The transfer of the Liverpool-based consulting engineer to full employee ownership represents the completion of a process dating back nearly 20 years.
Curtins introduced an employee share ownership programme in 2002, shortly after current chief executive Rob Melling joined the board of directors. Under this model, the staff owned 25% of the business, but control was retained by the directors – currently Rob Melling, Neil Parkinson, Jon Moister, Paul Menzies and Dan Evans.
Now all shareholders have sold their stake in the business to an employee-owned trust, which represents all 350+ employees equally.
Curtins was established in Liverpool in 1960 by Bill Curtin, a lecturer at the Liverpool College of Building.
“What we’re doing is so aligned with Bills’ philosophy and principal of making sure our people are at the heart of our company,” said Rob Melling. “By implementing the transition now, at a time of bright prospects for Curtins, we believe that the stars have aligned to achieve key benefits for our people.”
He added: “Whilst our staff have always been focussed on delivering what our clients need from us, we believe that being part of the EOT will give our staff an even greater desire to achieve our company objectives, and serving clients is at the very heart of that. We genuinely believe that this is best for the business and our people. For those that don’t get it, my response is just wait and see.”
Under the new structure, staff will be able to influence business decisions through an employee forum comprising of 28 representatives from across all 14 of Curtins’ offices.
The board of directors retains responsibility for running the business but becomes accountable to the trustee board, which includes two elected members of the employee forum.