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Maximising Employee Ownership: A Guide to Implementing an EOT with Mike Maynard


Maximising Employee Ownership: A Guide to Implementing an EOT with Mike Maynard

By , December 1, 2023
Mike Maynard_quote



Did you know that implementing an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) can significantly boost your company culture? Mike Maynard, a leading expert in the field, shares about the transformative power of EOTs for small businesses like yours.

One of the key takeaways from our conversation was the ability of EOTs to shift the mindset and culture within your business. By giving your employees a stake in the company’s success, you not only create a more cohesive and empowered team but also foster a sense of ownership and pride.

But how exactly does EOT implementation achieve this? Well, by sharing ownership with your employees, you’re not only incentivising them to work harder and smarter, but you’re also fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation. When everyone has a say in the company’s direction, it leads to more engaged and motivated employees who are invested in the long-term success of the business.

Moreover, EOTs provide a unique opportunity to allocate bonuses in a way that truly motivates and rewards your team. Mike shared some effective strategies during our conversation that can help you distribute bonuses in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that everyone feels valued and recognised for their contributions.

And let’s not forget about the financial challenges that come with transitioning to an EOT. Mike provided valuable insights on how to overcome these hurdles while maintaining business stability and growth. It’s all about finding the right balance and planning ahead to secure the future of your company.

So, if you’re a small business owner considering employee ownership, implementing an EOT could be the key to preserving your company culture, incentivising your team, and ensuring continued success.

Watch the episode here:

Welcome to the podcast that’s dedicated to helping business owners to prepare for exit so you can maximise value and exit on your terms. This is the exit insights podcast presented by Succession Plus I’m Darryl Bates-Brownsword, and today I’m talking to Mike Maynard. Mike runs an agency, a marketing integrated marketing agency spread across the UK and has recently sold it to an EOT. So I asked him to come and join us and share his thoughts and reasonings and thinking for why he chose the EOT option. Hey, welcome and thanks for joining me today, Mike.

Thanks so much for having me on the podcast, Darryl.

Brilliant. So why don’t we start by just giving us a little bit of a background about the agency and the age and the size and just the headline sort of information just to set the scene for us.

Yeah, absolutely. So the agency was actually started in the 1980s, started by a couple who became husband and wife. And I was a client for many years, actually. So for five years I worked as a European marketing manager, was a client of the agency, and then in 2001, the agency owners decided they wanted to sell and retire. And I thought, hey, running an agency, how hard can it be? So 2001, bought the agency, grew it from around about seven people back then up to about 37 people now. So we’ve had pretty decent growth, both organic and through acquisition, and then about 18 months ago decided that the right way to really keep the business going and moving forward was to go for an EOT. So that’s what we did.

Okay, brilliant, thanks. Now what I’d love to tap into, if it’s okay, is just to understand the motivation and why an EOT as opposed to any of the other options. So when you started thinking about it was time for you to change ownership and change, I guess, the stewardship, what were the options you explored?

Yeah, there’s different ways you can do it. You can do a formal management buyout where the management team buy out the business. You can do a trade sale, sell it to another agency, typically a larger agency or an EOT, and then there’s different things you can do. You can issue shares and do share incentive schemes to get more employee ownership. So lots of different ways, but fundamentally it comes down to keeping the same team in place or selling to another agency. We’ve actually done three acquisitions since I acquired Napier, so four in total. And the reality is, when you sell a business to another agency, that business is going to change. I mean, the other agency’s paid you money, they’ve got every right to run the business in a different way. And if I’m to be honest, from my point of view in terms of selling it, I get the money, I’m good, I’m pretty happy. However, there’s quite a few people in the agency who’ve been through acquisitions that haven’t been successful. And so there was quite a strong feeling amongst a number of the team that they were really concerned about being sold. They didn’t want that. That’s not the future they wanted. And that really had a big impact on me. And then I guess as well, I’m kind of a bit of a tree. Hugging hippie as well.

