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Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs) continue to grow in popularity as a way of engaging with employees while providing an alternative exit strategy for business owners who do not want to pursue a third-party sale.
How do EOTs work?
Business owners transfer a majority stake to a trust benefiting employees, who then also enjoy a tax-free bonus of up to £3,600 each year.
Owners can receive full market value for their shares – generally via a mixture of up-front consideration from existing cash reserves and deferred consideration funded from future profits of the business.
A significant upside is that owners can sell to the EOT without incurring a capital gains tax (CGT) liability. This feature of EOTs will continue to make them popular given the reduction in the lifetime allowance for Business Asset Disposal Relief in 2020 (formerly known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief) and the much-anticipated increase to the rate of capital gains tax in 2022.
EOTs are particularly relevant to businesses where people are the key drivers of the company. They provide the opportunity to increase employee engagement and improve recruitment and retention rates and are also suitable for corporate social responsibility profiles.
When implemented carefully, there are many advantages of EOTs for shareholders, companies and their employees.
How can Moore Kingston Smith help?
As champions of EOTs, we are proud members of the Employee Ownership Association.
We offer a holistic business advisory service around EOTs encompassing tax, legal, corporate finance, HR and accounting services. Having implemented many EOTs already, we are well placed to advise you throughout the whole process: from the initial discussions to determine if it’s right for you, to supporting you with the communication of the completed transaction to your employees and the outside world.
Importantly we use the benefit of our experience to ensure a final EOT structure tailored to your specific needs. We do this via a structured consultative process with you over several meetings before legal drafting begins.
Our full range of services include the following:
What our clients say
“Moore Kingston Smith recently supported us with our sale to an EOT, and we could not have asked for more knowledgeable advisers for this. We went into the process as novices, but they guided us through every detail. Well-versed in this area, they were well-positioned to anticipate issues before they arose, and we benefitted from full 360 advice. With both the Moore Kingston Smith tax and legal departments working together, the process felt effortlessly joined up and was rounded off with excellent commercial advice from the media team in the West End. All to a tight deadline – thank you!”
Lisa Shirtcliffe, FD Brandopus
Get in touch
Please get in touch with our team if you would like an initial discussion to explore whether an EOT might be right for you.
Moore Kingston Smith is delighted to have advised White Label on its transformation into an employee-owned company, through its sale to an Employee Ownership Trust (“EOT”).
White Label is a highly successful recruitment marketing agency that works with employers to enhance talent attraction and employee communications. White Label uses tracking and data to measure results, analyse effectiveness and build high performing marketing solutions for its clients. It has worked with a range of well-known employers, such as GlaxoSmithKline, EY and Amazon.
The company was founded in 2013 by Claire Herriott, who was its sole director and, together with other family members, owned 100% of the business. As the business grew it attracted a loyal pool of talented employees, and by 2020 Claire was keen to consider how to put in place longer-term plans to secure the future of the business. She was interested in realising the value of her ownership of the business, but was most keen to ensure the company’s culture and independence was preserved and her colleagues and employees could have a share in White Label’s future. White Label is fundamentally a people business, and the recruitment and retention of talent is key to its success.
Claire was introduced to Nicola Horton, Corporate Finance Principal, and Mike Hayes, Tax Partner at Moore Kingston Smith, who advised that sale to an EOT could meet all of Claire’s objectives. It would allow Claire to sell her stake in the business, but rather than sell to a third-party acquirer, who might have wanted to take the business in a different direction, a trust would be established to hold the shares for the benefit of all current and future employees.
Claire would no longer own the business, and going forward she would share management responsibilities with members of staff appointed to the White Label board by a newly-formed Employee Council. As an employee-owned company, White Label would be governed and operated in the employees’ best interests and would reward employees for the development and growth of the business.
Having agreed that sale to an EOT was the company’s best option, Moore Kingston Smith assembled a team of advisers to help White Label make the transition, introducing various parts of the firm at key points to keep the process moving. Our Corporate Finance team, led by Nicola Horton and Calvin Bond, advised the company on valuation and financial issues, while our Tax team, led by Mike Hayes and Shima Kelly, advised on tax clearances and how to structure the transaction effectively in order to benefit from the various tax advantages that sale to an EOT confer. Moore Kingston Smith’s legal services team, led by Partner Andrew Bloom and Vida McShane, prepared all the legal documentation governing the sale and establishing the EOT, including the sale & purchase agreement, trust deed and new articles, while our HR team drew up new director service agreements and incentive scheme rules.
