Price Bailey assists health & safety consultancy, Bernard Sims Associates, establishing an Employee Ownership Trust

Price Bailey, a top-30 accountancy firm based in the East of England, has assisted and advised Bernard Sims Associates with the establishment of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) to enable the current shareholders to transfer majority ownership of the business to its staff whilst maintaining a minority holding in the Company.

Bernard Sims Associates was established in 1995 by husband-and-wife team Bernard and Jackie Sims. Today it is one of the UK’s longest-established, leading health and safety consultancies in the UK. The company boasts a number of household name clients and, despite the unfortunate trading conditions that the COVID-19 pandemic caused for many within its client base, the company is forecasting fantastic growth.

Bernie and Jackie will remain with Bernard Sims Associates as they retain 40% of the business and will continue to support the team to drive the business forward. The EOT enables the founders to future proof the business and enable their employees to be rewarded for their hard work and benefit from the future growth they create.

Bernie Sims, MD commented “Having been at the forefront of the company for the last 26 years, myself and Jackie wanted to understand the options available for the succession of the business. After being introduced to Employee Ownership Trusts and understanding their suitability for our business and our employees, it seemed natural for this to be the next step for us. This transition marks a commitment from all of us at Bernard Sims Associates to capitalise on some of the fantastic growth opportunities for our business and continue delivering value to our clients. We would like to thank Simon and the team at Price Bailey for their support and advice throughout this process.”

Eleanor Lothian, Assistant Manager at Price Bailey added “We are seeing more and more founders turn to EOTs as a solution for succession and exit. It’s a fantastic mechanism that can reap significant rewards for both vendors and the new employee owners when the future growth prospects of the business are so promising – as we have seen here. We thoroughly enjoyed assisting Bernie, Jackie and the team at Bernard Sims Associates in what promises to be a very exciting next step for their business, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for them all.”

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