Veterinary PR and marketing agency, Companion Consultancy, has transitioned to employee ownership.

The move comes 22 years after the agency was established by founder and vet, Susan McKay. As of today, the agency is owned by an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) on behalf of all its employees.

Leadership Changes

The transition includes the appointment of two veterinary surgeons, Fi Farmer and Katy Ellison, as Board Directors from July. Both are currently Senior Account Managers at the agency. Additionally, Senior Account Manager Jenny Langridge has been appointed as a Trustee Director, representing employees’ interests on the Trust Board.

Susan McKay will gradually reduce her involvement in daily operations but will remain a Director on the Board and a Trustee Director for the Trust. She expressed her enthusiasm for the change, stating, “I’m delighted that this change rewards our hard-working team, delivering long-term stability and continuity, while also enabling them to help steer our future. Our new Directors ensure that leadership of the agency remains in the hands of the veterinary profession and I know that both will hold true to our values, respecting the many long-standing relationships we have within veterinary and pet communities.”

Expanding Services and Sister Brands

Companion Consultancy has broadened its scope over the last decade, complementing its core services across PR, marketing, and digital with sister brands, Veterinary Woman and Companion Design Studio. Veterinary Woman focuses on championing female leadership and raising awareness of issues such as menopause and equal opportunity within the veterinary profession, boasting a following of over 17,000. Companion Design Studio integrates graphic and multimedia design with veterinary expertise.

Employee Ownership Trusts have gained popularity among veterinary practices. Baxendale Employee Ownership, the consultancy supporting Companion Consultancy through the transition, notes the increasing adoption of this model in the industry.

A Stake in the Future

Katy Ellison highlighted the benefits of the new ownership model, saying, “Employee ownership gives everyone a stake in the future of the company. We have a fantastic team at Companion Consultancy and it is exciting to know that everyone can share in our collective success, while also ensuring our high standards and commitment to our clients stay strong well into the future.”

Fi Farmer added, “We are all extremely proud of the work we do at Companion Consultancy and share our thanks to Susan, not only for the way she has led the company over the past 22 years but for her decision to hand the reins over in this way. Moving forward as an employee ownership is a perfect fit for our dedicated team, and we are all looking forward to the future.”

Susan McKay expressed her pride in the business she has built with her team, stating, “I am so very proud of the business I’ve been able to create with the dedicated and talented individuals I work with every day. Knowing that our clients can also continue to work with Companion Consultancy decades from now is really exciting.”