Employee ownership provides a winning combination of better business performance and happier staff

avatar Posted on September 28th, 2015 by Graeme Nuttall OBE

Employee ownership works in all sectors and sizes of business, and throughout the business life-cycle. The MoralDNA of Employee-Owned Companies helps us understand how this business model succeeds across such diverse situations – it is driven by a distinctive ethical dimension.

Previous research in this series showed higher ethical scores from managers in organisations where they are likely to be owners, such as in co-ops and partnerships. This new research, the first to focus on employee trust owned companies, provides further evidence that how a business is owned and governed impacts positively on the ethics of those who work in it, and this has real commercial significance. There is a link between higher ethical scores and better business performance. Managers with higher MoralDNA scores on the ethics of care and reason rate their organisations highly for financial performance.

This earlier research raised important questions for me. What would a survey of managers in employee-owned companies reveal? More importantly how would employee owners respond?

I am grateful to all involved in answering these questions. The research shows significantly higher scores in the values of fairness, trust, excellence, humility and courage in employee-owned companies, with no significant differences between seniority levels. When asked, employee owners agreed it is the way their company is owned and governed that drives their commitment and the performance of their business. These responses from employee owners send a strong signal to other businesses that want to develop and sustain good employee engagement and achieve aims such as attracting and retaining committed staff, encouraging long term decision making, managing risk, promoting customer satisfaction and achieving innovation.

Consider adopting the employee ownership business model.

Graeme Nuttall OBE, Partner, Fieldfisher LLP and, as the Government’s independent adviser, author of Sharing Success: The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership

First published in The MoralDNA of Employee-Owned Companies (CMI, 25 September 2015)


2015 UK Employee Ownership Award nominations open

avatar Posted on September 4th, 2015 by Graeme Nuttall OBE

It is time to submit nominations for the 2015 UK Employee Ownership Awards. Entries are free and made online. You may nominate any employee owned company including your own, or an employee owner, even yourself, for an award. Do you know an inspiring employee who deserves to be recognised as Employee Owner of the Year? Has your business delivered the product or service Innovation of the Year? If your company is new to employee ownership (since August 2012) can you claim the Rising Star award? If yours is a well-established employee owned company then why not put forward your claim to be the Employee Owned Business of the Year? And who will receive this year’s Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award?

The deadline is 5pm Monday 14 September 2015. Some previous award winners are mentioned below along with the citations for each award to encourage you to make nominations for this year’s awards.

Employee Owner of the Year
“This Award is to celebrate an individual, irrespective of their seniority and whether they operate on the front line of the business or not, who has done the most to promote and develop employee ownership inside an employee owned organisation”

In a new employee owned company, has one particular employee owner been inspirational in making employee ownership succeed? In an established company is it time to recognise one individual’s commitment to EO? A previous Winner was Des Fitzgerald, the newly retired Head of Retail Operations, Waitrose, for his “inspirational role” in “leading by example”.

Innovation of the Year
“This Innovation Award is for the most compelling example of innovation within an employee owned organisation. The innovation must be currently enhancing the services and/or products of the business and the outcomes the business achieves”

Mark Steeple of Gripple Automation was the Winner in 2014 (when the award was an Employee Innovation Award). Mark Steeple, who had been at Gripple for 11 years and started as an apprentice trained engineer, had asked the question: “Why don’t we make our own machines?” As a hallmark of employee-ownership, Gripple invited Mark to submit a paper to the Board, the idea was signed off and a new business was born.

Rising Star of the Year
“This Award is to recognise the success of an organisation that has become employee owned no more than three years prior to September 2015. It is to celebrate a business that is already, in its early life, becoming an effective company with a very strong culture of employee ownership.”

In 2014 the Winner was Mary Knowles Homecare Partnership Limited a start-up with employee ownership (this is a link to a YouTube interview with its founder Dan Knowles).

Employee Owned Business of the Year
“This Award, for well established employee owned businesses, focuses on brilliant performance in the sector. It is an Award that recognises the best all round performance of an employee owned company during the year to September 2015. The key criteria for this Award are outstanding achievements relating to services and/or products plus overall performance. Nominations for this Award are sought from all employee owned organisations very much including those delivering public services”

In 2014 the Winner was Circle Holdings plc (Circle Partnership) which  is an employee co-owned partnership with a social mission to make healthcare better for patients and forms the largest partnership of healthcare professionals in Europe.

