6th June 2017
Bailey of Bristol is delighted to announce that Jon Aisbitt has joined its Board as Non-Executive Chairman. This move follows the announcement that Stephen Howard is stepping down as Chairman after 40 years with the company to enjoy a well-earned retirement.
In spite of this change in personnel Bailey will remain in Howard family ownership with Nick Howard (Managing Director) and Simon Howard (Marketing Director) continuing to play key roles in the Senior Management Team.
Jon has over 30 years’ experience in international corporate finance and will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the business moving forward. He is currently Chairman of the Pension Insurance Corporation, a fast growing UK based regulated insurance company specialising in securing pension scheme liabilities, and Deputy Chairman of New Forests Holdings – a sustainable forestry management and timber processing business operating in East Africa. Prior to that, he was Chairman of Man Group plc, a large London-listed investment management company, and was previously one of the first European partners of Goldman Sachs & Co. Jon has been a member of the extended Howard family since his marriage to Stephen’s youngest sister Julia in 1979.
The new Non-Executive Chairman takes up his position during a very dynamic period in the company’s history as the changes from the recently introduced five-year business development programme (code named Aurora) begin to take effect. The aim of Aurora is to implement a modern business approach across the 70-year-old family owned leisure vehicle manufacturing company, whilst at the same time maintaining the key cultural characteristics that have made it such an enduring success.
Initiatives already implemented include the creation of a new Bailey Parts and Accessory supply operation in North Bristol and developing it into a fully-fledged e-commerce business (at a total cost £ 0.5 Million).
The new Bailey Parts & Accessories site in North Bristol
This was then followed by the re-location of the company’s state-of-the-art Large Panel Laminating Plant to new premises in Clevedon, North Somerset (at a total cost of £ 4.5 million) and the construction of a new Replenishment Centre building to house all component stock on the main Bailey site in South Bristol (at a cost of £ 2.5 million).
The new Large Panel Laminating Plant in Clevedon, North Somerset
The new Replenishment Centre at the main Bailey site in South Bristol
In addition to these headline projects, there has also been significant investment in staff training and recruitment across the business, including the recent appointment of both Roy Carter (Managing Director Bailey Parts & Accessories) and Steve Trossell (Non-Executive Director) to the Bailey Board of Directors.
Commenting on his appointment Jon said "I am delighted to be joining such a well-established and yet forward-thinking British manufacturing company. I am looking forward to playing my part in helping to shape its future”.
Bailey Managing Director Nick Howard added, “To have somebody of Jon’s pedigree joining the Bailey Board will be a huge asset to our company going forward. With his appointment, we will look to galvanise the inherent enthusiasm and expertise within the business to strengthen our position in the marketplace and re-affirm Bailey as the UK’s number one leisure vehicle brand.