100% Network owned: Welcome to the Equal Experts Network Trust

Authors: Thomas de Cad’oro Granier; Ryan Sikorsky

In 2022, we shared our vision to shift to full employee ownership. In May 2024, we completed that ambition ahead of schedule, and Equal Experts is now 100% collectively owned by our Network. 

So what does collective ownership mean? 

The short of it is that while becoming collectively owned does not change anything today, it does change everything in the future. It frames the future of Equal Experts as a perpetual trust looking after the network so it can benefit all its members – all valued equally. It’s about changing our perspective so it’s easier to focus on the longer term. It’s about giving us the luxury of time in a world where work is more transactional than it has ever been before.

This is why, even though legally our company becomes employee-owned, we look at Equal Experts as becoming ‘Network’ owned.

Going forward, 100% of the company will be owned collectively via a Trust on behalf of the employees. This is the same well-established ownership model used by the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. What is different for us is that the Trust will look after the interests of not just the employees but of all stakeholders of the Network equally, including our customers. This is why the Trust includes one employee, one customer and one associate.

Our first trustee group was appointed on Monday 30th April, 2024 and are:

Thomas Granier & Ryan Sikorsky, Co-Founders, Equal Experts
Sree Balakrishnan, from our customers
Alun Coppack, from our employees
Sofie Jensen, from our associates

The trustees are guardians of the trust, and by extension, its assets, which are currently the company.  More information on their role to follow.

Securing our long term future – for everyone

Unlike going public or being sold, which could push us off course by creating external pressures, we’ve chosen a path that keeps us independent and preserves our culture. This means that we can ensure Equal Experts remains a place that delivers long-term value to all the stakeholders of our network over short-term profits.

As an expert knowledge consultancy, our assets are 100% human. Our real long-term value is not in our case studies and knowledge playbooks. It is in the quality of the relationships that bind us together around shared values – whether you’re a customer, associate (i.e. supplier contractor), employee or alumni. This is why we consider ourselves to be not just a consultancy, but a network that supports people throughout their entire careers – based on what is relevant to them at each stage of their life.

We designed our organisation to minimise short-term thinking. We have no outside investors, no growth targets, and no individual financial incentives. Thanks to our associate hybrid model, we have less pressure than other consultancies to bill our people. We also have less hierarchy than most organisations of our size. This means people are free from traditional constraints, and have the agency to focus on long-term value creation with our customers.

Moving to co-ownership is more than protecting our legacy – it’s about changing our perspective so that it’s easier to focus on the longer term. And it opens up exciting possibilities to further develop the network value proposition for the long-term benefit of the members themselves.

As founders, we will continue to lead Equal Experts, providing stability and guidance. We have planned for a continuity period that extends over the next decade, and we look forward to being held to account by the Equal Experts Network Trust.