The UK employee ownership sector awards were introduced nine years ago by Baxendale. Previously called the Philip Baxendale Awards, the UK Employee Ownership Awards are now managed by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA). Baxendale’s involvement continues as the sponsor for this year’s Awards which will be presented at the Gala Dinner on the first evening of the EOA Annual Conference on 23rd November at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. The legacy of Philip Baxendale continues to be recognised through the Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award.

Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award
“This Award seeks nominations proposing a single individual who has in the past made or is currently making an outstanding contribution to the growth of employee ownership in the UK. The winner of this Award will be someone who has an indisputable commitment to employee ownership and whose influence and impact within the sector is clear and widely recognised”

Please note that previous winners of the Philip Baxendale Award have been: Stephen May, Graeme Nuttall, Margaret Elliot and Fred Bowden Snr. Therefore please do avoid nominations for any of these.

Nominations procedure
The process is simple. Please go to the nominations page on the EOA web site:

(a) Tell the EOA who you are
(b) Tell the EOA who you are nominating
(c) Tell the EOA which categor/ies you are nominating in
(d) Tell the EOA why you think you/they deserve the Award
(e) Submit your application online by the required deadline: 5pm Monday 14 September 2015



Summer Budget 2015 – PLC Coverage – Tax Practitioners’ Expert View

avatar Posted on July 13th, 2015 by Andrew Prowse

The Fieldfisher Tax & Structuring Group once again contributed to PLC’s Tax Practitioners’ piece on Budget 2015.  Here are our contributions:

Hartley Foster

On the contentious tax front, a quiet budget. Although whether the increase in the differential of rates between Corporation Tax and Diverted Profits Tax will act as a motivating factor for challenges to the latter remains to be seen.

The controversial “direct recovery of debts” measure, which enables HMRC to secure payment of tax debts directly from bank accounts, will be introduced and will have effect on and after the date of Royal Assent of Finance (No 2) Act 2015. Draft secondary legislation will be published alongside. HMRC estimate that the measure will be applied to around 11,000 cases per year, and that approximately 200 objections will be generated each year. Although some of the concerns that were raised during the consultation process have been addressed (such as by introducing a right to appeal to the County Court and seeking to protect “innocent” joint account holders, by ensuring that joint accounts always have a lower priority than other accounts), an undesirable consequence of the measure – that it has the potential to make HMRC a de facto preferential creditor – remains.

Graeme Nuttall, OBE

The nascent Nuttall Review share buy-back regime received a setback in the Summer Budget 2015, with the news that the dividend tax credit regime would be replaced from April 2016. Changes to the Companies Act 2006 (from 30 April 2013 and amended on 6 April 2015) deregulated share buy-backs, especially when pursuant to employees’ share schemes, and permitted treasury shares in private companies. The idea was to open up an alternative form of internal market to support private company employee share plans, one that did not require an employee trust to warehouse shares. Although HM Revenue & Customs published helpful guidance in 2013, unfortunately no accompanying changes were made to tax law or published practice to ameliorate the usual income tax treatment of share buy-back proceeds. But at least purchases from basic rate tax paying employees benefited from the dividend tax credit, such that no income tax was payable. This Summer Budget 2015 change adds a 7.5% tax charge when buying back shares that are subject to income tax treatment, subject to the new tax-free dividend allowance of £5,000 a year. From April 2016 the Government will set the dividend tax rates at 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers (instead of 25% of the net dividend) and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers (instead of 30.6% of the net dividend). In contrast, capital gains tax generally applies when an employee trust buys shares from employees, and income tax is not charged in some circumstances on the buy-back of employee shareholder shares. The Government will consult in Autumn 2015 on the rules for company distributions. There is therefore a timely opportunity to lobby for changes to remove this new tax cost, or perhaps secure a usually more favourable capital gains tax treatment instead?

