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H&H Group CEO Announced

Richard Rankin

[C]hartered Accountant and Corporate Financier Richard Rankin appointed as Chief Executive Officer of H&H Group Plc.

Taking over as CEO of H&H Group Plc is Richard Rankin, a Chartered Accountant, formally of Carlisle-based Armstrong Watson (AW), where he has been a Partner for over 10 years. Richard’s extensive business experience as a corporate financier and his local knowledge makes him an ideal choice to head up and take one of Cumbria’s most important and progressive businesses to the next level.

Born and brought up on Tyneside, 45 year old Richard, who describes himself as “passionate about corporate business”, is a graduate of Newcastle University and a highly respected Chartered Accountant. His career has seen him work for some of the UK’s leading accountancy firms, including the former Touche Ross & Co and Deloitte. Moving to Cumbria with AW as part of the Carlisle Corporate Finance Team, he was made a Partner in 2006 when he took over the Kendal office. In 2014, he returned to run the Carlisle Corporate Office and the Corporate Finance Team.  A Director of Cumbria Tourism and a past Governor of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, Richard lives with his partner at Ainstable.

In taking up the reins at H&H Group Plc, Richard is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this role will bring, as he explained earlier today: “I was attracted to this position, as I know that H&H is an incredibly strong and stable organisation, and one which I have great respect for. It has a tremendous reputation and is a very strong brand.  My aim going forward, is to build on the excellent work that has been done in recent years, to achieve continued growth for the Group.

“During my time with Armstrong Watson, I have been involved, on a number of occasions, in dealings with the Group, most recently working as part of their team on the acquisition of John Swan & Son. I know, from personal experience, that H&H is a strong Agri-business, which has diversified and expanded its commercial interests and enterprises.”

“Our livestock business, Harrison and Hetherington, is the UK’s foremost livestock trading organisation, and is an integral part of the Group. As a company, it has a great depth of knowledge within the industry, a very strong base of customers, and is highly respected. Backed by a tremendous team of staff, it has the ability to diversify and grasp opportunities, depending on the needs of the market, to continually drive its business forward.”

“I thrive on a challenge, and for me this is one of my greatest to date, and one which I am very excited about.”

The H&H Group was founded originally as farmstock auctioneers and today, with nine Harrison & Hetherington Auction Marts, auctioneering is still very much a part of its business.  With 300 employees offering a diverse range of skills and experience, it has a 150 year heritage, based in eighteen locations across the north of England and southern Scotland.

Commenting on Richard’s appointment, Michael Scott, recently appointed Chairman of H&H Group Plc said: “Richard is the ideal person to take up the position of CEO. He knows the business and he knows the areas in which we operate. In recent years, the Group has grown and evolved, however livestock trading and agriculture still very much at the core of what we do, so as a Board, we have challenged Richard with, building upon and further strengthen all areas of the business.”

H&H Group has expanded within the geographical areas in which it operates and now reaches customers across the spectrum, in city, town and country. So understandably Richard is keen to learn about each enterprise: “During my first three months, I will be getting under the skin of all of the different businesses, completing due diligence of every area. For me, this work will be very much about learning, knowledge transfer, and formulating ideas together to strengthen our position and maximise potential.”

He concludes: “I am looking forward to the opportunities this role will bring, and I am both pleased and grateful to have been given such a marvellous challenge. However, above all, I want to create opportunities with staff, and for staff, and to create an engaging and enabling atmosphere to get the best out of our teams. To achieve this, there has to be an element of humour, and collaborative working. It’s down to building trust and rapport, so I will share my enthusiasm, and create enthusiasm, for the tasks in hand.”

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