Scarlettabbott, the UK’s leading employee engagement and internal communications consultancy, has chosen to partner with mid-market private equity firm LDC to support the next stage of its growth journey.

Co-founded by Jonathan Abbott and Rachel Thornton in 2006, scarlettabbott is an award-winning management consultancy that specialises in employee engagement, change management, behavioural science and internal communications. It helps clients to better engage with their people in order to enhance performance, drive sustainable growth and positively influence workplace culture.

With offices in York and London, the 50-strong team supports businesses across every sector of the economy. Its clients include blue-chip organisations, many of which operate internationally, such as Sony Interactive Entertainment,, EY and Chivas Brothers. Scarlettabbott has grown rapidly in recent years with a compound annual growth rate of more than 20% for the last four years.

LDC is backing the existing management team, led by CEO Jeremy Petty, to support the team’s growth strategy. As part of the transaction, Jonathan and Rachel move into Non-Executive Director roles and will continue to work with Jeremy and the management team to grow the business.

With LDC’s support, Jeremy and the team will further invest in scarlettabbott’s products, services and people to enhance the service it provides to clients and increase its support for organisations in the UK and overseas. The partnership will support the team’s goal of doubling headcount within the next five years.

The investment was led by Investment Director Lee Donaldson and Investment Managers Naomi McDiarmid and Emma Borrie. Industry heavyweight Euan Jarvie, former UK & Ireland CEO of the multinational media and digital marketing communications company Dentsu International will join the board as Non-Executive Chairman.

Jeremy Petty, CEO of scarlettabbott, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for scarlettabbott. We have seen significant growth in recent years through our focus on creating a better world of work for our colleagues, our clients and the industry as a whole.

“The partnership with LDC represents a great opportunity to bring in not only significant investment to our business, but also vast experience and expertise, especially with Euan Jarvie joining the team as our new Non-Executive Chairman.

“This puts us in a unique position to continue to expand our team and deepen the partnerships we have with our global clients further in the coming years by offering a wider range of services in the employee engagement and people consultancy space.”

Lee Donaldson, Investment Director at LDC in the North East and Scotland added: “The world of work continues to evolve, and an ever-increasing number of businesses are adopting more flexible working patterns to support their people. This, coupled with the importance of recruiting and retaining the best talent, means employee engagement is high on the boardroom agenda across all sectors.

“As a business grounded in insight, expertise and client service, scarlettabbott is well placed to meet growing demand. Our partnership will help Jeremy and his team to accelerate their momentum and we’re looking forward to supporting them as they continue to create opportunities for their people and their clients.”

LDC has a strong heritage of supporting the growth of management and communications consultancies, including the likes of reputation management consultancy Blue Rubicon (now Teneo), corporate communications agency Headland, digital transformation business CTI Group and marketing and group MSQ.

scarlettabbott was advised by Cavu Corporate Finance, Newcastle based mid-market corporate advisory boutique and legal advisers were Womble Bond Dickinson.

Thomas Brunsnes, Director at Cavu Corporate Finance, said: “Cavu is delighted to have advised scarlettabbott on this transformational transaction for the company. The team has built a fantastic business, and we are excited to see what they can achieve with the support of LDC in the coming years.”

LDC was advised by UNW (Corporate Finance), Weightmans (Legal), KPMG (Financial and Tax) and Plural Strategy (Commercial DD).

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