Okay. If we’re exploring this, we’re going. Hey, look, you did some acquisitions yourself, so you know what that’s like. And no matter how we label it, the reality is whenever we do an acquisition, it’s a takeover. And the bigger of the two organisations absorbs the other and their culture and their styles and their systems tend to be the ones that remain. The staff of your agency of Napier said and you knew them fairly well we’re kind of going, hey, look, we’ve had some experiences, we’ve grown, we’ve had some great success, but we kind of now here’s me paraphrasing and maybe reading between the lines but they kind of said we like the way we do things around here. We think we’re pretty good. We think there’s a bit of a legacy. And so you’ve gone. Yes. I like that. It’d be great to look after you guys who have looked after me over the last 20 years. Let’s go down the employee ownership route. And frankly, the most attractive employee ownership route at the moment is the EOT, because it’s got significant capital gains tax benefits. Having said that, hopefully listeners will note that you made the decision to go down employee ownership first, and then the tax benefits were second. We don’t want the tax benefits wagging the exit dog employee ownership. I think it’s a cultural choice. It’s not an exit strategy.

I mean, I guess you’ve got a fairly international audience. Darryl and EOT is a specific UK thing, which basically means that when you sell shares to the employees through this mechanism, you don’t pay tax on what you get paid. And that’s quite attractive. But realistically, it’s saving you about 20%. And honestly, you can probably get more than that 20% by selling it to another agency that really wants your business. So in terms of whether it’s worth doing or not, I agree. I mean, going down the OT route because you save taxes is crazy because actually, what you want to do is maximise the sale price. And generally speaking, an EOT is not going to do that. You’re going to get a fair sales price, but not the top.

Well, that’s a really interesting comment. And if I can dig into that somewhat, what leads you to say that you won’t get a good price if you sell it to an EOT?

Well, there’s a couple of things. So most of us, as agency owners, we believe that our agency is brilliant. It’s great, it’s going to keep growing. Generally speaking, when you do a trade sale, you’ll have an initial payment, and then you’ll have some subsequent payments based upon performance. And rightly or wrongly, and having done acquisitions, I can tell you that sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s wrong. We all believe that actually we’re going to beat the targets and smash it and it’s going to be amasing. We’re going to actually make more money. And so sometimes when you do a trade sale, you can actually make more money equally trade sales tend to pay off a lot more quickly than doing an employee sale. We’ve been through a year or so of 10% inflation. The honest truth is, everybody who’s done an EOT and is waiting for payments, not just me, those future payments have been reduced by 10% effectively. It’s not a simple case of it’s got tax advantages, it’s better. There’s definitely pros and cons and there’s definitely ways to do sales that ultimately post tax, net you more money. It’s not about the money. It’s a good deal, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not about the money.

It’s not about the money. I get that look. And how did you value the business? Well, firstly, let me go back a step because I had interviewed Richard Cowley from Rim Two just recently and Richard is one of the UK’s leading, I guess, advocates and drivers of EOTs and has been around a long time doing it. And he shared some really interesting structural comments, if you like, on how to structure EOTs. What he suggested to me was that now this doesn’t happen a lot, but there’s no legal requirement. There’s no requirement for an owner to tell their employees that they’re selling to an EOT. There have been situations where the owners told the employees the next day, by the way, we’re now an EOT. Now, in my mind, that’s just crazy because the EOT is I don’t think it’s an exit strategy, it’s a business philosophy if you like to have all of the employees on board. So if you’re going to get the most out of an EOT, you need to shift or step change the culture because the culture to be a successful and viable EOT is different to the culture of, let’s call it a regular commercial business. So there’s that. How did you decide, were you negotiating with the employees for a long time? You’re discussing were you bouncing ideas around with agreeing of how the EOT would be structured? I know there’s questions there, so I’ll give you time to answer them all.