Andrew Prowse

We have to move Britain from a low wage, high tax, high welfare society to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare economy“. Stirring stuff…although I had to re-check the “lower tax” bit once I’d read all of the announcements. Like all Osborne Budgets, it pays to let the dust settle. An apparent gift with one hand is often removed with the other. For businesses, the further reduction in corporation tax to 19% in 2017 and 18% in 2020 is appealing. Britain’s headline rate is right down there with Switzerland, Hong Kong and Ireland. However, that tax will now have to be paid earlier and, for some UK-based businesses, the tax cut will be absorbed by the cost of implementing the living wage. Also to weigh against the CT cut, especially for entrepreneurs, is the dividend tax hike – so much for the gimmick of the new income tax lock! Grossing-up under the tax credit system will go and markedly higher tax rates of up to 38.1% will apply to the extent dividend income exceeds £5,000. It may encourage more to retire by selling their companies rather than holding for dividend income. There will be implications for buy-backs and other arrangements. There will be consultation on dividend tax reform in the autumn. Finally, try as I could, I couldn’t spot the repeal of the DPT regime (although the decrease in the CT rate makes it more punitive still). So, “lower tax“? Well, yes and no.


Summer Budget 2015 – Tax Advantaged Venture Capital Schemes – Changes Afoot

avatar Posted on July 13th, 2015 by Andrew Prowse

The Summer Budget announcements of further changes to the rules on EIS, SEIS and VCT tax-advantaged investments have highlighted the ongoing complexity of these schemes and the need to tread carefully, both for companies when raising funds or individuals seeking to invest through them. Seeking appropriate advice continues to be crucial to avoiding the continually evolving number of potential pitfalls.

After two rounds of consultation, the Government has now released its response setting out the changes to the EIS, SEIS and VCTs scheme rules which it proposes to make in Finance (No.2) Bill this year.

Following various earlier – and mainly expansionary – changes to the schemes, the starting point of the initial consultation (Tax-advantaged venture capital schemes: ensuring continued support for small and growing businesses) back in July 2014 originally involved a mixture of aims, which included ensuring that the schemes still fall within EU State aid rules, keeping the rules targeted, expanding the schemes to allow platform investments in SMEs and the use of convertible loan notes, and considering an alternative principled approach aimed at limiting the need for future rule changes.

The resulting changes now being introduced are, in the main, the more restrictive proposals aimed at making the schemes more targeted – reflected in the fact that the expected exchequer impact is now revenue increasing, rather than decreasing – although HM Treasury estimates that over 90% of companies which qualified under the old rules will still be eligible under the new ones.

The restrictions announced at Summer Budget are more stringent than those contemplated at Budget 2015, for example –

  • The time limit on company eligibility to raise their first SEIS/EIS/VCT funding will now be 7 years (or 10 for “knowledge intensive companies”), and
  • The lifetime cap on amounts raised will now be £12m (or £20m for “knowledge intensive companies”).

And the previously announced new requirement that the investments are for the purpose of growth and development is also still being introduced (HMRC guidance is expected on this shortly), as is the investor independence requirement.

However, the changes do also include the removal of the requirement for 70% of SEIS funds to have been spent before money can be raised under the EIS or VCT rules, and the doubling  of the employee limit for “knowledge intensive companies”.

One particular point to watch is that the various measures come into force on different dates; for example, whilst the lifting of the SEIS funds 70% requirement takes effect for investments from 6 April 2015, the restrictions announced at Summer Budget will take effect from Royal Assent (provided State aid approval is obtained). Presumably also in light of the need for State aid approvals, revised draft legislation wasn’t published.

Whilst the Government was initially aiming to find a solution which alleviated the need for ongoing changes to the rules, its principles-based suggestions were not, it seems, particularly appealing to the consultation respondents on the basis that they could introduce uncertainty. Likewise, the convertible loan notes proposal has not been taken forward. However, a new stakeholder forum is being introduced for ongoing formal engagement between stakeholders, HMRC and HMT – this could well lead to more changes to the rules in due course.

The full range of the recent government tax-advantaged venture capital schemes consultation documents is also available online at gov.uk.


