In partnership with Boardroom Advisors

The choice of independent trustee is a key decision for the success of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) owned business.

This is especially true in the early years. Exiting owners and the leadership team need reassurance that their Trustee group is well led and supported, so that they can find their feet.

Our placement service helps you find an independent trustee who is right for your business – based on their experience, location and personality.

Why you need an independent trustee

The role of independent trustee is vital in ensuring the trustee group works effectively .

Specifically, the role of the independent trustee includes supporting the whole trustee group to:

  • Represent the interests of employees as owners, both now and in the future
  • Protect the core values of the business for the long-term (The Flag)
  • Exercise accountability with the board/senior management team in a way that is fair, constructive – and challenging when it needs to be

The independent trustee needs an understanding of how employee ownership differs from other business models. They will bring  a strong core understanding of commercial, operational and governance principles.

Our Trustee Placement Service

To provide suitably knowledgeable individuals, we have partnered with specialist non-executive services firm Boardroom Advisors [hyperlink]. Boardroom Advisors bring to the partnership a depth of experience, which allows our service to offer the following features:

  • Proven expertise: Individuals with knowledge and experience in both business and governance. Every candidate is a senior professional with significant experience in non-executive-type roles and has received specialist EOT coaching from Eternal Business.
  • Extremely flexible: You decide how proactive or passive you want your independent trustee to be. You can dial the level of support you need up and down as required, from the same individual, or switch the service off at any point without any penalty.
  • Highly affordable: An up-front price of just £300. After that, you set the level for how much support you’ll need and pay for no more than that. No expensive one-off recruitment fee; no need to commit to multi-year contracts.
  • Tailored to you: We select the best fit candidates for you from a hand-picked pool of 75 senior and experienced individuals.
  • Board experience: With the depth of experience in boards and governance, our candidates will be able to talk to the board in their language when representing the interests of the employees.

How it works?

We have a simple 5-step process to appointing a new independent trustee to your business:

In safe hands

This service is brought to you by a true experts in employee ownership and non-executive placement, including:

Chris Budd, Managing Director, Eternal Business Consultancy

In addition to running the Eternal Business Consultancy, and having taken his own small firm into employee ownership, Chris has experience as an EOT Trustee himself: “Having transitioned my own firm into employee ownership, I know just how vital it is to find the right person to be your first independent trustee. They’ve got to be a wise and empathetic leader who can guide and support your group of new and typically inexperienced trustees to build their confidence and skill.”

Campbell McDonald, Senior Associate, Eternal Business Consultancy

Campbell is the Chief Executive of the new EO sector think tank Ownership at Work, a former MD of EO consultancy firm Baxendale, and has been the independent EOT Trustee Chair for global architecture and design firm Broadway Malyan since 2018: “A well-led trustee group can deliver competitive advantage to a well-run employee owned firm. Proactive trustees will boost the energy of motivated employees, keep the senior team on their toes and ensure the EOT mechanics run smoothly and drive the business to succeed.”

John Courtney, Chief Executive, Boardroom Advisors

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK.

He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran six of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.

He is also a very experienced business Mentor, with Microsoft Ventures then Microsoft Accelerator (now Microsoft Scale-Up), HRH Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace, SETsquared (scale-ups spinning out of the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Surrey and Southampton) and Entrepreneurial Spark (now NatWest Accelerator). He is also on the Advisory Board for the Oracle Start-up Cloud Accelerator (OSCA).