Trio to take a back seat as UA rings the changes

Robin Tough is stepping down, along with fellow joint managing director Neil McLean and executive chairman David Leggat. Picture: Greg Macvean

Robin Tough is stepping down, along with fellow joint managing director Neil McLean and executive chairman David Leggat. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Three of the best-known faces in the world of Scottish livestock auctioneering are to take a step back from their current management roles at the end of the year.

As part of a move towards a “planned succession” at one of the country’s leading livestock trading companies, the senior management team at United Auctions – consisting of executive chairman David Leggat, and joint group managing directors Robin Tough and Neil McLean – will stand down from their current positions with the company.

However, with almost 120 years-worth of auctioneering experience between them, the trio who have led the company since the management buy-out in 2007 said they would “certainly not be retiring” and will continue to offer their services in a non-executive and advisory capacity following the handover at the end of December 2016.

The reins of UA’s operational responsibility will be taken up by the team promoted to executive directors at the end of 2014 and will consist of David Brown, Donald Morrison, John Roberts, Christopher Sharp, Matt Stevenson and Donald Young with George Purves managing director.

Leggat, who joined the company in 1975, said the auction group had taken many forms over its long history and they had been proud to have played their part in leading the business in its most recent era.

“Now it’s time for us to hand over the baton and allow the next generation to take the business into a new chapter,” said Leggat.

“We’ve always believed in the importance of succession planning. We nurture skills, knowledge and experience at all levels to ensure future sustainability for our staff, customers and the sector.”

He said that the new team, which had been fully involved on the management side for the past two years, had the “quality, strength and depth to take the business forward with the same dedication to continuity of care, service and personnel.”

He added: “In the meantime, we look forward to seeing and speaking with our many customers at the upcoming sales and events as normal.”

George Purves, who will take on the role of MD, said: “With its generations of strong leaders before us, we’re immensely proud to be charged with managing company operations.”

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