So, all I’s dotted and T’s crossed and we now have 60+ owners…
Following the announcement of our Employee Ownership ambition to coincide with our 15th birthday back in July, last week saw us signing the papers that make us the Tangerine Employee Owned Partnership with immediate effect.
What does this mean? Well, we’ve put 64% of our shares (50% of mine and all of Sarah’s) into a Trust that is now owned by every Tangerine. It also means we’ve fulfilled a promise we made when we first started Tangerine back in 2002 – a promise that we wouldn’t sell on the open market (as my previous agency did, which changed its culture and ultimately led to its demise) – but instead we’d put the business into the hands of the people who helped make it what it is.
The hope is that, because it’s now owned by its own team, who share our beliefs and values, it will continue to grow while maintaining what’s been central to it ever since I launched it: a belief that it IS possible to run a business that’s both ethical AND profitable. A belief that doing great work and treating people properly will lead to profit – not the other way around.
It’s been a journey. And we’ve had our ups and downs. But I’ve loved it. Truly.
So, what’s the next challenge? Working with the Tangers and their elected Trustee Directors to see what they want to DO with the business they’re now the major shareholder of. What does the future look like? I think it’s exciting. I hope most of them do too. It might be a little daunting too but we (the Board) are not going anywhere so we’ll work together to move into the next phase.
2018 and beyond will certainly be interesting.
So definitely not the end of an era – more a morph into a new, very exciting one for us all!
This is our ‘letter of wishes’ – an official but non-binding document we created as part of the paperwork. We hope it will help everyone who comes into contact with Tangerine understand our values and why we created the Employee Ownership Trust.
By Sandy Lindsay, Group Chair