Key Production under Employee Ownership Trust

Key Production Establishes Employee Ownership Trust

Key Production, a physical music product specialist, has taken a significant step by setting up an employee ownership trust. This move marks the transfer of business ownership from the founder and CEO, Karen Emanuel, to the trust on behalf of its dedicated staff.

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Emanuel, while relinquishing ownership, will continue to serve as the CEO of the company and also hold director positions at both Key Production and the newly formed Key Production Employee Owned Trust. Joining her on the trust’s board are Lisa Edwards, a veteran with 28 years of experience at Key Production, and Rebecca Mills, a legal professional.

Understanding Employee Ownership Trusts

The establishment of employee ownership trusts aligns with a UK government initiative aimed at promoting employee ownership of businesses. This initiative reflects a broader global trend towards empowering employees and fostering a stronger sense of ownership and participation in company success. PWC explains that Employee Ownership Trusts do not involve direct share ownership by employees. Instead, a controlling interest in a company is transferred to an all-employee trust, held for the benefit of the employees.

Karen Emanuel’s Perspective

Commenting on the transition, Emanuel shares her excitement, stating, “After just over 33 ⅓ years of being the sole director and owner at Key Production, it’s time for me to secure the next 33 ⅓ years. I’m truly excited to do this by setting up an employee ownership trust, to empower the people that have helped me build the company and amazing culture that is Key Production, namely the staff. I will be staying on as CEO to transition us into this next stage of growth and development”. This move emphasizes her commitment to the company’s continued success and the welfare of its employees.

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Industry Trend: Employee Ownership Trusts

Key Production’s decision to transfer ownership to an employee ownership trust follows a similar move by Kudos Records, a music distributor and label services company, which made a comparable transition last year. This trend signifies a shift towards prioritizing employee participation and ensuring the long-term sustainability of businesses within the music industry.

Incorporating employee ownership trusts is a strategic decision that reflects a commitment to the well-being and involvement of the workforce while securing the future of the company beyond the tenure of its founding owners.


The implementation of an employee ownership trust at Key Production underlines the company’s dedication to its employees and the goal of creating a sustainable and inclusive work environment. This move not only fosters a sense of ownership and investment among the staff but also ensures the continuity and growth of the company’s operations in the years to come. As the music industry continues to evolve, the adoption of employee ownership trusts represents a progressive approach that prioritizes the collective well-being and involvement of all stakeholders.

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