Orbis Partners transitions to employee ownership trust

A corporate finance company in Birmingham has changed its structure to become staff owned.

Orbis Partners transferred majority ownership of the companies to an employee share ownership trust, a government initiative giving business owners the option to sell their shares to a trust free of capital gains tax.

Orbis Partners was founded in 1999 when James Grenfell and Chris Gregory established Invex Partners, one of Birmingham’s first independent corporate finance boutiques.

They were joined soon after by Gary Ecob and, after a period of growth, Invex Partners was sold to Kroll in 2003 and Kroll Corporate Finance was created.

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Shah Zaki joined the firm that year, and after a successful period under Kroll’s ownership, the firm was acquired by the four under the new name of Orbis Partners.

Orbis provides investment advice and services, through its own investment arm Intrinsic Equity, on transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, management buyouts and development capital.

Mr Grenfell said: “We have always been focused on our people and creating opportunities for the talent within our team to thrive and receive appropriate recognition and financial rewards.

“We are proud of the team and the culture we have created and, in a people-focused business, we believe this thrives best within a broader ownership structure.”

Mr. Ecob added. “We are really excited about the next chapter as the partner group commits to expanding our shareholding and jointly delivering on an ambitious growth plan.

“The timing is perfect after an exceptionally busy period for the team and the recent promotions of Tom McCarthy to partner and Peter Waplington to director.”