John Menzies poaches Ricardo group FD

THE GROUP finance director of Ricardo is to join aviation distribution group John Menzies in the same role.

Paula Bell is departing Ricardo after six years as finance director at the engineering consultancy where she played an important role in the successful strategic evolution and growth of the business, Menzies said.

A date for the transition is to be determined, but Bell will remain with Ricardo to complete the half-year financial reporting for the six months ending 31 December 2012 and help with the succession.

Michael Harper, Ricardo non-executive chairman, praised Bell’s “significant” contribution to the company since she joined in 2006.

“During this time, she has successfully led the finance function through a period of strategic development and growth, leaving the group in robust financial health,” Harper said.

Bell’s career has included senior positions at Rolls Royce, AWG and BAA Gatwick where she has gained experience in leading international finance functions. She is also a non-executive director of Laird where she chairs the audit committee.

Paul Dollman, Bell’s predecessor at Menzies, previously announced his intention to retire from the board on 17 May at the group’s annual general meeting to concentrate on building a portfolio career.

Iain Napier, John Menzies chairman, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Paula and I look forward to welcoming her to the board. She brings an excellent mix of international finance experience and enthusiasm for the role that will be a real asset to the group.”

Both companies’ share prices were down slightly in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

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