Consult Red pioneers employee-ownership

In May 2021 Consult Red became an employee-owned organisation, putting it in pole position to attract and retain the industry’s best talent and disrupt the market.

Consult Red works with the likes of Liberty Global, Comcast and AT&T to develop cutting-edge in-home entertainment technology and other connected secure IoT products.

The Directors of Consult Red are transferring shares of the £18m turnover business to an Employee-owned Trust (EOT) to benefit employees. The move to become employee-owned means it’s in pole position to attract and retain the industry’s best talent and disrupt the market.

Continued growth

In the last 12 months alone, Consult Red has grown its team by 60 people to over 220 strong (up 37%) across its three offices in the UK, Poland and the US. The company has led the way in providing services to clients large and small who need to access highly talented technology development teams without incurring delay or ongoing costs.

The war for tech talent

“It’s no secret that the war for talent is upon us in technology. Our employee-ownership model fits with today’s economy where successful firms deliver innovation by attracting and retaining the best talent in agile teams who are ready to go,” says Andrew Stewart, Consult Red CEO.

“There’s solid evidence that employees (the owners) of EOT businesses are happier and more engaged, and that within companies, employee-ownership promotes stability and sustainability. This can only benefit our clients.”

The success of Consult Red reflects the changing face of R&D, and whilst employee ownership is becoming more commonplace in other industries, it’s still relatively rare in the technology industry.

Disrupting the industry

We think this is pioneering and has the potential to be a real disruptor in our market,” says Karen Bach, Chairman of Consult Red. “Our reputation as cutting-edge technologists with leading clients was already attractive to new recruits, and employee-ownership takes this to a new level. I’m excited about our transition to an employee-owned company and working with the team on that journey.”

Andrew Stewart adds: This is such a proud moment for my team and me. We recognise that our success is founded on the value of our people. Transferring ownership to our employees means we can continue to be guided by our principles, that the company’s value is embedded in its team’s skills, expertise, and diligence. Employee ownership will strengthen the business and is the perfect way to recognise our team’s hard work and talent.”

Consult Red joins many well-known firms, such as John Lewis and Richer Sounds, in becoming employee-owned. The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) says more than 470 businesses have now adopted the model, with at least 50 more preparing to follow suit. Recent converts include Riverford, the organic vegetable box company and Aardman, the Bristol-based animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit, and a growing number of consultancy firms including PA Consulting, BMT Group, TTP Group and many more.

Moving to employee ownership

Deb Oxley, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “We congratulate Consult Red and its new employee-owners – their move to employee ownership will sustain the values and independence of the business for the longer term.

“Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, therefore uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose. This leaves the business in the best position to flex and adapt to recover from challenges and to deliver on new opportunities,” she added.