Swindon-based Retrac Group
, a leading advanced manufacturing specialist in the Formula One (F1), automotive and aerospace sectors, has announced a structural change to increase growth and enhance the security and prospects of its employees.
Following five decades of being owned by the Carter family, the company’s ownership has been transferred to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) structure, which makes the 115-strong workforce the beneficiaries of the company’s future success.
Experienced automotive and motorsport executive Dan Walmsley has been appointed as CEO to lead the Group’s two divisions, Retrac Productions Ltd and Retrac Composites Ltd. In tandem, long-standing co-owner and Retrac Productions managing director, Andy Carter, is to step into the role of chairman of Retrac Group.
The Group has been a key supplier to more than half of the F1 world champions in the past 25 years. It has also diversified its blue-chip client portfolio across multiple sectors, providing engineering solutions in advanced materials, tooling and component manufacture.
Mr Carter said: “We firmly believe that the EOT mechanism is the correct succession plan for the business. Since my father founded Retrac in 1972, the most important aspect of the business is the employees. The average service record of more than a decade stands as testament to the loyalty and commitment of the Retrac workforce.
“The benefits that EOT employee ownership can bring to businesses are widely acknowledged – including improved employee engagement and wellbeing, and better business performance. We want our employees to have the chance to share in future success.”
Dan Walmsley arrives at Retrac having last year been a lynchpin for the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium. As part of the Cabinet Office response to the Covid-19 pandemic, he helped coordinate multi-site production activities for Airbus, Ford, Siemens, McLaren, Penlon and GKN Automotive.
Prior to that he was motorsport director at McLaren Automotive for four years, having been Team Principal at FIA World Sportscar Championship entrant Strakka Racing.
As CEO, Mr Walmsley will oversee the day-to-day running of the Group. He continued: “Retrac Group is proud to enter a new employee-owned era. It reinforces our outstanding workforce skill-set and commitment, which are the foundation of our offering to customers of increased production flexibility and shorter lead-times.”
“I am delighted to join a company as established as Retrac, yet with so much growth potential. The Carter family and the Retrac staff have created a company that has long excelled at delivering into some of the most demanding industries through hard work, innovation and re-investment — we see a bright next chapter in the Retrac story.”