The sale to the EOT completed in early January 2021 and has been welcomed by White Label’s staff who see it as a positive reflection on their contribution to the business and a great incentive to help the company grow still further. Claire believes being able to tell potential new hires that the business is employee-owned will be a significant factor in White Label’s future success.
Reflecting on her experience of working with Moore Kingston Smith, Claire Herriott said: “From my first conversation with Moore Kingston Smith it was immediately clear that I was surrounded by impressive professionals. Each member of the assembled team played an important part, and quickly became trusted advisors in the truest sense. It has been a privilege to work with them on this important evolution for my business and with the successful establishment of the EOT we have undoubtedly benefited from their combined expertise.”
With the pandemic accelerating the rate of change and business leaders needing to proactively manage across multiple scenarios, we work alongside our clients to help them evolve their businesses to meet their customers’ changing needs.
We understand that it’s never been more important to be able to get real-time data to critically evaluate performance, anticipate trends and plan for the future. Competitive advantage comes from being able to rapidly interrogate the right data to get the right information.
At Moore Kingston Smith we start with insight. As highly skilled accountants and auditors, we are uniquely placed to identify what insights our clients need and then help them to join up all the necessary technological pieces. Crucially we understand the culture of our clients’ businesses across all of the sectors in which we operate and excel at change management to ensure the digital transformation runs smoothly and resonates deeply.
We pride ourselves in our ability to achieve quick wins by helping our clients to optimise their existing platforms, but are equally adept at developing entire digital strategies with brand new operating systems and transformative new technologies.
We leverage the partnerships we have developed with software and hardware providers along with one of the world’s leading outsourcing companies for maximum benefit.
Our wide ranging digital transformation services include:
– Moore Kingston Smith make Real-Time Advisory (RTA) a reality
– How to implement AI in your practice
– Digital strategy in a post-COVID world: reimagining business and operational priorities for the future
The UK has one of the most attractive R&D tax credit regimes in the world. It is designed to reward business innovation and boost intellectual property across the country. However, many small and medium-sized businesses are unaware of the schemes and thus missing out on a vital source of funding.
Our specialist team of scientists, engineers and tax advisers are here to help. From identifying surprising activities that qualify as research and development to considering additional tax implications, we take care of everything, leaving you to concentrate on running your business.
Just some of the areas that qualify as research and development are:
When was the last time you took a step back and thought about running your business? We’re not talking about the day-to-day management, but your goals and aspirations? As the old saying goes, if you don’t know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else. And, even if you do know where you’re going, do you know where you are now – your starting point?
We know it’s hard to step away from the day-to-day running of your organisation, but it’s vital. Ensuring you have a defined, clear and measurable strategy is the most likely route to achieving your ultimate goals, whether they are profit related, driven by a sale, personal aspirations or a change in circumstances.
Our advisers specialise in improvement and growth, helping our clients not only develop a strategy completely aligned to their goals, but most importantly supporting them to deploy and manage change.
We use our KS360 diagnostic tool to give you a situation report on where your business is, right now. From then on our approach begins with the end in mind helping clients define goals, identify target audiences and ensure they are being presented with a proposition that resonates with them in a powerful way. We use business insight and real-time data to measure effectiveness of sales functions and delivery to clients in a profitable way. In terms of operations, naturally we are experts in financial analytics, but we can also support your people function, which can very often have a huge impact on output. And we can help you grow, if that’s what you want, making sure that when you scale-up you already have the foundations in place.
To find out how our strategic advisory service can improve your organisation and propel you towards your goals, download our brochure or get in touch.
Getting the right outcome from any deal is critical. Whether you’re selling, borrowing, merging, expanding or buying. And having the trust and confidence that you’re making the right decision is priceless.
At Moore Kingston Smith we draw on the full expertise from across the firm, as well as our global reach, to help you achieve your goals and to build value. We do this by expertly finding you the partner that gives you the right strategic fit and on the terms that suit you best. And we make sure you get exactly what you’re expecting.
Business owners or financial institutions
We work with owners selling or seeking corporate finance options for their business, as well as a vast global network of buyers, investors and financial institutions.
End to end support
Our expertise and reach means we’re on hand with practical advice and support whenever and wherever you need us, working with colleagues across the firm to give you fully integrated advice. We help some clients throughout the whole lifecycle of their business. With others it’s to guide them through a transaction.
What remains the same is our dedication to helping those we work with to thrive. Both now and in the future.
