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Stella Layton to step down from Assay Office Birmingham

The Assay Office Birmingham (AOB) has announced that its chief executive and Assay Master, Stella Layton, is to leave the role at the end of March 2017.

Layton, who joined in 2014 and became the UK’s first female assay master, will work alongside Doug Henry as joint chief executive until a permanent appointment has been made.

Henry, an experienced managing director, has been responsible for the project management of several of the Assay Office’s key projects during the past two years and has a clear understanding of its requirements.

During her time with the Assay Office, Layton has successfully delivered and overseen a number of key projects including the move from the Assay Office’s former premises that it had occupied since 1878 to purpose-built premises overlooking Icknield Street at the gateway to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

The new premises include extensive facilities for training and development as part of a collaborative tenancy and partnership with Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery, and also a new apprenticeship training centre in partnership with Holts Academy - as part of the Office’s commitment to nurturing new talent.

She has also steered the development of a further sub-office initiative for the Assay Office, which opened earlier this year in Mumbai, and has, in addition, implemented a change management programme to improve process efficiency and productivity across the whole business. Assay Office Birmingham was recently judged to be Employer of the Year for 2016 at the UK Jewellery Awards.

Kate Hartigan, chairman of Assay Office Birmingham, said that during her three years in the post, Stella had been a committed, dynamic and extremely capable leader, guiding the Office through a period of significant change.

“Stella has provided strong and decisive leadership at a critical time in the development of the Assay Office,” said Hartigan.

“Our staff have responded whole-heartedly to the changes, inspired by her leadership, and as a result we have a committed, flexible and confident work-force.

“I know that Stella will be missed by colleagues and customers alike, but to ensure ongoing continuity for our business we are pleased that between now and her leaving date she will be working in tandem with Doug Henry who has a thorough understanding of the organisation and has been closely involved with the key projects that are taking us forward.”

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