The H&H Group, Carlisle, has appointed Brian Richardson, who
has spent 25 years in agribusiness management as its new chief
Brian Richardson, left, and Group chairman Alan Bowe.
Mr Richardson, aged 47, takes on his new role at the beginning of
July succeeding Trevor Hebdon, who is standing down after more than
nine years in the position with the Group.
A Nuffield Scholar, Mr Richardson joins the H&H Group from Lincolnshire
based CWG, a traditional farming co-operative with a staff of 160
and a turnover of £20 million a year.
He joined this business at the end of 2004 with the brief to remodel
it and deal with several longstanding issues such as a large pension
scheme deficit and declining sales.
After three years, the business is now enjoying significant sales
growth and has a clear focus on the future with a restructured balance
sheet enabling it to look to the future with renewed confidence.
Born into a farming background, he began his career as a management
trainee with G Morrell and Sons, Harrogate, an agribusiness covering
several business areas.
After progressing to commercial manager, Mr Richardson took up a
similar post with the farming and estate management group JSR Farming
Group in Driffield in 1982.
He was appointed a director in 1986 and became Group managing director
in 1992. During his 15 years with the JSR Group his role developed
and he was ultimately chairman and managing director of JSR Healthbred,
the internationally renowned pig genetics business.
From 1998 to late 2004 Mr Richardson was chief executive of Woldmarsh
Producer, an agricultural buying co-operative based in Lincolnshire.
During his time at Woldmarsh he increased turnover from £25
million to £50 million and significantly increased its membership
and geographical coverage.
During his career he has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of strategic
development of agricultural related businesses through working to
deliver customer requirements as well as tight financial controls.
In 1999 he was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to investigate agricultural
co-operation overseas, visiting Northern Europe and New Zealand.
His report was presented in 2002 with the information used by many
co-operative organisations in the UK.
As well as his business activities, Mr Richardson is a past chair
of governors at Louth Grammar School, only recently standing down
Alan Bowe, H&H Group chairman, said: “Mr Richardson was
appointed because of his wide experience in a business not dissimilar
to the Group’s activities and we believe that he will expand
on the firm base which has been created over the last ten years.”
Mr Richardson is looking forward to his latest challenge with the
“Trevor Hebdon has left the Group in good shape financially
with a strong balance sheet and I look forward to working with the
business managers to further develop the Group.
“Having a portfolio of businesses that are all profitable provides
a good base to build on and make them each market leaders in their
own sector. I have always been involved in growing businesses and
I look very much forward to working with all staff in the Group in
developing the H&H brand and its reputation and in doing so,
providing shareholders with a good return on their investment.”
He currently lives in Louth, Lincolnshire with his wife Sandra and
two daughters Emma, aged 20, and Laura, 17, and he is looking forward
to making his new home in Cumbria. Outside work he enjoys many rural
pastimes and has recently started to learn to play golf.
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