Built to last: Bennetts Associates

The Challenge
Bennetts Associates is an architects practice founded in 1987 by Rab and Denise Bennetts. By 2016 the practice had grown to around 90 employees working out of three studios across the UK. The practice has developed a distinctive design and values ethos. This has included a long term commitment to research in the sector, especially around sustainability.
The practice was looking for a form of sustainability itself in an ownership structure that reflected this ethos, while also allowing the owners to realise a fair value for their shareholdings.

Solution and outcome
Rab Bennetts had worked with the trust-owned Arup earlier in his career and this model very much resonated with all the directors and the rest of the practice. However, finalising the structure involved broad consultation across all the employees. Ultimately a 100% trust owned structure was chosen with the trust being controlled by representatives from throughout the practice, including not only architects, but part two architectural assistants and members of the administration and support team.
The trust has a responsibility to look after the interests of all the employees, but also to act as the guardian of the practice’s design and values ethos.

The future of the practice is now secure for current and future generations of Bennetts employees.

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