Insight HRC looks to new future after management buy out

Investment Executive
Team at Insight HRC

Newport-based psychology and leadership consultancy has completed a Management Buy Out (MBO) backed by the Development Bank Wales and Social Business Wales.

Insight HRC, business psychology and leadership consultancy, has been bought out by its senior management team, which has been in place for over a decade, Pip Gwynn, Jemma MacLean, Jessica Cooper and Laura Di Rienzo.  

Established more than 25 years ago, Insight HRC has grown under the stewardship of its founder John Lazarus and co-owner, Simon Wiltshire. The award-winning consultancy supplies leadership development, psychometric assessment, culture change and team development for some of the UK’s biggest companies and public sector organisations, including Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust and Western Power. Insight HRC has a team of 10 consultants working across the UK, with the leadership team based out of the new head office in the redeveloped Newport Market. 

The new owners of Insight HRC are Managing Director Pip Gwynn, Client Relationship Manager Jemma MacLean, Administration Manager Jessica Cooper and Marketing and Events Manager Laura Di Rienzo.  

The MBO was part-funded by the Development Bank of Wales with a six-figure loan from the Wales Business Fund, as well as advice and support from Social Business Wales, which is delivered by Cwmpas, formerly known as the Wales Co-operative Centre. Darwin Gray and Haines Watts acted for the senior management team in relation to the acquisition. Mr Lazarus and Mr Wiltshire were represented by James Subbiani of Bellavia & Associates. 

Pip Gwynn, Managing Director of Insight HRC, said of the MBO: “Insight HRC is a fantastic business, working with some of the best organisations in the UK. We are thrilled to have completed the MBO and with our solid business plan we aim to stretch our expertise and reach even further and continue the legacy of John and Simon. 

“We support our clients to be at their best, which means ensuring people are valued, empowered, resilient and confident. This approach made employee ownership a great fit when we started looking at succession planning.” 

Emily Jones, of the Development Bank of Wales, said: “Pip and the team have a wealth of experience and a proven track record in delivering for their clients. Our funding means that they can now take control of their own destiny; investing in the business and developing their UK-wide client base from their new offices in Newport.” 

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of Cwmpas, formerly known as the Wales Cooperative Centre, which delivers Social Business Wales, said: “Working with Pip and her team, and with the support of the Development Bank of Wales, we put in place a successful succession solution; in this case an MBO.  

“It is a great mechanism to pass a business on to people who already have a vested interest in it. Insight HRC join a growing list of innovative, motivated and adaptable Welsh business that are in employee ownership.” 

“Not many people realise that being employee owned is one of the fastest growing and innovative business models in the UK. Some of the UK’s most successful companies are employee owned, such as John Lewis, Unipart and here in Wales, Tregroes Waffles, BIC Innovation and Cwmni Da amongst others.

"It is a great way to pass thriving companies onto the next generation and is why we want to encourage more soon to be retiring founders and employees to consider it as an option, particularly as there is funding available from the Development Bank to help finance deals with loans or equity investment,” Derek added. 

The Employee Ownership Wales service is part of the Social Business Wales programme delivered by Cwmpas. It is part of the Business Wales family and funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. 

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