Outgoing chief executive Tony Jones gave away a share of the business to staff in the form of free share options a short time after he led his own management buyout of the under-invested business in 2003. This was an industry leading scheme which reached fruition on Jones’ departure, and has produced a nice little earner for people operating throughout the business.
Tony Jones said: “The Stakeholder Scheme was an unusual move when I set it up with finance director Graham Lambert, but I was determined that Pensord People should have a vested interest in Pensord’s future and share in the upside when we managed to turn the company around. Thanks to their hard work, loyalty and commitment, the team are now reaping the benefits, and that’s a gratifying thought as I leave the company.
Jones made the commitment to introduce the scheme when he took the reins in 2003. The tax efficient Inland Revenue approved Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme gave employees the option to acquire shares effectively free of charge on the happening of certain events and then to realise the value of those shares at a point in the future. In February 2004 shares were offered at 1p each, and, for example, an £8 outlay would have brought a return of £2,500.
Pre-press operator Pearl Dunn joined Pensord 29 years ago. She said: “I must admit we were quite skeptical when the share options were introduced, it was a nice gesture but I put it to the back of my mind. I’m now extremely grateful to have this cash effectively gifted to us. As for the MBO, I have mixed feelings. I really trust the new team, but I’m sad to see Tony go as when he arrived the company wasn’t going anywhere, and he gave us all hope. “We’ve all felt safe and secure under his leadership and we’re extremely grateful for what he’s done.
Folding Operator David Stainer said: “The company wasn’t in great shape back in 2003, so we really didn’t think the share options would be worth anything. Hats off to him, Tony obviously had this in mind all along, to give us something back for our efforts, and it’s come as a very nice surprise I can tell you. I’m also very relieved that now Tony has achieved what he wanted to, and is moving on, we will be led by Darren and Karl who we work with and know well. That must also be very reassuring for our customers.
New managing director Darren Coxon said: “This adds to the great start for a new management team, with the longer established staff getting the opportunity to share in our success, and to realise the fruits of their labour. This payout has been a very pleasant surprise to the option holders and will, I am sure, lead to a greater sense of purpose and motivation and sets us up perfectly going forward.