MBO at Forster
A management buy-out sees Amanda Powell-Smith becoming MD and Peter Gilheany PR Director, as Jilly Forster takes the role of Chair. Forster will be a company owned by staff offering a re-energised and strengthened service offering to clients.
Jilly Forster founded Forster in 1996 and fellow directors Amanda Powell-Smith and Peter Gilheany have now joined her as equal partners in the business, with shares also available to all employees through an Employee Benefit Trust.
Jilly says: “We’ve always said we’re the social change communications agency – built, owned and driven by our employees – that employee ownership is now a reality. Employee shareholders have the opportunity to become custodians of the Company and to benefit directly from consolidating our success. I just want to acknowledge the unique energy and commitment of Forster staff and spread the ownership as wide as possible – to those who work here.”
Jilly’s role will be full-time strategic lead – no longer the public face of the company, but giving direction to the Board and providing strategic consultancy to a small group of chief executives and social entrepreneurs.
As Managing Director, Amanda will be spearheading client delivery and building teams to ensure quality delivery. She has over 20 years’ experience of and focus on responsible business. Over the last 10 years, she has helped to develop Forster into the agenda-changing organisation it is today. Amanda is a ‘common sense’ creative thinker, specialising in corporate positioning, crisis and issues and reputation management. She is a passionate believer in the ability for organisations to successfully combine business and social goals.
Peter is our ‘big ideas’ campaigns and PR strategy mastermind who delivers senior counsel to client directors and chief executives. He’ll be Forster’s corporate voice, leading on consultancy projects, not-for-profit new business development, direction of media relations campaigns, some corporate PR projects. For 15 years he’s been delivering attention-grabbing PR with real impact and return on investment. His incisive strategic insights mean the message reaches its target audiences and inspires them to take positive action.
Giving permanent employees the chance to buy some of Forster themselves is a hugely exciting opportunity for the Company to kick on and become an even more successful business wholly owned and run by its employees.
At the same time, we are expanding our offer to bring clients access to all relevant communications services, through working in partnership with other specialist consultancies as part of our Forster Network.
The Forster Network adds great strength to our core service offering of Consumer Engagement, PR, Corporate Reputation and Creative. The purpose of the Network is to enable Forster to offer clients full services to meet their communications challenges and, where we don’t have the in-house skills, to bring in trusted organisations to work with us.
We started life 17 years ago as a PR agency for people and organisations in the business of creating positive social change and we are proud of what we have achieved. These changes make us fitter and stronger for the future and we look forward to using our issues expertise, thought leadership and commitment to making an impact for all our clients – building their brands and delivering social and commercial returns.
So, whether you’re a charity or business, have a long track record or just a germ of a brilliant new idea in mind, if you’re on a mission to make the world a better place, we want to work with you.