A managing director has been announced to run Harrison & Hetherington.
Scott Donaldson, who has been with the firm for over 10 years and latterly was joint managing director, he has been appointed as sole MD.
H&H operates nine auction marts across the north of England and Scottish Borders and has an annual turnover in the region of £180 million.
Richard Rankin, H&H Group Plc chief executive said: “Scott is the perfect man for the job. He has the right skill set and experience carried through from his previous roles.
“His career path has demonstrated continuous professional development, and in working alongside David Pritchard for the last 10 years he has developed an in-depth understanding of the business and its needs for the future.
“Now is the time for him to step up and take overall responsibility.
Scott, 53, has worked within the livestock industry his entire career.
Aged 17 he joined Perthshire’s Macdonald Fraser and Company Ltd part of the United Auctions Group as a trainee auctioneer.
In 1988, aged 21, he became the youngest auctioneer at the time, to take the Rostrum at the Perth Bull Sales to sell pedigree Simmental cattle.
He joined H&H in 2010.
A former president of the IAAS, he said: “We live in a very fast-moving world now, far removed from what worked 10 or 20 years ago.
“As such, we have to keep reacting and responding to new challenges.
“So, in taking up this role, my main aim is to make sure that both Harrison & Hetherington and the team behind it are well equipped to move forward into the next decade and beyond, grasping the full potential of innovation.
“The great strengths of our team are its youth, enthusiasm and broad understanding of the livestock industry across the UK.
“I want to futureproof the longevity of our operations and management and aim to challenge our company’s next generation of leaders to step up.
“It is absolutely vital now that livestock producers can work with us in a far more modern and digital fashion.
“However, I do not want to undermine the importance of the personal contact that comes through our network of auction mart centres across the north of England and Scottish Borders.
“Yes, in recent months major strides have been made and, thanks to online timed auctions, we are moving forward, but that is not enough.
“We are living in a digital world and now the industry and our customer base demands more.
“We need to give them this by streamlining processes and making certain that both buyers and sellers can access the information they require to streamline their own business, instantly.
“When things start to return to whatever the new normal will look like, we want to ensure we swiftly create environments that are as welcoming and protected as they can be.
“Our aim is for farmers to feel safe, and for that sense of camaraderie to return to our marts as quickly as we can.”
H&H’s head office and main livestock centre in Borderway Auction Mart, Carlisle, is one of the largest mart sites in the UK.
Richard added: “Since the initial coronavirus lockdown, Scott and the wider H&H team have been key figures in altering the focus of traditional auctioneering.
“Almost overnight new platforms were investigated for selling stock, and pioneering online digital auction systems were created to ensure that the vital breeding sales would continue.
“I know that Scott will become a major voice of the livestock marketing business.
“He will be an opinion maker both up and downstream of his role, and a driver of change from a broader industry perspective.”