Yeah, there’s some great questions there. Sorry. I think one of the challenges when you decide to set up an EOT is that effectively what you’re expecting is that your employees are magically going to go from being employees that are happy in their role, working hard, doing great work, but basically thinking about. Their job to suddenly, overnight becoming business owners and think about the business as a whole and be able to think about business strategy and investment. And quite clearly, that’s a ridiculous thing. You’re never going to get people to learn. And 18 months down the road, people are still learning. We’re still learning how to run an EOT. But equally, the employees are still learning how to think like owners. And so it is a change that takes a long time and it does mean that to some extent, the owner kind of imposes it on the employees. And we did talk to the employees. We asked, we had seminars. A lot of people were just like, well, I don’t want to get sold to there’s another agency in our business that was quite acquisitive, you know, we don’t want to get sold to them, so anything’s better than that. So we’re good with it. Other people wanted to know a bit more. Other people are like, well, what does. It mean about my job? Great question. Is it going to change my job? No, it’s okay. So lots of different reactions, but you’ve got to kind of take that leap of faith. And that is, I think, a big challenge with EOTs, because you want your employees to think like owners, but there’s no way that people who haven’t been business owners are suddenly magically going to change overnight. They’re going to learn. So it takes time. And I think you’ve got to, as a owner, make a decision on that. And I talked to people we got some consultants in we work with a company called Baxendale, who I now have done a lot of EOTs, particularly in our space. They’ve been amasing, but no one really knows until you d it.

So you’ve heard me already harp on about the cultural change. And it’s a different philosophy to a commercial business, as you’ve reiterated. And one of the things that we always do is go before we go down the EOT route or employee ownership in general is go. We need to start that cultural change. We’ve got to change the culture and that mindset change starts as much in the owner’s minds and mindset as much as it does in employees. And we talk about the shift from employee thinking to ownership mindset. And any culture change takes a year or two, as you would have experienced when bringing new companies in and acquiring them. So we really need to look at changing that mindset and educating them to how a business runs and starting to align them towards understanding profit rather than just their own jobs, ideally one to two years before. So you’ve experienced that. So how did you agree a value of the business was that in consultation, did you get a third party valuation? How did you arrive at that number for your business?

This sounds very simplistic, but it was as simplistic. The consultants we had recommended an accountant. I didn’t want to use our current accountants because obviously I, as MD, have been paying them money. It didn’t seem right they should value the business. So we got an independent accountant and we paid them and they did it. And it was that simple.

Okay, so you got a valuation and you had some experience of valuing businesses in your sector before because you’d bought a couple, I think you said bought three. So when the accountant valued your business, you were able to go, yeah, that sort of adds up. And it feels about right.

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, the valuation in our sector is typically somewhere around about four ish times your EBITDA, your profit each year. It can be a little bit more as you get bigger. You can certainly see bigger multiples. It’s four to eight, maybe for businesses our size. We didn’t have any super IP or software that we owned. So, yeah, we’re towards the lower end of that, but it’s still good. I’m still very happy with that valuation.

And that’s, at the end of the day, like any deal, any acquisition, whether you’re buying a new pair of jeans, a house, a car or a business, if the buyer is not happy with the deal and the seller is not happy with the deal, the deal is not going to happen. I don’t care what you’re buying. So people need to be happy with it. So that’s where we’re at. So we agree to value, we’ve gone, yes, we’re happy with that. And then we’ve got to go, okay, so what’s the timescale? How long and did you do some modeling and looking at the business profits and what have you, and figure out how long the business or how long, from an affordability perspective to pay off the debt, and is it all debt or did you get some sort of other finance to fund the growth?

