A Broughty Ferry creative agency hopes its move to employee ownership will help retain and attract talent.
Altar Group is an integrated marketing, design and digital agency with 38 staff.
It operates design studio Avian, web design firm Blue2 Digital, public relations firm Ginger PR and digital research consultancy Kolabo.
Its client list includes Walkers Shortbread, Highland Park Whisky, Edinburgh Gin, Simon Howie, Gillies and St Andrews Links Trust.
Altar Group employees now indirectly own a majority stake at 60% of the business. The remaining 40% is held by original shareholders and key staff members.
Why the move to employee ownership?
Altar Group chief executive Scott McCallum, who will continue to lead the business, said he hoped the move would give a recruitment edge.
He said: “A big concern for businesses in our sector is recruitment.
“A lot of companies are after the skills we look for in our digital team. We want to offer something different for the existing team and in terms of attracting new talent.
“We have a fabulous workplace, a great culture in the office and great terms and conditions.
“I think the employee ownership trust (EOT) gives us the opportunity for us to stand out and build an integrated team. The staff are thrilled.”
A new employee board will form to represent interests of staff.
Altar Group growth
The move comes after a period of growth for Altar Group as companies have invested heavily in digital during the pandemic.
The business, in a former church in Brook Street, expects to add 10 staff by the end of 2022.
Mr McCallum adds: “We have gone through significant and hugely transformational changes during the past two years.
“A time when most businesses battened down the hatches, we chose to forge ahead with a progressive strategy, each positive decision leading to the next.
“The strategy will have long lasting benefits for our business and everyone who works here.
“We have chosen to invest in our people with several senior appointments. We have made bold moves and acquired another business.
“Now we are now putting our trust in the people who make this business what it is.”
Carole Leslie, director of Ownership Associates, has worked with over 80 companies as they transition to employee ownership.
She said: “The majority shareholders have made a decision that really looks at the big picture for the business, combined with great foresight.
“By adopting an employee owned model, Altar is protected from being sold off to another owner that could chose to operate the company in a way that does not fit with the culture, or have the best interests of the staff at heart.”