The administration of an employer’s payroll does not get easier. To assist through the complexities, we provide a fully supported service to cater for all clients requirements.
Moore Kingston Smith employs a dedicated team to administer the payroll of over 800 employers. The team is enthusiastic and dedicated to the smooth management of the service.
The benefits of using our service include:
Our Business Recovery & Insolvency team understands your issues and offers relevant and empathetic advice. We focus on creating positive outcomes from difficult situations.
With decades of experience in restructuring and recovery, we’re here to support you and your business through the tough times. So, if you’re facing challenges – such as performance dips, mounting debt or reduced cash flow – we can help. The Coronavirus Pandemic has brought some unique challenges and we can help.
Our most popular services
We work with businesses across every industry. We provide a broad range of advisory and recovery services. Due to the latest Coronavirus government support measures, some our most required services include:
Recently we have been advising many directors on defaulted Bounce Back loans taken out during the Coronavirus pandemic. Although directors carry no personal liability, in the event the monies were used for personal use, a liquidator can run a misfeasance claim against a director, resulting in potential personal liability. We can advise on this and try to help mitigate the risk.
The sooner you bring us on board, the greater our chances of guiding you towards a successful recovery. At every stage, you’ll find us straight-talking and flexible.
We’ll always secure the optimal commercial solution for you or your business, whether that’s a solvent or insolvent route.
Our team of Licensed Insolvency Practitioners has a solid background in accountancy, banking and litigation. We also draw on experience obtained working with HMRC and the Official Receiver’s Office.
We use our collective experience and strong links to our professional community to offer innovative solutions, allowing us to secure the best commercial outcome for all stakeholders. And, with long-standing relationships with banks, alternative funders, key suppliers, landlords and HMRC, we can handle all negotiations on your behalf.
We take the time to listen, understand and develop a deep knowledge of the situation at hand. We pride ourselves on our down to earth approach and you will find us both understanding and pragmatic. We speak in plain English, ensuring that you are informed at every stage, encouraging open and honest communication.
Part of a global practice
Being part of a multidisciplinary practice means we can call on the expertise of our colleagues around Moore Kingston Smith. We work closely with our corporate finance team, enlisting their expert restructuring advisory services and mergers and acquisitions knowledge.
And, as part of the Moore Global Network Limited, spanning 100 countries, we can enlist the help of our international colleagues if your business has interests outside the UK.
Tax investigations and queries initiated by HMRC are expensive, time-consuming and stressful. Our fee protection services allow us to resolve most queries direct with HMRC on your behalf, at no cost to you.
All your professional fees are covered up to £125,000 and that generally includes any queries related to directors or partners, and their spouses, in your business too.
If you would like to speak to an adviser about our fee protection service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial planning will help you set and prioritise your goals and map out clear strategies for achieving them.
Getting to know you is central to everything we do; understanding your individual circumstances, aspirations and preferences allows us to construct a personalised and holistic financial plan.
A good plan should be adaptable to deal with the unexpected when it occurs, so your planning will be reviewed regularly to monitor progress towards your short, medium and long-term goals.
Where appropriate, we will construct a detailed cash flow model to help you make decisions and act as the foundation on which to build future planning.
We use powerful and flexible cash-flow modelling software to:
Our client portal brings all aspects of your wealth onto a secure dashboard, taking the stress out of keeping on top of your planning. The portal includes a number of useful features such as:
We are Chartered Independent Financial Planners, as awarded by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) the leading professional body for financial planners. Chartered status is the industry’s ‘gold standard’ of financial planning. Find out more about what chartered status means.
As Chartered Financial Planners, we are publicly committed to a customer-first approach and values that align with a professional Code of Ethics. We’ll provide solutions relevant to your needs, maintaining our knowledge through qualifications and ongoing professional development.
Financial advice is provided by Moore Kingston Smith Financial Advisers Limited (MKSFA), an appointed representative of Best Practice IFA Group Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA does not regulate some forms of buy to lets, commercial mortgages, tax advice, wills, trusts or certain offshore investments.
Moore Kingston Smith Financial Advisers Limited, a limited company registered in England and Wales, no. 07694501. Click here for our terms and conditions.
Moore Kingston Smith’s highly respected forensic accounting team has decades of experience to call upon, in complex cases ranging from listed companies to privately owned businesses and individuals. We provide expert witness, advisory and investigation services and have given evidence in the High Court, Family Court, Crown Court and the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), as well as in arbitral and disciplinary tribunals. We also have extensive experience of acting in alternative dispute resolution forums, such as mediations and expert determinations.