So it’s basically all owed to me. So we didn’t get any outside finance at all. That is an interesting approach. I wish I looked at it more, actually, when we did the deal. The reality is, external finance is quite expensive for these sort of deals, so you can end up paying, I’ll tell you now, our deal is over seven years. And actually, if the EOT borrowed the money and paid me all off on day one, the interest would be as much as it cost them to pay me off. So they do nothing with the actual amount. They just pay the interest, interest rates at the moment, which obviously are not the lowest they’ve been. So finance is quite hard because we had a longer payoff period. There was a shorter payoff period. I think the numbers move slightly differently then, but, yeah, it’s an interesting one, is how you do it. I looked at it and I said the company had some cash in the business. I took some of that cash out. I left a substantial amount in. We’ve always run the business cautiously if you buy an agency and then three weeks later, you find that you’ve had the biggest crash in technology, you tend to be quite cautious. So I wanted to be able to keep running that business on a cautious footing with cash in the bank and no overdrafts. And I also wanted the employees to be able to pay off the shares, but still have an increase in the revenue that they got in terms of being able to get paid extra money through bonuses.

Right, okay, so there’s an interesting point. So over the seven years, it’s not only you being paid off by the sounds of it, you’ve made some allocation or you’ve budgeted for the employees to get some of the bonus benefits of an EOT along the way.

As I mean, crudely speaking, once the employees own a company, they’re entitled to dividends. And with the EOT in the UK, you actually get a certain amount of that tax free, which is really nice as an employee. And we wanted to help people use as much of that tax free allowance as we could. So therefore we had to be making a profit and throwing off cash after I was paid in order to be able to pay those EOT bonuses. And so we made that calculation. And the economy is not great at the moment. The world is a bit tougher, but we’re still on course to pay off in seven years. So we’re able to cope with ups and downs in the economy, business doing better and worse, and the employees shouldn’t be foregoing bonuses to pay me off.

Okay, so has that first payment, let’s call it a profit share, but that allocation tax free, bonus or whatever the terminology is, is that first allocation been made to employees?

Well, actually we’ve already paid two. So. We’ve paid on six monthly time frame. And literally today I’ve signed off the third one, which is really cool. I mean, it’s one of the great things about an EOT is you can sign off bonuses and you actually feel really good about it and you know, the employees are getting the money and it’s not being taxed and it’s really cool.

Okay, so there’s something else there that I’d like to store. You said you signed off the third one, so it sounds like you’re still in control daily operations of running the business. You’re still the MD CEO head honcho. 

Yes. I’m not quite the guy, the old guy dribbling in the corner, but I’m still the guy who’s running the business. And obviously, I say obviously, people outside the UK particularly won’t know this. The way it works is the business declares a dividend, the employees obviously, with their shareholding get the dividend. In our case, it’s 70% of the dividend. And then the EOT decides the way that that money is allocated amongst the employees. And there’s only a very small number of ways that you can allocate that across the employee base. So today we officially decided the dividend and we had a brief meeting to sign off and approve the allocation.

Okay, so the next question then, Mike, is to try and get ahead around is you’d run the business for 20 odd years, as I guess, a typical owner manager leading the charge, being the energy source and driving the business forward. And often there’s a bit of a gap between the owner and the next layer of skills and capabilities. You made some comments earlier about, hey, look, you can’t expect employees to change overnight from understanding just doing their jobs, to understand becoming owners and understanding the difference. Now they’re 18 months in and they’ve had or nearly got three payments, but they’ve had at least two payments. What differences have you noticed in the culture, the mindset, the way employees show up and act and think about the business?

