BDO names Richard Austin new Head of Manufacturing

04 December 2020 Consultancy.uk
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BDO Partner Richard Austin has been named as the firm’s new Head of Manufacturing, as Tom Lawton retires from the role after 13 years. Austin was previously Head of Corporate Advisory Services with BDO, having joined in 2018.

While many manufacturers have responded swiftly to the challenges of Covid-19, shoring up their balance sheets in spite of a difficult trading period, their resilience is set to be tested further in 2021. New challenges lie ahead, including adapting to post-Brexit trade, and adopting greater digital transformation to boost productivity and improve competitiveness on the international stage.

Commenting on his appointment, Richard Austin stated, “I’m thrilled to be taking on this role at a critical time for the sector… I look forward to supporting our manufacturing clients through this difficult period, and I am convinced that once the immediate challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit are behind us, the sector can begin to look to the future with some certainty, confidence and optimism.”

Richard Austin, Head of Manufacturing, BDO

In his role as national Head of Manufacturing, he will be responsible for driving the firm’s manufacturing sector strategy, working closely with clients as well as BDO’s national and global manufacturing networks to understand key industry trends and how to support clients to effectively respond. He takes the reins from Tom Lawton, who is stepping down after 13 years in the role, ahead of his retirement in December.

Austin joined BDO in 2018, arriving as a Partner and heading up the firm’s corporate advisory services wing from London. In that role, he helped BDO’s working capital and value creation teams to support clients to optimise performance and manage change for both growing and challenged businesses. Prior to his time with BDO, he accrued almost 25 years of consulting experience at firms including Kearney, Efficio, AlixPartners, Alvarez & Marsal, and Thorngate Advisors, where he was Managing Director.

Paul Eagland, Managing Partner at BDO said, “BDO has always been a strong advocate for the UK manufacturing sector and I’m delighted that Richard has agreed to take on this important position. He will be a vocal champion for the sector and play a vital role in ensuring our teams do all they can to help our manufacturing clients succeed.”

Earlier in the autumn, BDO further strengthened its UK operations with the addition of Pete Acloque as an Audit Partner. As an ACA qualified accountant with almost 20 years of assurance, transaction and IPO experience, he also has an energy and mining sector specialism, gained from working with a natural resources based portfolio of clients and a background as a geologist.