Feedback from our clients is that we write clear and comprehensive reports, which are measured and credible. Where we are providing advisory services, we ensure our advice is pragmatic and focused, so as to enable our clients to achieve the best possible outcome. Our forensic accounting services include:
Now is the time to invest for the future – to ensure your organisation is both resilient and can meet the future needs of your stakeholders. We can help nonprofit organisations and charities develop powerful business models, raise funds effectively, build financial sustainability and measure and maximise impact.
At Moore Kingston Smith Nonprofit Advisory, our team of experts and former practitioners provide key services for: Impact Measurement, Fundraising, Financial Sustainability and Strategic Planning.
We offer a free, entirely no obligation, two-hour consultancy session to explore how we can help you improve your organisation – so get in touch with us.
You can also follow us on Twitter for sector updates.
When you start to experience financial difficulties, acting swiftly and engaging experts early can maximise your chances of a solvent recovery.
Our specialist team of business, HR and insolvency consultants will work with you and your advisers, stakeholders and funders to quickly assess your situation. We can identify the immediate challenges to your business and present and recommend the best possible solutions.
We can help you to:
If solvent solutions are not possible, we will work with our business recovery and insolvency team to help you navigate your responsibilities and options to create the best outcome.
A consumer PR agency approached us, in considerable distress, for advice on the future of their business and whether they should apply for a CBILS loan. The managing partners feared their only viable option was to close down.
However, we managed to create a sustainable business structure to keep the company afloat throughout 2021, without needing the loan after all. Now, the managing partners are confident their agency is fit to face the future.
We started by having an in-depth conversation with the managing partners, where they catalogued their predicament. They were incurring significant monthly losses, had lost major clients, their H2 revenue forecast showed income dropping by over 50%, they had deferred paying VAT, implemented salary cuts and furloughed staff. Yet still their cash was due to run out in six months’ time.
Next, we went through the agency’s cash flow, balance sheet, profit and loss, budget and trading forecast, and identified missed opportunities and substantial flaws in their management information. We uncovered a major fundamental error in their cash flow modelling, which is what had made the managing partners believe that insolvency was looming.
Conversely, our cash flow modelling demonstrated that they did in fact have the reserves to execute a successful strategy. We also reviewed their overhead base, pinpointed appropriate cost reductions and our HR consultancy arm subsequently handled their staffing restructuring needs.
The agency said: “Thank you to the team at Moore Kingston Smith. We feel assured that the business is set up for the foreseeable, and the decisions we are making are based on sound reasoning.”
Moore Kingston Smith supported a family owned food manufacturer with severe liquidity problems and losses. The team stabilized liquidity following a comprehensive situation analysis, identifying opportunities to generate cash quickly from inventory and restructured the staff base. The team negotiated with funders for a grace period and then identified strategic assets and buyers before ultimately selling the business to one of these strategic buyers realising shareholder value and refinancing the debt.
The Moore Kingston Smith team advised a struggling marketing services business that had become loss making following the termination of major client contracts resulting in a return to profitability within five months. Following a detailed options review and modelling exercise the team guided the business through a process of reducing headcount to eliminate excess capacity, a premises renegotiation with their landlord and a comprehensive cost cutting exercise based upon a zero based budgeting approach.
Moore Kingston Smith supported a medium sized manufacturing business with severe losses and cash flow issues. The team performed a comprehensive situation analysis, prepared an integrated financial model and identified opportunities to renegotiate supplier terms to provide financial headroom before ultimately arranging for a sale to a key supplier realising shareholder value and safeguarding the business.
Moore Kingston Smith supported a wholesaling business which had seen their revenues cease as a result of lockdown obtain a £1.5 million CBILS loan from their bank to provide liquidity during the Coronavirus crisis. The team performed a review of the options available to the business, including government support, reviewed and advised them on their business plans and forecasts and supported them through the loan application process.
Helping family-run enterprises realise their ambitions
Running a family business comes with some unique challenges. Your business isn’t just about the financials and keeping shareholders happy, after all. It’s highly personal. Every decision means considering the needs of your family, too — now and in the future.
How we can help
We help family-run businesses realise their ambitions. We can help you put a growth plan in place, support your day-to-day decisions, advise on ways to preserve your business, and ensure you pass on your business and assets to the next generation in the smartest possible way.
