An Edinburgh-based cyber security business has made the switch to becoming employee-owned.
The firm, i-confidential, provides cyber security and information protection services to the financial services sector. It was founded in 2008 by Colin Fraser and Ian Harragan who left RBS to start the business. They were joined by Simon Lawrence the following year.
The founders have now decided to secure the company’s long-term future by establishing an employee ownership trust involving 14 employees.
Fraser, Harragan and Lawrence, plus their families, sold a controlling interest in the business to the new trust, retaining ownership of 15 per cent each. The remaining shares are now in the hands of the trust which will hold them on behalf of the employees.
There are currently 21 employees – 14 staff, three founders and four members of the founders’ families – as well as some 120 sub-contractors.
Fraser said: “All three of the founding team are in our fifties, so it’s only natural that we started to consider what would happen to the business when we eventually retire in the next decade or so.
“We decided to establish succession planning now rather than when it is imminent. It also allows us to realise some of our initial investment.
“We all want to see i-confidental continue to operate successfully. Becoming employee-owned allows the staff to participate in that success and decide the future direction of the business.”
Focused mainly on the UK market, the firm’s staff also work throughout Europe, India, the US and Hong Kong to assist international businesses. A recruitment drive is underway with plans to double the team by 2020.
Harragan added: “The new employee trust has a strong foundation and it gives the team confidence to know that we’re set up for the next ten years and beyond.”