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Financial advice firm appoints new manufacturing expert partner

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

By Olivier Vergnault, WMN Business Editor, Twitter: @OliVergnault

Neil Barrell - Grant Thornton

Neil Barrell has been appointed partner with Grant Thornton

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Business and finance adviser Grant Thornton is building on its manufacturing expertise in the South West with the promotion of new sector specialist partner.

Neil Barrell was promoted to partner three years only after joining the company.

Before joining Grant Thornton, Neil held a number of senior positions in manufacturing businesses including eight years as managing director of a Tier 1 supplier.

Experienced in both strategic and operational management, he has also led a number of business turnarounds, acquisitions and relocations and successfully completed an intensive programme of part-time study into high performance management at the renowned Cranfield School of Management and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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In the last three years Neil has advised a number of global manufacturing businesses.

His first year with the firm was spent on various operational ptimisation projects in Europe and Asia, culminating in taking a lead advisory role to Chinese car maker Geely Automotive Holdings on its acquisition of Manganese Bronze, manufacturers of London Taxis.

At the end of 2013 Barrell advised Arlington Industries Group on its acquisition of Remploy Automotive.

In the last 18 months he has successfully diversified into other sectors, recently advising international packaging business RPC Group on its acquisition of Chinese injection moulding specialist ACE Corporation, spending time in China analysing its five manufacturing facilities.

In addition to his promotion to partner, Neil has been made Grant Thornton’s national head of operations consulting.

He said: “This new enhanced role will allow Grant Thornton to share the concepts and best practices that we’ve developed over the last three years into other vital manufacturing sectors.

“Our team has specialist knowledge of automotive, aerospace, packaging, oil and gas, food and drink and pharmaceuticals – all sectors containing ambitious medium and large businesses which are hungry for growth, both domestically and globally.”

Tim Lincoln, practice leader at Grant Thornton in the South West, said: “Neil joining Grant Thornton three years ago illustrates perfectly the firm’s approach to making innovative appointments of talented people with in-depth industry expertise and understanding.

“His rise from associate director to partner in just three years is evidence not just of Neil’s skills and capabilities but also his ability to assist our clients in achieving their business objectives.

“I foresee Neil’s international expertise being particularly sought after in the years ahead as more businesses across the South West look across borders to fulfill their ambitions for growth.”

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