New shareholders at Meerkats

03/09/2015 - 12:37

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Advertising and branding agency Meerkats has widened its ownership, with co-founders Ronnie Duncan and Mike Edmonds selling part of their shareholding to six current staff.

 New shareholders at Meerkats
Meerkats’ shareholders Paul Coghlan (from left), Ronnie Duncan, Sam Rees, Jason Lees, Gavin Bain, Will Peart, Martin Beecroft, Wendy Edmonds, Mike Edmonds.

Advertising and branding agency Meerkats has widened its ownership, with co-founders Ronnie Duncan and Mike Edmonds selling part of their shareholding to six current staff.

The company will have a total of nine shareholders, with the biggest stakes continuing to be held by Mr Duncan, who is director of brand strategy, and Mr Edmonds, who is director of brand expansion.

Chief executive Gavin Bain will also continue as a shareholder.

Mr Edmonds emphasised the change was not part of the co-founders’ retirement plans.

“Ronnie and I are still by far the biggest shareholders of the company and there’s no planned changes to the board, with Ronnie, Gav and myself being the only three directors for the foreseeable future,” Mr Edmonds said.

Mr Duncan said the changes would help to secure Meerkats’ future as an independent firm.

“We’ve been approached a few times to join an agency network,” he said.

“And each time the benefits of being part of a multinational brand have been outweighed by a fierce desire among Meerkats’ owners and staff to prove that we can do it ourselves, in our own way.”

The new shareholders are head of innovation Martin Beecroft, deputy creative director Paul Coghlan, head of finance Wendy Edmonds, studio manager Jason Lees, head of client service Will Peart and head of operations Sam Rees.

Mr Bain said it was likely there would be a second sell-down to staff next year.

“We are building a second generation of owners from within our own ranks,” Mr Bain said.

With 45 permanent staff, Meerkats is the fourth largest WA advertising agency on the BNiQ database prepared by Business News.

It is topped by The Brand Agency, Marketforce and 303Lowe.

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