A team you can trust
Our multidisciplinary Family Business team have decades of experience working with some of the UK’s most successful family-run enterprises. Comprising tax, legal and advisory experts, we’re dedicated advocates of family-run businesses and the benefits you bring to the economy and communities you serve. We work with family-run enterprises at all stages of growth — whether you’re just starting out, looking to expand, or thinking about retirement.
To talk to us about how we can help your family business, reach out to Sylvia Vitiello, lead partner.
As an SME with international operations, you can rely on our global mobility services to handle the essentials of your expatriate tax, social security and international reward planning, as well as compliance, audit and bookkeeping.
However, it is your responsibility to ensure each international secondment is as successful as possible. There are the standard considerations of visas, permits, logistics and cross-cultural training but the actual key to deploying your employees effectively is more complex.
Whether you are seconding someone abroad or hosting an international employee in your country, it is crucial to know how each assignment fits into the global landscape. This might be identifying work motivation across cultures, the specific challenges of managing virtual global teams or strategies for building successful cross-border teams, to name but a few areas.
Our global mobility experts conduct extensive country profiling, drawing out the fundamentals, dynamics and subtle nuances of the relevant country’s society and culture. Even between neighbouring countries, these can vary widely – for example, the underlying fabric of society, behavioural norms and perceptions of timing, civil freedoms, equality and diversity. Then there are Coronavirus and Brexit adding further complications.
Here are some of the main areas we can help you with regarding global mobility:
Having good relations with the host country is largely influenced by work culture and the behaviour of the secondee. Essentially, we help you develop global management skills so you can then mobilise your staff on this basis. Your employees will avoid conflicts and your business will enjoy a good reputation.
Contact us for a free no-obligation consultation.
If you’re scaling up or transforming your business, or if you just want to see performance improvements, your overall approach to your people needs to add value.
How you attract, retain and reward people needs to bring out the behaviours and performance that will help your business meet its ambitious goals.
It’s forward-looking and firmly connects your HR to your overall business values and objectives. We’ve helped many businesses to do it and we know the impact it can have.
How HR Consultancy can help
Our flexible approach allows us to create custom solutions based on your situation. It could be help with a specific day to day issue, ongoing support, or more strategic projects. To find out more about how we can help you, speak to our team.
What our clients say
“One of the key benefits is their flexible approach to understanding the needs of different functions within the business and the challenges they may bring. The HR Consultancy team is happy to challenge local company thinking, suggesting alternative approaches when necessary, to arrive at an agreed outcome.”
David Amos, Managing Director, Zeelandia
Pro-Finance part of the Pro-Recruitment Group is the trusted recruitment partner of Moore Kingston Smith providing a seamless recruitment service to clients. They provide an agile, tailored and innovative recruitment service that can be designed and delivered to any requirement.
Pro-Recruitment Group is an owner managed recruitment consultancy operating in three distinct markets through dedicated brands; Tax, Finance and Legal (www.pro-recruitment.co.uk). Their philosophy is that recruitment is not about filling gaps, it is about making a difference to companies and to individuals. They are committed to making that difference. As a specialist accounting & finance consultancy, they can provide appropriate, adaptable and tailored recruitment solutions.
For employers, they will assist you in attracting the most talented individuals in the market and for candidates aiming to assist you in securing the best possible career move, with organisations you can excel. They have a team of experienced consultants with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the sector. Actively listening to clients and candidates, they always go the extra mile to help them achieve their goals.
Accounting & Finance Specialists
From part qualified to CFO, Pro-finance can help you with your next hire. They specialise on specific role levels and sectors in order to provide clients with dedicated and specialised approach within the industry. Some of their clients include:
|Private Sector||Public Sector||Professional Services|
|Retail & FMCG||Central Government||Big 4 Audit Firms|
|Pharmaceutical||Local Government||Top 20 UK Firms|
|Energy & Utilities||Charities/Not for Profit||Top 50 Firms|
|Leisure & Hospitality||Housing||SME Practices|
|Technology/ Media||Education||Sole Traders|
|Marketing & Communications||Regulatory bodies||Magic Circle Law Firms|
|Property & Construction||Associations||Silver Circle Law Firms|
|NHS||Top 500 Legal Practices|
The Pro-Finance Approach
Pro-Finance’s strict recruitment processes has helped them to gain an enviable reputation in delivering quality levels of service. Working with Pro-Finance means you feel confident as they take the time to understand the culture and requirements of your business. For more information, please contact Andrew Clark, Associate Director Pro-Finance tel: 020 7269 6351, mobile 07961 179379, alternatively email on email@example.com