Boss gives 30 per cent of firm to his employees

Dean Hunter, founder of Hunter Adams

Dean Hunter, founder of Hunter Adams

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Staff at an Aberdeen-based company are set to be thousands of pounds better off in 2016 after their boss announced he was to give them 30 per cent of the firm.

Dean Hunter, founder of human resources consultancy Hunter Adams, stunned his employees when he revealed he is to distribute the equity between them.

My view is that if each employee has a piece of the pie, then they will do their best to continue to grow the business

Dean Hunter, founder of HR consultancy Hunter Adams

Mr Hunter said he took the decision to recognise those who had successfully built the business from his one-man venture in 2011 to a firm which employs 70 people and turned over £5m last year.

Mr Hunter, 42, whose company also has offices in Edinburgh and London, said: “You hear people say it is not the leaders who build companies but the people who work there. I know the reason we have grown so quickly is our staff.

“Seventy per cent of our business comes from referrals so I have been looking to do this for some time. I knew whatever we did, it had to be meaningful.

“At some point we will go to the market for investment and at that stage I wouldn’t be comfortable to taking the reward myself when it is all the staff who have brought the company this far.”

Mr Hunter said the reaction from staff had been “pretty amazing” and that a couple of his colleagues cried when they learned the news.

“The shares aren’t just for managers. Everyone who is employed will be given equity,” he added.

Mr Hunter’s move comes amid growing interest in employee-owned businesses, which include one of Britain’s most successful high street operators, John Lewis.

Since 2012, Mr Hunter has diversified his business with it no longer 100 per cent focussed on the North East’s oil and gas industry.

Now around 40 per cent of his clients come from other sectors, with clients including Heineken, Edinburgh City Council, Historic Scotland, Net a Porter and The Crown Estate.

Mr Hunter said he hopes the financial incentive now offered to staff will keep motivation and performance high.

He added: “My view is that if each employee has a piece of the pie, then they will do their best to continue to grow the business.

“We already have really high levels of engagement with staff. With the financial incentive now in place, we hope to take the company to the next level.

“Some people have said that I am nuts simply handing over the equity. My response to that is that it just feels the right thing to do.”

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