St Boswells mart firm takes on new chief executive

Richard Rankin, chief executive of the H&H Group.
Richard Rankin, chief executive of the H&H Group.

The H&H Group, operator of St Boswells Auction Mart, has appointed a new chief executive officer.

Taking up that post with the Carlisle-based firm is accountant Richard Rankin, previously a partner in accountancy company Armstrong Watson, also based in the Cumbrian city, since 2006.

Group chairman Michael Scott.

Group chairman Michael Scott.

The 45-year-old replaces Brian Richardson, the firm’s chief executive for the last 10 years.

Born and brought up on Tyneside, Mr Rankin, now living at Ainstable in Cumbria, said: “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 and 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.”

The H&H Group also has a new chairman, Northumbrian farmer Michael Scott.

He takes over from Ian Lancaster, chairman for the last two years but now stepping down due to work commitments.Mr Scott, a non-executive director of the group board since 2005, now lives near Lanercost in Cumbria with wife Tina.

He said: “It is both an honour and a privilege to be invited to take up this role. As chairman, my aim is to work with my fellow board members to support and help integrate our new CEO into the organisation and to continue to further develop both our agricultural and commercial enterprises for the benefit of shareholders and all stakeholders.”