Andrew Ruffler, former regional director at the Royal Institute of British Architects North West, will take over the helm from John Hall, who has been in post for nine years. Tony McDonough reports
Professional Liverpool has unveiled a new chief executive as the man who helped save the organisation, John Hall, stands down.
Andrew Ruffler, former regional director at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) North West, will take over from Mr Hall, who has been in post for nine years. Mr Ruffler will start on March 16 with Mr Hall departing on April 1.
Mr Hall, a former senior partner at law firm Bermans, took over as volunteer chief executive of Professional Liverpool in late 2010 on a part-time basis. At that time it had just 60 members and was fighting for its survival.
He was formally appointed to the role in April 2010. He set about bringing financial stability back to the organisation, developing key external partnerships and growing the number of members, which today stands at almost 500.
“The growth and the stability of the organisation are by far my proudest achievements. Back at the start our main focus was survival, now we are in a position of real strength,” said Mr Hall.
“However, now is the right time to hand over the reins to someone with new ideas and a fresh vision. Andrew is enthusiastic, embedded in the city and understands the importance of collaboration.”
Mr Ruffler joins Professional Liverpool from a consultancy role at Wirral-based architecture practice, ArchitectFolk. He also brings with him a wealth of expertise and extensive network of contacts from his time spent working with creative agency, Uniform and within the investment teams at both Liverpool City Region LEP and MIDAS in Manchester.
He will be tasked with building on the growth and financial stability delivered under Mr Hall, and implementing a new vision for Professional Liverpool as the voice of the professional and business service sector in the Liverpool city region.
Mr Ruffler said: “John leaves a very strong legacy that I look forward to building upon and taking to the next level. We will continue to deliver the innovative events and initiatives that Professional Liverpool is renowned for, while also developing its role as an influencer, helping to shape the professional and economic future of the region.
“The professional and business services sector in the Liverpool city region is vital to the economic growth of the North and UK as a whole.
“Working closely with bodies such as Liverpool LEP and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, I will ensure that our stakeholders and members have a voice in decisions that will affect the sector and its ability to grow and thrive.”
The professional and business services sector is the second largest in the Liverpool city region in terms of gross value added (GVA), generating £8.4bn per annum and supporting an estimated 107,000 jobs in 12,000 businesses.
Philip Rooney of DLA Piper, chair of the board at Professional Liverpool, added: “Professional Liverpool owes a great debt to John for his work, which has been pivotal in bringing the organisation to a new level of maturity.
“We are now in a position for the collective expertise of our team and membership to be used strategically to influence decision makers and help to shape the future of the city region.
“Andrew has extensive cross-sector knowledge and a proven track record in membership organisations. He successfully expanded and diversified membership at RIBA through a range of innovative and impactful initiatives.
“We are confident that he will bring this skill to Professional Liverpool and drive forward a strategy that will allow our members to contribute effectively to the region’s economic success.”