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Management buyout of large Ipswich firm

PUBLISHED: 09:40 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:40 14 August 2018

Julie Dyer, Toni Vincent-Panich and David McGowan

Julie Dyer, Toni Vincent-Panich and David McGowan

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A Suffolk firm of chartered insurance brokers and financial advisers has announced the successful completion of a management buy-out.

The opportunity was given to all 48 employees of Woodward Markwell last year to participate in the buy-out by purchasing shares in the 36 year-old business, which is based on Falcon Street in Ipswich.

The previous owners, Andrew Johnson and Beverley Monk, were very keen to protect the business and its staff and give them the opportunity to purchase the business, which has a turnover of £2.6m, rather than taking the option to sell to a third party.

The buy-out has been headed up the current Management Team, David McGowan, Davina Olson, Julie Dyer and Toni Vincent-Panich, who have been assisting in running the organisation for a number of years and who have been recently been appointed as directors.

Woodward Markwell saw sales revenue grow by 14% in the first half of 2017, with conversion rates of more than 87%.

Ms Vincent-Panich said “It is an exciting time for all involved, the business has been going from strength to strength. It has been passed over to us by Andrew and Beverley with extremely strong foundations, they have created a model that works which makes it an exciting proposition for all the staff involved in the buy-out, enabling them to become part of this successful business and an integral part of its future”.

Mr McGowan said he was “proud and thankful” to be part of the company’s new chapter. “We will continue as we have been doing, looking after and investing in our staff and continuing to deliver exceptional levels of service to our clients which is key to the success of our business.”

Although Mr Johnson is now handing over the reins to the new management team, having been involved in the company since its formation and with the numerous client relationships that he has formed, he will remain closely connected to the company.

Mr Johnson explained that the founders were mindful of the need to plan for retirement and their exit route. “There are many large and national firms in our sector who are hungry to acquire and swallow up businesses to feed their insatiable appetite to grow and become bigger.

“Frequently this is achieved at a cost to the staff and indeed customers of those businesses, as the offices are closed and the business moved further afield and handled remotely.

“We were determined to ensure a full business presence was maintained locally and that our clients continue to receive excellent service levels and enjoy good client outcomes.

“Equally, having built an excellent team, we wished to ensure all positions remained secure for the foreseeable future.”

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