Summer Budget announcements for non-doms

avatar Posted on July 8th, 2015 by Penny Wotton

The Government is to launch a consultation on a number of reforms which will affect non-UK domiciled individuals.  The proposed reforms include:

  • imposing UK taxation on the worldwide income and gains of long term UK resident non-doms.  This will align the taxation of income and gains with the existing tax treatment of inheritance tax,  For all taxes it is proposed that an individual will be deemed UK domiciled once UK resident for more than 15 out of the past 20 years.
  • restricting the remittance basis of taxation so that it cannot be claimed by individuals with a UK domicile of origin.  This reform is proposed on the assumption that individuals with a domicile of origin in the UK have strong connections with the UK, (which may not actually be the case in view of the adhesive nature of a domicile of origin).  If this reform takes place the new £90K remittance basis charge will become redundant for non-doms resident for 17 out of 20 years who will now be taxable on an arising basis after 15 years (there is no change to the £30K and £60K remittance basis charges).
  • imposing inheritance tax on UK residential property held by non-doms directly or through excluded property trusts even if the property is held (or “enveloped”) through an offshore structure.  This follows the extension of CGT to non-UK residents introduced in the Finance Act 2015.  The Government does not propose a de minimis limit and the charge will apply whether or not the UK property is commercially let.

Inheritance tax cut

avatar Posted on July 8th, 2015 by Penny Wotton

The Chancellor has today confirmed an inheritance tax cut which will allow married couples to pass on assets worth up to £1m, including the family home, to their children and grandchildren free of inheritance tax.

Inheritance tax is currently charged at 40% of the value of your estate on death over the nil rate band which has been fixed at £325K since 2009. Starting from 6 April 2017 the inheritance tax threshold will increase annually by £100K in 2017/18, £125K in 2018/19, £150K in 2019/20 and £175K in 2020/21 thereby increasing the nil rate band to £500K per person by 2020/21.  After that it will increase in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

Therefore, in effect, the tax free allowance for a married couple will increase to £1m by virtue of the transferable nil rate band to the surviving spouse.

The Chancellor has confirmed that he will protect people who want to downsize by providing an “inheritance tax credit” so that they will still qualify for the new threshold.

There will be a tapered withdrawal of the additional nil rate band for estates over £2m.

The Government estimates that 22,000 families will benefit from this measure by 2020.


Stamp duty on inserting a new top company or holding company

avatar Posted on July 7th, 2015 by Andrew Prowse

The short point is: do not assume that there will be no stamp duty on a share for share interposing a new topco or holdco.

When interposing a new topco or holdco, for example in connection with a float (or a general restructuring), it has generally been the case that the transaction has been stamp duty free, subject to ensuring a mirror image shareholding and obtaining adjudication from the Stamp Office under section 77 Finance Act 1986.

The Stamp Office have over recent months been taking a tougher stance on analysing that mirror image requirement, and in particular are looking at the extent to which debt should be taken into account.  Debt of course comes in many shapes and forms, and it can be seen how certain sorts of debts are rather more like equity/long term capital structure than others.  The legislative language in question, which refers to funded debt, is very old and case law on it is not much younger and not in line with the development of the debt markets.

The difficulty therefore is the uncertainty of the Stamp Office’s position.

Some guidance on simpler forms of debt has been promised for some months, pending a fuller consideration by the Stamp Office of more complex debt structures.

The latest from the Stamp Office is that “issued funded debt” (in their words) is taken to be debt that takes the form of the capital structure of the company and that this would not include such short term debt as overdrafts.  The use of ‘issued’ implies something put out by the company (such as loan notes) as opposed to debt which it simply receives from a lender.  The Newsletter won’t contain a comprehensive list but will outline the principles to be adhered to.  Questions remain as to the Stamp Office’s stance on longer term bank debt, and of course on the various different kinds of issued debts that companies routinely have.  We will have to await the Newsletter.


Annual Return HMRC Concession

avatar Posted on June 24th, 2015 by Mark Gearing

HMRC confirmed earlier this week that companies with no PAYE obligations do not need to register their non tax-advantaged share plans online and do not need to complete the “Form 42″ annual return. The following circumstances must all be true for the concession to apply:

• Neither the company, nor any other company in the same group or under the same ownership, is registered for PAYE.
• The arrangements are not tax-advantaged schemes (that is, not company share option plans (CSOPs), SAYE option schemes, share incentive plans (SIPs) or enterprise management incentives (EMI) options).
• The company has no obligations to operate PAYE in respect of the reportable event.
• The company has no obligation to operate PAYE in respect of anything else it does.

The concession is only likely to be relevant to overseas companies with no taxable presence in the UK.

HMRC will update its website guidance to include this information as soon as possible.

