Bangor businessman, Richard Gillan has been appointed the next chair of CBI Northern Ireland.
Richard, the managing partner at Grant Thornton Northern Ireland and former chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, has been the CBI Northern Ireland vice chair since the beginning of this year and will become chair from Friday (September 1)
Elaine Birchall MBE, the current chair, and one of Northern Ireland’s leading business figures, will become vice chair.
Richard and Elaine will both continue to work closely with CBI Northern Ireland director Angela McGowan, to help local firms tackle local economic challenges arising from high inflation, low growth and the lack of a functioning Executive.
Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland director, said: “I congratulate Richard on his appointment. As vice chair, he has brought experience and knowledge of the business community and will be another outstanding chair of CBI Northern Ireland.
“With his broad range of sectoral knowledge, Richard will continue to be a fantastic advocate for ‘Northern Ireland plc’ at a time when businesses continue to face continued economic challenges and political instability.”
A graduate in accountancy from Queen’s University, Richard has extensive experience of operating internationally, having worked in London, Luxembourg, and Johannesburg for several high-profile firms.
He also has business ownership experience under his belt, having acquired a manufacturing firm in 2004. He led the company into several new geographic territories and secured significant revenue and profit growth prior to a successful sale.
Nine years ago, Richard joined Grant Thornton Northern Ireland. Appointed managing partner in 2015, he has since overseen a sevenfold rise in revenues.
Richard has significant experience of advising corporates on strategic and corporate finance matters including acquisitions, restructuring, disposals, finance raising, valuations and shareholder issues. He also regularly advises banks and private equity firms on their proposed investments. He was Chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society in 2019/2020.
Richard explained: “I’m delighted to be appointed and look forward to working closely with Angela and the team to tackle the pressing challenges for local firms.”
The CBI speaks on behalf of 170,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors, across every region and nation of the UK. This includes over 1,100 corporate members, plus nearly 150 trade associations. Corporate members alone employ over 2.3 million private sector workers.