We officially transitioned Pym & Wildsmith from a family-owned business to 100% employee ownership on 1st July 2022. We’d like to provide more details here about why we changed, what this means for us as employees and ultimately for you, our customers.
Why the change to Employee Ownership?
After more than 40 years in the industrial spray painting industry, our founders looked at options to exit our growing business.
This quote sums up their wishes:
“As a Family, we have committed our lives to this Company. Now we want to see it continue to provide for our employee’s families, for generations to come.”
As they researched employee ownership, it highlighted so many positive aspects, such as:
- Happier customers
- Increased productivity and sales
- Enhanced job security for our team
- Improved employee welfare and overall remuneration
- Increased innovation
And most importantly, it allowed our Founders to exit, knowing that we would be the best people to uphold their legacy and values in the future.
The Employee Ownership Association have seen a huge growth in businesses strategically choosing to change their business model to employee ownership:
Pym & Wildsmith chose to have indirect employee ownership, meaning 100% of the shares are held collectively on behalf of employees through an employee ownership trust.
Our journey to employee ownership:
Founded in 1979 by Stephen Pym and Tony Wildsmith, our business has grown and established itself as a leading metal finishing business in the Midlands.
Fast forward to 2022, we now employ a team of 75 staff. We had planned to transition in September 2021, but had quite a setback when a fire destroyed a major building on our Staffordshire-based business park. It took an extra nine months to complete this journey.
What’s changing and what’s staying the same?
The leadership will continue to be supported by our two Directors Sarah Pym-Eaton and Ian Pym. The introduction of the operations board now welcomes Craig Taylor, previously Operations Manager, as our Managing Director.
Craig stated that the last 12 months have highlighted the resilience of our team:
“Our team has got through covid, brexit and the fire, and the company is still going strong”.
He added: “It’s time to celebrate what we’ve been through together. A lot of companies didn’t make it through. We have a resilient team that digs deep when it’s needed.”
We continue to offer these services inside our start of the art, Midlands based plant, by our team of highly-skilled operatives:
You’ll always receive a high quality level of metal finishing that is second to none, at a competitive price.
We are pioneers in the Midlands region:
The transition also means we have joined the likes of John Lewis Partnership PLC, Howden Group Holdings, and Riverford Organic Farmers Ltd and a total of 1030 other employee-owned businesses in the UK (statistics from June 2022.)
However, we have noticed that within the Midlands area, there’s a smaller concentration of employee-owned businesses, which makes us ‘one of a handful’ of employee ownership pioneers.
How did we celebrate and what does the future hold?
We celebrated as a team on 28th July in Uttoxeter, with a presentation from Craig Taylor, our Managing Director. He explained how employee-ownership will allow us all to shape the future direction of our company.
A hog roast, Pym & Wildsmith branded cupcakes and a new team photo topped off the day.
As we enter a new period of business growth, we are looking for people to join our team and become part of our robust business strategy.
More information and statistics about Employee Ownership can be found on the Employee Ownership Association website.