Julian Richer, Founder and MD of AV retailer, Richer Sounds, has announced that he is transferring 60 per cent of his shares into an Employee Ownership Trust.
Mr Richer commented: “I have always planned to leave my company in trust on my death for the benefit of the colleagues in the business. Having hit the ripe old age of 60 in March, I felt the time was right, rather than leaving it until I’m not around, to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and I can be part of it.
“The company’s banks, suppliers and customers should feel that the move is (hopefully) seamless and Richer Sounds carries on as normal.”
Mr Richer plans to stay involved with the business, but leaves the day-to-day running of Richer Sounds to its existing Management Board, along with a Colleagues’ Advisory Council and trustees.
The Management Board is made up of longstanding directors, the newest of which has served for 25 years, and they are steeped in the culture of the company, while the Colleagues’ Advisory Council will be made up of current employees and is tasked with representing their interests and concerns. A trustee will chair the Colleagues’ Advisory Council.
The Richer Sounds Trust (as the Employee Ownership Trust will be known) will operate according to a set of principles within the Trust to make sure that Richer Sounds continues to operate in an responsible manner, and is based on honesty, commitment, trust and respect.
These principles ensure that the company continues along the lines that Mr Richer has built the company on for the previous 40 years.
Overseeing the transition is David Robinson, Chairman of Richer Sounds. He said: “It’s incredibly exciting times and allows our colleagues to feel even more connected to the company. They have a real stake in the success of the business and can take pride in knowing that they are shareholders, building for the future.”
Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “We congratulate Richer Sounds on its transition to employee ownership: another great brand bringing employee ownership to the high street. We’re delighted to see it secure its future independence with a focus on its people and an eye on the future world – a world with a more inclusive economy and where more businesses are doing well while doing good.”