Retiring: Alan Hampton.

All change at the top for Unimer

Published:  10 January, 2013

After sixteen years as a director of Unimer and the last eleven years as the chairman, Alan Hampton has decided to retire from his role with Unimer at the end of 2012. During his time as a Unimer Board member Mr Hampton has seen the business grow from just over £400m turnover to the current levels of well over £900m. 

He has also seen the business develop the industry’s capability to trade electronically and has supported Unimer’s significant investments in its systems capability, including the recent project that has changed almost 90% of all of Unimer’s operational systems. In Mr Hampton's final month as chairman this system has successfully gone live.

Mr Hampton has worked all of his life in the building materials sector and his extensive knowledge of the sector added greatly to his Chairmanship of the Unimer Board. As a former chief executive of the Burden Group he led the growth of that business from a single branch operation to a £300million turnover national business, with a leading position in civils and heavyside building materials. Alan isn’t retiring completely from business as he will be continuing as the chairman of Peter Savage and as a director of the CPM Group.

Howard Grant, Unimer’s managing director said: “Alan has been an excellent chairman of Unimer always bringing a commercial but very objective view on the business issues being reviewed. He has challenged the executive team and the rest of the Board as to how the business should move forward, always ensuring that our merchant member’s interests were the priority and always with good humour.”

Leo Martin will succeed Mr Hampton as Unimer’s next chairman. Mr Martin has been a Unimer Board member for the last year and will take up the role of chairman in January. Mr Martin has extensive experience of the building materials sector and has operated at the highest levels of the corporate world.

Mr Martin joined the Board of Grafton Group as an executive director in 2005. He had previously been chief executive of Heiton Group prior to its acquisition by Grafton that year. He was appointed chief operating officer of Grafton in 2006 and was responsible for streamlining and integrating circa 100 Group acquisitions in the UK and Ireland.

Incoming Unimer chairman Leo Martin.

Prior to his appointment as CEO of Heitons, Mr Martin had held the positions of group finance director and Divisional managing director. He had also been finance director of the House of Fraser’s Irish operations.

Mr Martin trained as a chartered accountant with PWC and he is an alumnus of the Wharton Business School in Philadelphia, he currently serves on the Chartered Accountants Ireland Regulatory Board.

Mr Martin’s other interests include:

  • Director of Buy4Now
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of Dublin City University Educational Trust
  • Serves on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
  • Member of the Audit Committee for Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

At the end of December Mr Martin completed all of his contractual commitments with the Grafton Group and as a consequence, Mr Martin will become Unimer’s first truly independent non-executive chairman.

Mr Grant said: “With Leo Martin as our new Chairman we have gained the experience and leadership of one of the industry’s most successful business leaders in recent years.”

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