New Rock leader the right man for the job
MUCH has been written over the years about the brain drain. An unpalatable term for a less-than-welcome occurrence.
There is little doubt that in years gone by we have lost highly-talented individuals to the lure of London and other major cities around the world. Mind, a significant number have gravitated back after a while, bringing valuable new skills and experience to the regional economy.
Always one to balance the negative, I must herald the appointment of Gary Hoffman as the new chief executive of Northern Rock as one of the most significant reversals of the brain drain.
I am fortunate to know Gary from my days working for Barclays, the institution he is leaving to take on what will be a difficult and challenging role – a role that I am confident he will make a resounding success.
It’s a bold move and one that will enable him to use his considerable skills to their fullest.
As a dyed-in-the-wool Coventry City supporter, he’s chosen his timing well. The boys in black and white that proudly wear their Northern Rock sponsored shirts will face Manchester United in their opener on Sunday, August 17. The week previous, Gary’s beloved Coventry kick off their season trying to avoid eating humble pie at Delia’s Norwich City a league below in the Championship.
Much was made among tired national newspaper pundits that the region’s premier financial institution was suffering alongside its highest-profile sporting institution.
Indications at the end of last season were that United had turned a corner. Under Ron Sandler and outgoing interim chief executive Andy Kuipers, the Rock has equally displayed an upturn in fortunes – although no one would hide from the fact that there is a long road ahead for Gary and his team.
What I can say, speaking from personal knowledge, is that Gary Hoffman is absolutely the right man for this job. I am delighted that he has seen the promise in restoring this great North East banking institution.
Within Barclays, Gary was known as a cool head, a creative mind, an accomplished leader. He has always had the ability to grow the parts of the business he worked in at Barclays very successfully. I have no doubt he will use all these skills to grow Northern Rock.
James Ramsbotham is NECC chief executive