If you have any queries regarding the registration and reporting of UK share plans, please contact me. The deadline for filing the various annual returns is 6 July 2015. Further information on the registration and reporting requirements can be found here.


Almost no-one washes a rental car – which is why employees need an ownership stake in their company

avatar Posted on June 1st, 2015 by Graeme Nuttall OBE


Almost no-one washes a rental car. Yet, this is what many employees, are, in effect, asked to do. Owners and managers typically strive for good employee engagement without offering an ownership stake. Recent reports from the Chartered Management Institute (“CMI“) have started to provide answers to some key questions that impact on how a business is run, including how to get staff to, in effect, “wash the company car”.

 Without an ownership stake what drives good business performance from staff?

When employees perform well, why do they do this? Is this simply obedience? Some managers require staff to do only what they are told. Others believe in consensual management and indeed welcome constructive dissent. Roger Steare in his book ethicability refers to Milgram’s experiment in which 65% (26 of 40) volunteers were apparently prepared to inflict fatal voltages when ordered to do so. This may seem an extreme way to argue for participative management but there is clear potential for commercial harm to a business and customers, if not actual harm to patients, if staff cannot occasionally “stop the line” and suggest it is best (or right) to do things differently.

So perhaps each “employee of the month” has actually worked out for themselves what is needed, what is reasonable, from first principles. Or perhaps these employees care, perhaps they simply want what is best for their customer, or patient. Or is their behaviour driven by a mix of these values? We can start to answer these questions by looking more closely at how managers behave.

• To what extent do ethics inform the decisions of managers?

A March 2014 CMI report (Managers and their MoralDNA) tackled this question. Three ethical perspectives were tested: obedience, reason and care i.e. the perspectives described above. What did the report find? Among all recognised leadership styles the strongest ethic is that of reason, with care next and obedience the least strongest ethic. The relative strength of each varies between different styles. A balance exists in each case but always with more emphasis on reason and care.

However, managers are more likely than most employees to lack empathy and to become more robotic and less caring at work, than at home, especially when they are younger, male, junior, right-wing and without any religious faith. This is a deliberate over-simplification but each of these separate trends emerged from an online psychometric survey called MoralDNA™, of about 1,500 CMI members.

This report emphasised that what it does is describe the replies and no particular characteristic is presented as better than others. The answer to a problem could well be the same: it is how managers get there that differs. But if different approaches to problem solving, if not answers, are important then it helps to have diversity among managers. This CMI report concluded that diversity, in every sense, helps managers make better decisions.

Also, it follows, says the report, that regulators should clearly change their approach. More rules do not make people more ethical. The ethic of obedience was the least significant factor in managers’ decision-making.

• What links are there between ethics and the performance of an organisation?

An October 2014 CMI report (The MoralDNA of performance) is another descriptive report. It surveyed 2,500 managers, using the same approach as before, to identify links between their MoralDNA and the performance of their organisations. The key finding was that “across all 11 performance indicators … high levels of performance were associated with higher ethical scores”. There are some, perhaps obvious, correlations.  The particularly interesting findings are those that link to employee engagement.

• Which management styles have the best link to good employee engagement?

Managers working in coaching, visionary and democratic management styles rate their organisations as better performing than those who work in command and control environments.

• Do better ethical scores tie in to better business?

Managers “who rated their organisations highly in terms of staff satisfaction and their ability to attract new staff also had higher MoralDNA scores themselves on the ethics of reason and care”. Similarly, there was a positive correlation between reason and care and good customer satisfaction scores.

• What links are there between types of business and the ethical behaviour of an organisation?

What is very interesting in this second CMI report is the substantial difference between different types of business. The highest “ethical” scores were given by managers working in co-operatives, partnerships and private companies. The report comments that in these types of organisations managers are more likely to be owners and so the suggestion is that ownership or a sense of ownership has a positive effect on ethical behaviour, which, as we have seen, links to high levels of performance.

Now it could be that the benefits of being in a smaller organisation show strongly in co-operatives and partnerships etc. and perhaps these are more likely to be organisations that are growing rather than declining. There were also fewer managers surveyed in each of these sectors. Nevertheless the headline news is that co-ops and partnerships are twice as likely to have excellent ethical behaviour in contrast to, say, listed companies, or the public sector.