So it’s a really interesting question because I think it’s subtle. I think if you look on the surface, are people coming in and behaving completely differently? No, I’ll be honest. The team came in, they worked hard, they did good work. That hasn’t changed. And on a day to day basis, I don’t think that changes. But I think what happens is 18 months in, we’re now having slightly different conversations. And every so often you’d have a really smart account manager or account director that would talk to you about how profitable their clients were. But it was kind of a bit abstract. Now today I can pretty much talk to anybody on the account side. So on the client facing side, and they have a really good understanding of what they can do to increase profitability, and they also know what they can do to increase profitability in the short term and the long term. And it’s not just about how much can we build the client today, it’s about how can we build that relationship and get more work. And they’re starting to think, I think quite strategically, I think they’re really starting to think more frequently in terms of profit for the business and what business would be profitable and what business would be less profitable. I really see that developing beyond what you’d expect in an agency. And you typically expect the most senior people to have some view of profitability and everyone else to do their job. Now, people are really trying to, I think, do their job for the business. And they understand that if they grow the business a little part of that success comes back to them. And that’s how it should be. And it’s positive. I wouldn’t say we did a brilliant job by any means in terms of educating employees, helping them understand what it means to be an owner. I think we actually probably did quite a poor job on that, so it’s. Taken some time, but I think people have been very keen and the people most involved, obviously, when you have an. EOT, you have a trust board. So we have two employees who are on the board that actually is really good education. So those guys have learned a lot. The people who are perhaps a little further away, who haven’t been quite so involved on the EOT to that level, they’re still learning, they’re still asking about profit. I get asked a lot more about how the agency is doing. That’s a really interesting thing. It’s not just people coming to me and saying, my clients are doing great. It’s like, how’s the agency doing? How’s the business going? What’s happening? What are we doing to grow the business that’s good. And those little things, that’s awesome.

That sounds very exciting. And the fact that you’ve noticed a gradual change over time, over the 18 months, that they’ve gradually grown into understanding that it’s more than just about their job, it’s about the whole agency and the types of questions they’re asking as well. That’s encouraging. So with that, how have you found that your role, the way you show up, you have changed over the 18 months?

Yeah, and I think that’s, again, something we haven’t done particularly well. We wanted to change the culture. We wanted to really focus on bringing on a management team that, if you like, was trying to take over from me and almost roll over me and be better. And we’ve had some pros and cons with that. I mean, we’ve definitely had some areas where we’ve improved. We’re definitely a stronger management team than we were before, all of us. But it’s not the case that I can walk away from or I feel I can walk away from the business today. I mean, I don’t know if there’s any employees listening. They’re probably going, Mike, get out of the business today. It’d be so much better. In my head, it’s not quite got to that stage yet. I think we’ve got a clearer vision of what we need to do, but it’s just a challenge of getting there.

So, Mike, the employees have changed and evolved the way they’re thinking and asking questions that they’ve worked. With you, considering what they’ve done in previous years, reflecting back on yourself, how has your style changed? What are you doing differently now that 18 months in? I guess you’re now the CEO, only you’re no longer the major shareholder.

Yeah, it’s interesting, and I think probably I haven’t changed as much as I expected or hoped. I was hoping to have more of a momentum towards a transition to a new management team and effectively the current management team kind of getting to the point of pushing me out. And for various reasons, that hasn’t quite happened. But I think what has happened is we’ve had a lot better discussion with employees about ideas on different things. And so one of the really interesting things is the EOT allows, really, a formal process for employees to raise ideas. And as a manager, kind of it’s. A bit of a shock because some of those ideas are bloody good. So you actually get these ideas coming through and I mean, we’d never offered things like private health insurance and one of the EOT suggestions was private health and the EOT said, you know, kind of we’d like private health, we’d like it to be subsidised a bit, but actually we’re okay if we pay a bit towards it. And we looked at it and we. Looked at the costs, we were like, do you know what? That’s a lot less than we expected. And so we’ve brought in private health and we’re subsidizing 50% of the cost. And who knows, as times get better. Maybe we could subsidise more in the future. But we’ve actually brought that benefit in. A lot of employees are using it and are really happy with it and it’s really positive. And that was 100% employee driven that had nothing to do with the management team at all. And we’re getting some other suggestions coming through that are equally positive about how. We can improve the business and they’re. Inevitably tend to be benefit driven. So things that benefit the employees directly. Rather than necessarily look at the business strategy. And I still think 18 months in, it’s a bit early to expect the employees to come up with great strategic ideas. It would be wonderful if they did, but they’re still coming up with good ideas that are doing a lot to position us as a better employer. So the health insurance is one example where it doesn’t just help the people who are here, but when we’re recruiting. It’s another positive to try and get. People to join the business. So I think getting more ideas from employees definitely is a good thing. I’m sure if there’s owners and managing directors listening here, you’ve all done the meetings where you do your presentation, you go, right, has anyone got any questions? And it’s just tumbleweed. Nobody ever asks anything, nobody ever suggests anything. And you kind of feel like going come on, you guys, you’re smart, you’ve. Got good ideas, why do you just sit there and not say anything? The employee ownership has kind of brought. Some of that out, which is really positive.

