Field Sales Solutions, part of Activate Solutions Group, becomes Employee Owned.


An industry first for a business that relies on people as its primary asset.

Activate Solutions Group is an independent group of specialist sales and marketing businesses that includes EFMP UK partner, Field Sales Solutions Limited, Field Sales Solutions Tactical Limited, Box Marketing Limited, and Fieldology Limited. In March 2021, the board and shareholders of Activate Solutions made an announcement to take the group into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).  Employee Ownership for the Group means that 100% of the shares have been sold to an Employee Ownership Trust and that all employees of the Group who have been employed by the Group for a period of at least 6 months are now beneficiaries of the Employee Ownership Trust. 

This is an innovative move in what is believed to be to a world first EOT in field marketing.  By selling to employees who know and understand their business best, the Activate Solutions Group will retain their people-focused culture while empowering employees by trusting them with the future growth of the business.

Employee Ownership Trusts were first set up by the UK government in 2014 in an attempt to encourage more shareholders to set up a corporate structure similar to the John Lewis model. There are many advantages of EOT, to both the shareholders and employees. For employees it means that they will have the opportunity to share in the future value and profits of the business. Typically, employees of EOT’s are happier, more engaged, and more productive, while an EOT  gives the business a strong competitive advantage to attract and retain talent.  For stakeholders, EOT businesses are more profitable, show more resilience at weathering economic challenges and prove to be more agile. The transition to an EOT is also less disruptive to existing clients of the business than the sale of the company to a competitor, enabling a business-as-usual continuity. 

Julian Cordy – Group Chief Executive Officer, commented “Over the last year we've taken the opportunity to reflect on our longer-term business strategy and evaluate options that would guarantee the long-term future of the business. At this stage we  feel that selling the company to a competitor  is currently not an option.

Considering that the strong performance of the Group is due to the fantastic efforts of every individual involved in the business, the  Board concluded that this is an opportunity to embrace the benefits of broadening the ownership of the company to all our permanent field colleagues and head office teams. Over recent months we have been working hard to deliver the sale of the Group to an Employee Ownership Trust as we consider this direction would  fit well with our be Proud culture and  would further  enhance our employee engagement.”

Mike Cottman – Chairman and founder, along with business partner Steve McQuillan, commented jointly, – “The on-going potential within the Group is down to the incredible people we have and the importance of each of them to the business. We did not want to lose the culture, ethos and identity we have all worked so hard to build under the Group name. 

Employee ownership affords a new and exciting opportunity for the Group, offering a natural succession to a privately-owned business and providing an incentive for everyone to be aligned to the future success of the Group. We hope that putting the company into the hands of all employees will allow them to further commit to the Group  by having a stake in the sustainability and success of the company. Crucially, everyone can be certain that the best interests of all stakeholders will be at the forefront of any decisions made. This is a fantastic opportunity that allows us to share with employees the benefits and results of all the great work that the Group employees deliver.” The news was met with tremendous excitement, and numerous messages of thanks and support were received from the 70 plus head office team.

This is a significant step in both securing and shaping the future strategy of the Activate Solutions business in the UK, including EFMP partner Field Sales Solutions, as they look forward with anticipation to engaging in a process which  shares a material stake in the future success of the Group with all employees.

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