On 18th of June, this year, C21 ownership was transferred to its employees via an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

The deal sees 100% of the shares in the business placed into the EOT, on behalf of staff who will now be the beneficiaries of the company. This provides a structured succession plan for founder and Managing Director, Christina Clarke. She will continue to act as Managing Director for the next few years and then move to Chair. In the meantime, she begins working alongside newly appointed Emma Beagrie, as Client Services Director. Emma joined the C21 team on 1st September, in this pivotal new role, after nearly 4 years as Client Service Director at APS.

The move to employee ownership comes as the business celebrates continued success and retention of many long-time clients, and core team members, since inception in 1998. We put this down to our consistent approach to customer excellence, strategic insight, creativity and innovation.

Christina Clarke, founder and owner, said: “This landmark moment for the business represents and rewards almost 25 years of teamwork, passion and dedication to supporting our clients. It also provides an opportunity for the team to take the next step in their careers and ensure our service to clients continues to strengthen and grow. With our employee focused philosophy and democratic ethos, Employee Ownership was the obvious future for our business – this will make a material difference to staff, protect the agency’s independence and commitment to clients, whilst providing the stability of a gradual and clear transition to new leadership.

Stephen Hadlow, partner and EOT team lead at Brabners, who delivered the sale, said: “ The EOT model ultimately safeguards successful cultures within firms, rewards staff and provides a framework for long-term growth. Congratulations to everyone at C21, we wish them every success for the next stage in the agency’s growth.”

According to the latest figures from the Employee Ownership Association, there are now over 700 employee-owned businesses in the UK.