Company boss shares millions with his staff

2004

In a refreshing antidote to all those ‘Fat Cat’ stories, a company boss who has just sold out for more than £10 million is sharing the cash with his employees.

Colin Potter is giving staff at his telecoms company Uniworld Communications almost £2 million after selling it to Gamma Telecom, another communications firm.

Every one of the firms 50 employees can look forward to receiving £5,000 for each year of service and annual bonuses of £5,000 for the next three years if they stay on and the business continues to grow.

The longest-serving employee, account manager Heather Harwood, will get £30,000 and another £15,000 for staying with the company.

"It's great to have been part of the company and what it has achieved,” she said. “It would have been really easy for Colin to have just taken the money and walked away, so I just think it's amazing that he's shared it with his staff like this."

Mr Potter founded Uniworld Communications as a one-man venture in 1995. Now it has annual turnover is £20 million and more than 5,000 customers including household names like the Co-Op.

The company is very much a family concern. Mr Potter’s wife Barbara is finance director, son Ashleigh the technical director and his brother Graeme the customer services manager.

"There was no question of me and my family taking all the money and the staff not getting anything," Mr Potter said.

"The staff are an important part of the team - this has been a team effort. They are unbelievable.

"The most important part of the sell-off has been rewarding the staff. My wife and I had everything we wanted already. We had paid off the mortgage and we are just down to earth working people. The achievement is what matters to us, not the money."