Okay, great. Okay, so we’ve seen the employees gradually change over time, and also they’re starting to contribute new ideas, albeit a little bit beneficial, driven at the moment, but it’s overall improving the standard and the status of the employment benefit and therefore the EOT. I think you said your role, you haven’t changed as much as you would have liked, and perhaps some habits are hard to lose in style. But we’re 18 months in now into a seven year, let’s call it a self imposed earn out arrangement, albeit one where you control the goalposts, so you know that the goalposts aren’t going to move in your earn out and you have a lot of influence over that earn out. Is there anything you would have done differently now that you’re sort of well into the process? You’ve basically got yourself a seven year or a four and a half year, five and a half year process. But looking back, what would you have done differently?

I’d have definitely made the payout period shorter, and not for me, but from. The point of view that the way these EOTs work is whilst the employees still owe you money for the shares, you still have more degree of control than you would with a pure employee ownership arrangement. And that’s fair enough, right? Because they owe you money, they haven’t paid you for the shares, so they shouldn’t get all that control. But I think that’s kind of held back the EOT a little bit because they’re still seven years away from really completely controlling the company. So I would have absolutely accelerated that payment schedule as fast as I mean, it’s difficult. You could look at potentially borrowing money, but that’s quite expensive. But I would have looked at ways to see how we could have accelerated it because I think that would give employees more control more quickly.

Yeah, okay, so there’s that. And the reality is that you’ve taken the risk. You took the risk in 2001 in acquiring the business. You’ve been the person consuming all of the risk or holding all of the risk and growing the business. Now you’ve sold the business, you’re still the one taking all the risk effectively. So therefore there’s a vested interest in you making sure that you stay there for the seven years and ensure that you get paid. So that’s how you mitigate the risk. And you’ve got 20 years experience behind you in running the business. So it’d be a low perceived risk. So I absolutely understand why you would go, hey, look, a seven year earn out. Once you’ve already made the mindset shift, you’re not going to get any benefit from the increase in capital value over those seven years. If you double the business over the seven year earn out, there’s no gain to you. No, I’m wrong, because in that scenario, you held 30% of the equity, didn’t you? You held back 30%.

So I’ve got some equity back that I am going to get a benefit from. It’s much less about me. It’s much more about giving the employees the control as quickly as possible. And the issue is, with almost any employee purchase of a business, the employees typically don’t have the money. And so you need to engineer a process where the employees take the profits to be able to pay you back. And very crudely, that’s how any employee purchase is going to work. So you’re always going to have this delay, you’re always going to have this period of time. I think the shorter you can make it, the sooner employees reach this Noverna where genuinely they’re in the business and genuinely they can pitch up one Monday morning and go, do you know what, Mike had enough of you. Off you go. And I think that feeling of control, I think, would really motivate people. It would also allow them to think much more about allocating more money out for bonuses or investing money in growing the business, and they would be able to make those decisions. At the moment, things are kind of tight with the way the earnout is structured that it’s kind of difficult to have much wiggle room.

Yeah. Okay, so you’ve held 30%. Why 30%? What’s your thinking? My understanding is the stats tell us that businesses either sell 51% or 100%. Very few straddle the fence and sit in the middle. What’s your plan for the 30%?

