Wyatt International transitions to employee-ownership.

Wyatt International, a specialist B2B brand marketing consultancy and communications agency, has announced its transition to an employee-owned business.

As one of the UK’s top B2B Marketing agencies, Wyatt International has always defied convention. For six decades the agency has explored and uncovered untapped potential, created and excited the market with new ways of working, elevated and expressed B2B brand promises, and excelled at accelerating value. A True Original – a strapline that has underpinned Wyatt’s DNA for approaching 60 years – is testimony to this latest ‘first’ as it enters its new era of employee ownership.

Karen Bernie, CEO of Wyatt International, said: “Wyatt has been a family-owned business for approaching 60 years. Originally owned by the Wyatt family, my father – Brian Barrett – acquired the agency in the 1970s and I am immensely proud of the flourishing agency he built. I was delighted to join him in the 1990s and I have been at the helm for 34 years.

“The decision to transition to employee-ownership is part of our long-term succession strategy and creates new leadership opportunities for our entire team, some of whom have been with the agency for many years.

“From a personal perspective, the fact that Wyatt is now employee-owned means a great deal to me. For six decades we have been family-run and steadfastly independent, and now, this legacy will continue as we enter a new chapter. Our employees are our ‘family’, their dedication to this business makes each and every one a worthy co-owner of Wyatt. My vision is that the business stays true to its roots and continues to be home to each of them to benefit their own families until our centenary, and beyond.”

This move is just the latest in a series of firsts for the business. Wyatt was founded in the heartlands and recognised as the first independent agency in Birmingham, as well as the region’s first number-one B2B specialist. It was the first to remodel its business structure to a bilateral model with its Accelerator consultancy and its multichannel Activation teams. And now, the first Birmingham-headquartered agency to be employee-owned, with offices in Birmingham and London.

Wyatt International has created a Trust for the benefit of all employees. Joining Karen Bernie as Trustee Directors are Ben Baker-Hollyhead, Group Account Director, Simon Hall, Brand and Strategy Director, and Adam Jones, Senior PR and Content Manager. Chosen by the senior leadership and the agency’s staff, each trustee has taken on new responsibilities to support the business in its transition and future growth.

Mark Fones, Managing Director at Wyatt International, said: “Our transition to an EO business is a real milestone and moment in history for Wyatt International. This evolution is about ensuring the on-going benefits of independence, protecting our brand equity and securing long-term succession – and success – for generations to come. For clients, being an EO business will mean working directly with the owners of the agency everyday which is a unique proposition that takes the idea of ‘agency partnership’ to another level.

“As a result, our clients can be assured that every bit of value we create through every interaction we have with them, means more to every one of us, every time. Being an EO business is every bit as powerful from an employee perspective. Our teams now know that every decision they make is even more personal and has a direct impact on each and every person around them like never before. It’s an incredibly empowering and motivating position to find ourselves in and, in future, new career pathways will open up and greater rewards will be shared by all of us.

“As Managing Director, serving as a board member and driving our agency through this game-changing transformation offers huge excitement and limitless potential in equal measure. Once again, being a first mover demonstrates the pioneering nature of our agency and the progressive culture we need to remain the region’s specialist B2B market leader.”

In securing the long-term independence of the agency, Wyatt International is granting real empowerment and opportunity to its employees. And as its current and future clients will be dealing directly with the agency’s vested co-owners, this is a win-win situation that can only mean the agency will continue on its growth pathway as it approaches its 60th anniversary.

 

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