Employees receive the lion's share

Posted: 03/06/2023

In a major move to reward and motivate its workforce, Wythenshawe-based logistics company The Cardinal Partnership – formed from the merger of Cardinal Global Logistics and Far Logistics – has handed its employees a majority stake in the business.  

The 25-year-old business, which made a £50 million pre-tax profit last year, has transferred a 68 per cent stake to an employee trust to, “protect our legacy …. and democratise ownership”, says co-founder and chief executive Brian Hay.

The business turned down trade offers and private equity bids in favour of becoming an employee-owned business which according to Hay ‘will be transformational’.

Employees will receive dividends each year as long as the business performs, on top of their existing salaries and bonuses. And will also have input regarding the direction of the business with a direct stake in its overall success.

Hay continues to make good on his promise from 2010 when he said: “My plan is to redistribute the wealth in the business to enable those who have invested their careers in Cardinal Maritime to continue to benefit from its continued growth.”

Back in 1998 Brian borrowed £5,000 from his father-in-law, and with two business partners and a total investment of £15,000, they formed the company.

Now with over 40 international offices and 6,000 clients, turnover grew to £510 million in 2022.

Competing with larger shipping and fulfilment companies, Cardinal embraced a tech-powered approach to provide customers and colleagues with a better user experience, creating an in-house team of some of the brightest software engineers and developers in the industry.

This development and technology team continues to design and develop Cardinal's award-winning software, Leda – a supply chain platform that provides real time control with true end-to-end visibility – to ensure it is always at the forefront of the industry.

Hay, who at one point owned 90 per cent of the company and now holds about 8 per cent, said the company had begun incentivising staff with shares in 2013. “We’ve always been able to attract the highest calibre of recruit and develop and train them and offer them the added incentive of becoming a shareholder.

“And that’s very attractive to a lot of people, the ability to become an owner within a business.”


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