John Ashcroft, the ex-head of Coloroll Group, has been named the new CEO of pro.manchester.
His appointment follows a hard-fought and exhaustive recruitment process that saw dozens of high calibre candidates apply for the role that replaces Daniel Mouawad.
With a vibrant business past, Ashcroft is viewed as the ideal choice by pro.manchester’s board.
“Quite simply, John has been there, seen it, done it, and has the battle scars to prove it. He has a lot of business experience and wisdom to draw on, and will be a real asset,” explains Sue Webster, chair of pro.manchester.
Although he doesn’t officially take up post until 1st November, Ashcroft has already produced a 70-point action plan for taking pro.manchester bounding into 2010.
“The headline objective is to re-engage the existing members by being more visible, approachable and ‘out there’ among them. There is a clear need to meet them, listen to them and heed what they have to say,” says Ashcroft.
Ashcroft is also intent on working with the board to address the imbalance of membership within pro.manchester.
“pro.manchester has a huge membership from the core financial and legal sector but we need to attract more members from associated sectors such as private equity and corporate finance.
“These areas are critical to the continued success of Manchester as the UK’s second financial city. As such, they need to be more involved and better represented.”
Continued delivery of a varied calendar of events will also be high on the agenda. “pro.manchester already delivers a hugely popular and lively calendar of events. We need to keep this momentum and ensure events remain relevant to secure continued levels of satisfaction.”
“We want to ensure pro.manchester continues to give members a good, healthy, lively and stimulating environment in which to do business.”
Pat Loftus, senior partner at Deloitte and long-standing member of pro.manchester, welcomed Ashcroft’s appointment, “This is a bold and positive move. It will certainly cause a flurry in the dovecotes but I don’t honestly think that’s a bad thing.
“Member firms want a figurehead who’s been there and experienced business at the sharp end. John has certainly done that and has a lot of experience to bring.”