Employee-owned Aberdeen firm to launch in Australia and create UK jobs

James Arthur (front) said the consultancy's employee ownership structure aims to 'build a fair and open corporate culture'. Picture: Contributed
James Arthur (front) said the consultancy's employee ownership structure aims to 'build a fair and open corporate culture'. Picture: Contributed
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An employee-owned oil and gas consultancy is expanding its team at home and overseas as it heads for annual record turnover.

Aberdeen-headquartered Accord Energy Solutions, a specialist in services to measure oil and gas production, plans to grow its 33-strong team in the UK and launch operations in Australia in the coming 12 months.

The consultancy, which claims to be the first employee-owned start-up in Scotland, is on course for record revenues of £6 million in 2020 and has reported between 5 and 6 per cent year-on-year growth.

It has also hailed a strong pipeline of “substantial” contracts which will run into 2021, working with companies including international oil majors.

Around 90 per cent of Accord’s client projects support the North Sea with the remainder across the globe, predominantly in Norway, the Middle East and Australia.

The business recently invested a six-figure sum to purchase a new 3,300-square-foot headquarters in Aberdeen’s Carden Place.

READ MORE: Lloyds pledges £1.6bn for Scottish firms this year

Accord consults on the measurement and allocation of hydrocarbon products, helping customers to manage production data and track ownership from the reservoir to the point of sale.

The company also designs and implements related computer systems.

Employee ownership is 'fundamental'

Half of its shares are held by an employee ownership trust, while a further 21 per cent stake is owned by employees through a share incentive plan put in place to allow staff to buy and sell company shares in a tax-efficient manner.

Founding directors Alan Spence, Phil Stockton and James Arthur hold the remaining shares.

Arthur said: “Our objective is to build a fair and open corporate culture. We believe in aligning the interests of individual members of staff and the company.

“Doing so allows us deliver peerless expertise and continuity of service to our customers. Employee ownership is fundamental to us and we see the award as an indication that, together, we’re getting something right.”

Scottish legal firm Lindsays last week revealed a significant increase in the number of employee ownership deals completed during the past year, and said it expected the trend to continue throughout 2020.

Employee ownership, the process whereby at least 50 per cent of a company’s shares are transferred to staff, is typically undertaken by an entrepreneur-led or family-owned firm which has no obvious succession plan.