Sewell Estates Co-Owners have their say

Following the announcement of its move to employee ownership, Sewell Estates has now recruited its first Co-Owner Council and Trust Board members that will look after the interests of its staff, who have a 25% stake in the business.

In a move to secure the long term future of the business and protect its culture, majority shareholder and group Chair, Paul Sewell moved a quarter of the company’s shares into an employee ownership trust in January of this year.

Since then, member of the Sewell Estates seven businesses have had the opportunity to put themselves forward for roles on the Co-Owner Council and Trust Board. ‘Voice Champions’ from each business area have now been selected to sit on the council, which will seek the views of people from across the estates group and encourage discussion on the strategic direction, employee wellbeing and engagement and seek ideas for new or different ways of doing things.

Jo Barnes, Sewell Estates MD, said:

“We had a huge amount of interest in roles on the Co-Owner Council and Trust Board from our people across all our different business units. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm from our teams about employee ownership and so many people wanting to get involved.

“The Council will play a key role in feeding the views of our people into our Estates Board and help shape our decisions about the direction of the business moving forward. Although it’s early days and we’re all learning together, it’s a really exciting time for the business and our customers will benefit from having an even more engaged workforce that want to deliver the best quality service in an ethical and sustainable way.”

There was a real buzz across the business following the first meeting of the new Sewell Estates Co-Owner Council, as the council member representing Shared Agenda, Caroline Havler, explains:

“We were excited to meet up and firstly spent some time finding our feet and working out how we will be working together and in conjunction with the Trustee Board. Our main topics of discussion and the first we’ll be gathering feedback on are around the cost of living and our Employee Value Proposition to find out what our people think, how we can offer them the support they need, or if they’d like to see anything different.”

Almost 300 people who work across Sewell Estates’ seven businesses are now Co-Owners. This includes businesses operating across the UK from its Yorkshire HQ including; Sewell Investments, Shared Agenda, Community Ventures, Parallel, Sewell Construction, Illingworth & Gregory and Sewell Facilities Management.