the UK: Julius Steinert in London, Matthew Savory in Cardiff, and Tom Hill in Leeds.

An additional Trust Board has been created to allow all shareholders to have their say. Wendy Pawsey, group finance manager and Hemal Patel, head of architecture in DB3’s Manchester studio have been elected by staff as their representatives on the Board.

DB3 was advised by professionals from Azets during its move to an EOT. Corporate finance and tax advice was provided by Karen Sadler, tax senior manager and Stephen Garbett, corporate finance director.

Sadler said: “DB3 Group is a business exceptionally well-suited for employee ownership, being an organisation with a strong culture, firmly established values, and an emphasis on the quality of its people.

“Our specialist team are seeing an increased amount of work on EOT projects as more and more businesses are attracted to this model of ownership given the wide range of benefits they can provide to the business, its owners and employees.”

DB3 Group is an Architects’ Journal Top 100 company with over 100 staff who work from studios across the UK

The group comprises DB3 Architecture & Design, DB3 Building Services Engineering, DB3 Net Zero, DB3 Professional Services, Formation3D remote aerial services and online home improvement architects Home & Maker.

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