Return on Investment : A lifetime of Satisfaction
In an unprecedented selfless gesture, an entrepreneur has decided to give his company worth of 1 million pounds away, instead of selling it. When Simon Cohen, founder of the PR agency Global Tolerance realized that he is not able to devote sufficient time to his family a year ago he decided to leave his much lucrative job to take care of them.
Simon Cohen with wife, Kate and daughter, Seren
Global Tolerance is a 12 year old company which Cohen started with the view of spreading positive and humanistic vibes through communication, public relations and media for their clients. They have hosted some prestigious people like Dalai Lama and TED. They have always striven to promote solution based stories in their media strategies. They call themselves a ‘social change consultancy’. While in dilemma about the future of the company, Cohen decided that it was the mission the basic objectives that define the agency that he wanted to retain. He did not want the values his company was based on to get diminished. Any merger or acquisition would have dissolved the essence of the company in his thought. Following this, he decided to keep the company going the way it was, just with different bosses, in whom he could find the similar humanitarian streak. For this, he conducted auditions to find the suitable successors to hand over the company. After a rigorous five stage interview process of over 200 candidates from 30 countries. Cohen felt it safe to put his trust in Noa Gafni, a digital strategist from the World Economic Forum and Rosie Warin, a PR director from Forster Communications who received 95 per cent of the company’s shares, 10,000 pounds in cash and all of the company’s assets. Cohen himself is in charge of the remaining 5 per cent share. He also works once a week to check his expenses. As he was being hailed all over the world for his altruistic manners he claimed it to be nothing more than ‘enlightened self interest’. He said that giving the company was just a way of promoting sustainability for a business and hoped that it inspires other business people to do the same. For him, it simply brought more happiness.
The usual exit strategies for successful companies entail the owner quickly coining it by selling it to another company. By not following the herd and not compromising with the values of his company, Cohen has set an example for all other entrepreneurs who find it difficult to choose societal good over personal wants.
Simon Cohen has stood out of the crowd because of the strong emotional quotient which supports his intelligence. When business had almost become synonymous to cut throat competition and profit tearing, he lent it a good definition and a noble purpose. This unique approach of his is laudable. He followed the principle of his company to spread goodwill to the very end.
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