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RocketMill moves to being an employee-owned company



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April 1, 2021 | 4 min read

RocketMill has become an employee-owned company, 11 years after it initially launched.

RocketMill's co-founders Sam (L) and Ben Garrity sell the agency back to their employees.

RocketMill‘s co-founders Sam (L) and Ben Garrity sell the agency back to their employees.

The company was initially set up to help small businesses win online and has evolved to now serve well-known brands with their in-house culture.

Over the years, the agency says that it has received weekly unsolicited interest for purchase from networks, large independents and private equity companies – which prompted the decision to pursue an employee-owned option.

RocketMill considered whether any of these offers could be a cultural fit for the agency; whether their strategies worked; whether a sell would create opportunity for their in-house staff and clients; and whether the offer was financially fair before embarking on the decision-making process.

”We never wanted to sell RocketMill,” said Sam Garrity, chief executive officer at RocketMill. ”We never started a sale process, however one unsolicited offer met the mark on every level – but there was one problem. Only two of us, Ben [Garrity, co-founder] and I, would be the winners. It left us feeling there must be a better option.”

That‘s when the duo found employee ownership and they felt it was a model that fit perfectly with the agency‘s ‘People First‘ philosophy.

By opting to be an employee-owned company, there will be various benefits for all those involved, including in-house employees and clients.

RocketMill staff will directly benefit from this endeavour and by owning the company through equity, profit share and tax free bonus initiatives, knowing that the agency will run by and for them.

RocketMill‘s clients will also enjoy the agency being owned by employees, because it will be an incentive to attract and retain the best in-house talent. The founders are confident that employee-ownership will motivate staff members to be entrepreneurs for their brands because they have skin in the game and money invested, which will contribute to them creating better work.

Garrity is sure that making the agency employee-owned will strengthen the agency's future, because it guarantees that the pair are staying put and investing in the company, so that everyone in-house will win with their successes.

”We feel everyone should win and we should feel proud at it's conclusion,” said Garrity. ”That is how we feel today, so we know we've done the right thing.

”We also feel full of appreciation. We'd like to say thanks to our team. An agency is a team sport, we could write a book on the spirit and talent you‘ve shared every day, this deal is a reward for that. Thank you to all our wonderful clients for your trust, we'd have fallen flat on our face without you, this move protects what you‘ve invested in. And finally thank you to the army of vocal and silent supporters that have all done their bit to nudge us in the right direction, you and we know who you are.”

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We are the UK's largest employee-owned agency. We have successfully united traditional creative with our digital heritage to provide brands with a full funnel service, using a strategy we call Total Performance. Our services span Programmatic, PPC, Paid Social, Technical & Content SEO, UX, Analytics, CRO, Creative and Strategy.

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