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Family-owned Cordant Group becomes social enterprise

13 September 2017

Following its change of status to a social enterprise, Cordant Group has announced this is based on a five-year plan to reinvest its profits that will support communities on a number of levels.

Profits will be invested into social programmes ranging from education and employment to healthcare.

Its statement included the promise to “touch and improve thousands of lives, one community at a time”.

The family owned business, with revenues of £840m, employs 125,000 workers annually in schools, hospitals, care homes, security and specialist roles such as engineering.

Cordant states that it believes it is this multi-sector reach that can deliver a lasting social impact by direct engagement and by redistributing its wealth to a majority – at an individual and society level - not just a minority of shareholders, driven solely by profit.

To illustrate its intent, Cordant has initiated the following:
o Capped all annual shareholder dividends at approximately £250,000 per shareholder family, per annum, which equates to £3m
o Capped all executive salaries at 20 times that of the lowest paid worker
o Agreed to be independently audited, using recognised social impact measurements.

Whilst Cordant’s businesses will operate as normal, these changes will enable it to reinvest profits into key initiatives, including:
• A teacher programme being developed by international education expert Richard Gerver to examine the link between the classroom and life/work preparation.
• IT platforms offered at zero cost for the healthcare sector, enabling hospital trusts to offer shifts directly to doctors and nurses, designed to save the NHS millions of pounds.
• Partnerships with key clients focusing on upskilling and training for the temporary workforce to drive productivity but deliver deeper satisfaction.
• The creation of a profit share scheme for staff.
• Ongoing investment in technology to better connect pupils to apprenticeships, workers to jobs, and patients to doctors and carers.

Cordant Group chief energiser Phillip Ullmann said: “Our dream of building a genuine global Social Enterprise that can delight people and improve the lives of thousands of people is now being realised.

"We believe our teacher programme will change the classroom, our workplace initiatives will re-engage employees, and our healthcare ideas will transform patient care.”

Chief executive officer Chris Kenneally said: “It is business as usual at Cordant but with one key difference – profits will now be used to deliver a broader prosperity, benefiting society as a whole and not just our shareholders.

“Whilst we believe this is an important moral position given the overwhelming response, we also know it will be positive for our businesses and drive efficiency, productivity and profitability.

“Our key customers are keen to work and partner with us on a journey that will create deeper relationships and returns.”

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