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Richard Close

Chief Executive, Briggs Equipment UK Ltd

Richard Close, a highly experienced business leader, has more than 30 years’ experience turning around the fortunes of businesses. Currently working as the chief executive of Briggs Equipment, the UK’s leading independent service provider and materials handling equipment supplier, Richard has transformed four loss making businesses into multi-million pound profit making organisations.

From humble beginnings in the North East of England, Richard gained a range of O-levels and one A-level before moving to Brighton to study hotel management. He soon moved into accountancy training on the job until the age of 25 when he was given a position in the finance department at Lex Services PLC.

Richard was given the opportunity to progress his career quickly, moving into an operations and finance director position, by the age of 31, for Transfleet an arm of Lex. In this position, Richard was tasked with changing the fortune of the business that was making a £7million loss. Within 2 years the company was making a £2million profit, a turnaround of over £9million.

Richard has also held positions in Lex for Hyundai, setting up the franchising of the brand in the UK, and provided strategic advice for the growth of the forklift arm of Lex in 1996. After two years in this role, Richard was approached by NACCO, to head up the business as vice president and managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Richard spearheaded the transformation of the business from £25million loss to £2million profit in just three years, growing the market share from 7.3% to 8.2%.

Following this, Richard wanted a new challenge and so facilitated the buy-out of Briggs Equipment UK Ltd by leading global conglomerate Sammons, in 2006 for £87million. Following this acquisition, Sammons appointed Richard as Chief Executive, a position he has held for more than five years, changing the business from a loss making business into a profit making organisation and adding £3million to the bottom line of the company every year.

Richard is an inspiring leader, encouraging employees and managers to be involved in the decision making and success of the business. Richard also likes to inspire young people in the workplace, encouraging passion and enthusiasm amongst today’s more disadvantaged generation.

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