DUNDEE marketing, design, and digital agency ALTAR Group has announced a move into employee-ownership.

The Broughty Ferry-based agency, founded in 2013, said all 38 staff members are now employee-owners. This follows its creation of an employee ownership trust (EOT). The majority of the company’s shares are held within the trust.

ALTAR Group, formerly known as Avian Communications Network, was formed when Avian acquired competitor agency Blue Square Design. In 2020, the agency rebranded as ALTAR Group.

ALTAR Group comprises four consultancies; Avian - a design studio specialising in brand development & graphic design; Blue2 Digital - a web-design, development and digital marketing agency; Ginger PR, a public relations and communications operation, and Kolabo - a digital research and development consultancy.

The company noted its “team members” are as far afield as London, Rome and Chicago. Clients include Walkers Shortbread, Highland Park Whisky, Edinburgh Gin, Simon Howie, Gillies and St Andrews Links Trust.

ALTAR Group noted that its move to the EOT model, sees it follow in the footsteps of 112 Scottish companies which have made the transition since legislation passed in 2014 to provide a route to employee-ownership.

Scott McCallum, chief executive of ALTAR Group, said: “We have gone through significant and hugely transformational changes during the past two years. A time when most businesses battened down the hatches, we chose to forge ahead with a progressive strategy, each positive decision leading to the next, a strategy that will have long lasting benefits for our business and everyone who works here, who are all now shared owners.

“We have chosen to invest in our people with several senior appointments, we have made bold moves and acquired another business, and we are now putting our trust in the people who make this business what it is. Ultimately, we have emerged as an extremely dynamic group of creative agencies whose future has been safeguarded for the benefit of its employees.”