The main conclusion from these reports is that if you want to get staff to go the extra mile and cannot offer an ownership stake you must explain why this is the right course, logically and in terms of its impact, rather than simply set rules to be obeyed.

Where this research should go next is to test the impact of actual employee ownership, as against a sense of ownership. In, say, employee-trust owned companies all staff should have a strong sense of ownership. In these organisations will managers display the high ethical scores found in co-operatives and partnerships? And, what about other employees? Will all staff display the ethical behaviours of owners? Will there be a stronger display of reason and care rather than simple obedience in employee-trust owned companies?

The employee ownership sector certainly believes that the best outcomes for a business both in terms of its performance and the well-being of staff derive from a combination of ownership and employee engagement. In other words, businesses should provide actual ownership rather than a sense of it. The “company car” is converted into something in which every employee has a real interest.

The MacLeod Report on employee engagement acknowledged employee ownership is a profound enabler of good employee engagement. These two CMI reports, particularly the October 2014 report, suggest the employee ownership sector has indeed got it right. Real ownership and good employee engagement create better business.

Anyone interested in employee ownership as a business model and, in particular, as a tax efficient succession solution should read the other articles available on this Tax Deductions blog. For #employeeownership news follow @nuttallreview.

You can test your own MoralDNA at Personal Test. You can follow the CMI via@cmi_managers

This article was originally published as a LinkedIn post on 13 April 2015


Budget 2015 – PLC Expert Practitioners Piece

avatar Posted on March 20th, 2015 by Andrew Prowse

Once again, Fieldfisher’s tax partners have contributed to the popular PLC round-up of expert practitioners’ views on the Budget.  This year’s comments are below:

Hartley Foster

Another Budget, another raft of measures with the aim of reducing tax avoidance. And within this year’s raft is the introduction of a tax that has the potential to damage significantly the UK’s economy and standing in the global community: diverted profits tax (DPT). DPT will come into effect only a week after publication of the Finance Bill, with any time for proper Parliamentary scrutiny thereby having been precluded.

But for the desire to grandstand before the election, the introduction of DPT may have been postponed until after the end of 2015, when the OECD will have released its BEPS report that will address the shifting of profits of multinational groups to low tax jurisdictions. DPT is anticipated to raise only £360m a year by 2017/18. Postponing the introduction of DPT until after the OECD had concluded its work would have had all but no impact on the quantum of the fisc’s tax take; it would have enabled the UK to address the harm of the perceived tax avoidance in a way that is consistent with that to be adopted by other countries.

The three fundamental concerns are:

  • Gambling on all of the UK’s double tax treaty partners accepting that DPT falls outside the ambit of the treaties is akin to forcing the UK to risk its position in the global economy on rounds of Russian roulette where all but one of the chambers have been loaded.
  • There is, at the least, significant doubt as to whether DPT will be lawful as a matter of EU law, and, accordingly, there is a significant risk that the legislation will be the subject of, perhaps concerted, challenge on that basis.
  • DPT’s complex procedural framework will impose a significant, and disproportionate, compliance burden, not only on a vast number of companies, many of whom, as the Government accepts, will not be liable to pay the tax, but also on HMRC.

Whilst it is to be welcomed that the legislation has been revised to narrow the notification requirement, the fundamental concerns remain.

Graeme Nuttall, OBE

Budgets 2012, 2013 and 2014 contained unprecedented support for the employee ownership (EO) business model. After such an amazing era it was expected that the pre-Election Budget 2015 would be silent on EO policy. The heavy-lifting was done in Schedule 37, Finance Act 2014. The Government has ensured that tax does not distort the choice of EO business model by creating support for the indirect form of EO, as well as strengthening the direct form. Every month companies are now switching to EO. This is not because of the new CGT exemption for the sale of a controlling interest to an employee-ownership trust (EOT) or because employees in a company controlled by an EOT may receive up to £3,600 a tax year income tax free, as John Lewis Partners enjoyed recently. These tax exemptions provide an invaluable prompt to consider EO especially as a business succession solution. The main reason for choosing EO is that EO is a successful and enduring business model: one that is good for business performance and good for staff. This is why businesses such as Hayes Davidson, St Brides Partners and Stride Treglown have all switched to EO in recent weeks and why EO is establishing itself in the mainstream of the UK economy.