Direct Solutions establishes employee share trust

By Rhys Handley, Wednesday 05 December 2018

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Direct Solutions has made moves to put its future in the hands of its staff as management lays the groundwork for an employee share trust.

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Hunter (second left): employee share schemes are "the way ahead" for businesses

The company has recently seen turnover increase to over £3m and added new staff to support a social media services wing, and managing director Allistair Hunter said he had been considering how to consolidate that growth.

The Clacton-on-Sea, Essex-based company unveiled today (5 December) a new employee share scheme that will see shares in the firm sold to its 22 members of staff through a transaction financed by company funds. The current employee share stands at 6% of the company, with plans to be entirely employee-owned unfolding “over the next few years”.

Hunter said: “I have a number of friends and associates who have done something similar at their businesses and it has worked very well for them. This gives our staff a stake in everything we do, whereas currently I can do whatever I want and just relay to them the information.

“Too many companies are putting people on zero-hour contracts and not keeping them informed – and a lot of these companies are going under. With this scheme, everybody will take ownership of each job we do and therefore it is important to everyone that clients get what they want, when they want it and at the right price.

“I have recommended this process to a number of our clients and many have started putting plans in place already. I think it is the way ahead.”

While staff will take an increasing shared investment in the company going forward, Hunter said he would remain in his position as managing director – which he has held for 14 years.

Direct Solutions runs a full gamut of direct marketing services with design, print and direct mail fulfilment. With “around 90%” of its print work done in-house, the firm runs machines from Ricoh, Konica Minolta and Canon, as well as large-format Canon and HP devices, AMS envelope inserters and a run of polywrapping lines.

According to Hunter, its social media service is already “paying off in dividends” and represents a “complete seamless link” between all of its marketing services.

Any new staff at the firm are required to complete a one-year qualifying period before joining the share scheme.

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