So why 30%? I don’t know. I wibbled about the number. I wanted to keep some shareholding in particular, I felt it was important that. The management team taking over have the option to own a slightly bigger chunk. Of the company, because obviously they’ll be the ones driving the business. And I know that ultimately, I’ve had good years, I’ve had bad years, but ultimately, I’ve done very well out of owning shares. I think the next generation of management team should be able to benefit on. That if they want. How did I get to 30%? Well, from that I didn’t want 51%. It felt like it was a bit fake. I wanted to give the employees a fairly meaningful chunk in the company 80%. So just holding on to 20% felt. A bit small to give, and so. It came to 30. There’s no better logic than that. It could have easily been 25 and it would have made, to be honest, no difference. Yeah. Okay. And what are your plans to do with that? Are you going to hold on to that till your notice is completed? And did you say sell it or potentially have the option to sell it to the management team so that they can have that extra incentive to go forward? Yeah, I mean, the goal is to have it available if the management team wants to buy. It, that would be great. If the management team don’t want to buy it, I’ll obviously sell it to the me. They want to buy it and the one downside with doing that is if I do sell it to the OT, the tax advantages don’t apply because it’s a second sale. As I said, realistically, and particularly over seven years, the growth of the company is way bigger than the tax advantage. Tax just becomes noise in that situation. So I’m very happy with that option as well.

Brilliant. All righty. Hey, Mike, look, we’ve had a bit of a wild. We’ve covered the Fair spectrum from a person who’s sold their business to the EOT and is halfway through that transition period. Now, what’s the key message you want listeners to this podcast to take away? If business owners out there are thinking of selling to an EOT themselves.

I think you need to think about your options, whether you’re considering EOT or whether you’re considering a trade sale. I think you should think about both options. It’s really interesting. You do a trade sale pretty much day one after sale, everything changes. You sell to an EOT, pretty much day one, nothing changes. And they’re very different processes. They do very different things. I think both are valid choices. I mean, I’m not here going, everyone should sell to an EOT. But I think you need to understand what you’ve got as a business, whether that business is viable long term, running on its own, whether it’s going to continue to be profitable, whether you’ve got the team in place to be able to continue to run that business. Maybe at the size we are, 40. There’s always going to be a decent management team. But if you had, say, ten people, maybe an EOT is not right because there’s not the right people to take over from you and really consider the two options and then make a decision based on your situation. For me, the EOT is very rewarding. The tax incentives, I guess as a last message, they’re nice, they shouldn’t drive you at all. That shouldn’t be uppermost in your thinking. There’s other ways to make more money. Fundamentally comes around to the more you grow the business, the better it is for everybody.

Brilliant. Mike Maynard, thanks for sharing your exit insights with us today.

Thanks so much, Darryl. Really enjoyed it.


About Mike Maynard

Mike Maynard is a self-confessed geek who loves talking about technology. As managing director of Napier, an integrated PR and marketing agency for B2B technology clients, he combines the measurement, accountability and innovation that he learnt as an engineer with a passion for communicating. This helps to ensure Napier delivers great campaigns and tangible return on investment.

In his spare time, Mike plays cricket and is a short track speed skater. He also enjoys powerboating and has competed several times in the World Conker Championships.

If you would like to learn more about how to start preparing your business, then you can get more information here: It All Begins with Insights.

Darryl Bates-Brownsword

Darryl Bates-Brownsword

CEO | Succession Plus UK

Darryl is a dynamic, driven Business Mentor and Coach with over 20 years of experience and passion for creating successful outcomes for founder-led businesses. He is a great connector, team builder, problem solver, and inspirer – showing the way through complexity to simplicity.

He has built 2 international multi-million turnover businesses; one now operating in 16 countries. His quick and analytical approach cuts through to the core issues quickly and identifying the context. He challenges the status quo and gets consistent, repeatable and reliable business results.

Originating in Australia, Darryl’s first career was as an Engineer in the Power Industry. Building businesses brought him to the UK in 2003 where he quickly developed a reputation for combining systems thinking with great creativity to get results in challenging situations.

A keen competitive cyclist, he also has a B Eng (Mech) Engineering and an MBA.