Legacy deal and new partners at design agency

Thu, 30 Jan 2020 | BUSINESS NEWS

Strategy-led design agency fst has announced the details of a new legacy deal that sees a change of ownership and the naming of three new partners.

Design Director Charlie Butterfield, Client Service Director Andrew Brennan and Strategy Director Alex Cleveland will lead the business forward, taking over from fst’s founding partners.

Fst describes the change of ownership as not being and MBO, but rather a legacy deal founded on a simple, interest-free debt principle that has no warranties or guarantees attached, based on selling the business.

The debt will be paid to the founding partners, over a period of time, through the business. The founding partners were reluctant to sell the firm to a larger marketing conglomerate and sought to preserve its identity through a legacy deal.

The company has offices in the UK, US and Singapore. Over 25 years, it has built a base of over 40 clients, with consistent annual turnover of £3 million. The new partners have all been with fst for the past seven years.

Charlie Butterfield said: “I am thrilled that Mark, Craig and Otto (the founding partners) have given us this huge opportunity to continue to grow the business. The biggest enjoyment from the Legacy Deal comes from working with two friends and being able to shape a business that I love.”

Andrew Brennan said: “Charlie, Alex and I are very lucky to have been given an amazing opportunity. We are all working extremely hard to ensure fst can flourish for many more years to come.”

Alex Cleveland added: “We are honoured and humbled to be given this opportunity to take fst forward. It has been a huge part of our lives for so long and we are committed to preserving its legacy whilst also building an agency that can thrive long into the future.”

Meanwhile, founding partner Otto Marples commented: “It was easy to identify who has the minerals to take fst forward – Charlie, Alex and Andrew. All have been in the industry for a while and they have the right business mentality.”

“They know what the ‘fst way’ looks like, but more importantly, they can take fst forward for another 25 years. When you boil the deal down it is a simple debt. I believe this should be called a ‘Legacy Deal’ as it is about passing the business on to the next generation.”

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