Press releases

New recommendations for growing the EO sector regionally

Friday 4 July 2014

Centre for London, the politically independent, not-for-profit think tank and charity, today launches a report, 'Local Owners', that looks at how to unleash a new wave of employee ownership in the UK.

The report argues that while recent tax reforms have played an important part in laying the foundation for the expansion of Employee Ownership in the UK, delivering an employee ownership revolution now requires a decisive shift of policy focus to the local level.

Sponsored by the John Lewis Partnership, the report describes the development of three local 'clusters' of employee ownership in Europe and America and shows how the power of personal networks and cultural norms have helped these clusters to grow in size.

Drawing on the experience of these clusters, the report recommends a number of key policies to encourage the growth of employee ownership but stresses that this will look different in each locality, including: a new seed fund, mentoring prize for rising stars, toolkits for local 'evangelists', and events next year to inspire and share knowledge with entrepreneurs and business owners in England and Scotland.

The publication of the report coincides with very recent conversion into full employee ownership by Triton Global Limited, a company providing legal and other professional services to the insurance sector.

Sam Sims, Research Manager at Centre for London said: 'Firms that are employee owned are more resilient, more productive and have higher levels of job satisfaction. Policymakers from left and right are waking up to Employee Ownership's great potential to invigorate local economies. This report provides a blueprint to help develop employee-owned businesses, and a better business culture.'

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, said: 'These are exciting times for Employee Ownership. There's unprecedented interest from both the public and private sectors fuelled by the desire for a better form of ownership. There has been tremendous progress over the last year or so and we hope that it will encourage more companies to pass their business onto their staff and help create a more plural and balanced economy.'

David Simon, Chairman of Triton Global, said: 'I believe that Triton Global epitomises the new wave of EO businesses identified in the Local Owners report. Even a couple of years ago, it was inconceivable that a law firm could be employee owned. I am very excited to be at the head of a business that has so comprehensively broken the mould. We operate a multi-disciplinary business in which all our employees, whether in the UK or in our businesses overseas, are able to be shareholders. We believe that this is the best way to create a truly forward-thinking company full of highly motivated professionals.'

Iain Hasdell, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: 'The Employee Ownership Association warmly welcomes this new report promoting employee ownership in the UK. The report echoes a number of ideas that our Members have been pursuing locally and regionally. We hope that local government in particular now picks up the gauntlet put down by the report and fully embraces employee ownership as an important engine for economic growth.'

Download the Local Owners: Promoting Employee Ownership Locally report (PDF 3.65MB)

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 42 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at home and a shop at Heathrow Terminal 2),, 320 Waitrose shops, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 91,000 staff are Partners in the business.

Centre for London - Centre for London is a politically independent, not-for-profit think tank focused on the big challenges facing London. Through its research and events, the Centre acts as a critical friend to London's leaders and policymakers, promotes a wider understanding of the challenges facing London, and develops long-term, rigorous and radical policy solutions for the capital. It looks for support from a mixture of private, voluntary and public sector funders and works collaboratively with its supporters, drawing on their experience and expertise. Launched in 2011, the Centre is quickly developing relationships with sister organisations across the globe. Find out more about our work at

Triton Global Limited -  Triton was created in 2013 to combine insurance and legal professionals into a new way of working so as to provide a mixture of outsourced claims administration, specialist loss adjusting and legal defence work, all carried out predominantly for the insurance sector. It became employee-owned in 2014, its shareholders being the 150 staff in 5 locations in the UK and in 5 overseas jurisdictions.


For further information please contact:

Centre for London

Ed Hickey, External Relations Manager, Centre for London
Telephone: 07914 221174

John Lewis Partnership

Neil Spring, Group Senior External Communications Manager
Telephone: 020 7592 6296

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571