New CEO Announced

6th July 2018

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 and his local knowledge make him an ideal choice to head up one of Cumbria’s most important and progressive businesses and take it to the next level.

Born and brought up on Tyneside, 44 year old Richard, who describes himself as “passionate about corporate business”, is a graduate of Newcastle University and a highly respected Chartered Accountant and Corporate Financier. 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 the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, Richard lives with his partner at Ainstable.

In taking up the reins of 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 enterprise, and one which I have great respect for. It has a tremendous reputation and 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.”

“I know from my experience, the basis for driving businesses forward is successful teamwork, and this is something I have learnt to rely on.  So I am looking forward to meeting and supporting all of our teams of staff.”

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

H&H Group operates across a range of sectors, from livestock trading to rural insurance, and from land agency to printing. 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.  Over recent years it has expanded into the local economy, and now reaches customers across the spectrum, in city, town and country.

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. Living locally and having worked in Cumbria for a number of years, he knows the business and he knows the areas in which we operate. With livestock trading and agriculture still very much at the core of what we do, as a Board, one of the main objectives we have challenged Richard with is to build upon, and further strengthen, the commercial aspects and enterprises of the Group.”

Richard says: “As an organisation, I know from personal experience that the H&H Group is a strong Agri-business, which has diversified and expanded its commercial interests and enterprises. In my time with Armstrong Watson, I have been involved on a number of occasions in dealings with the Group. This included the sale of H&H Reeds Printers, and more recently, I was working as part of their team on the acquisition of John Swan & Son.”

“I will be spending my first three months getting under the skin of all of the different businesses, completing due diligence with each enterprise. This work will be very much about learning, knowledge transfer, and formulating together ideas 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 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.”