Ex-Cooksons director to be new BAO chief exec

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Stella Layton to take over top assay job from Michael Allchin.

Stella Layton has been announced as the replacement for Birmingham Assay Office chief executive Michael Allchin, who is retiring next year.

Layton will start her new role in January, giving her a three-month handover periood until Allchin’s retirement at the end of March. Her official title will be chief executive and assay master.

The incoming chief executive has a 28 years of experience working in the precious metals trade. She was previously global divisional director for Cookson Precious Metals until its recent takeover by Heimerle & Meule, has been a guardian of the Birmingham Assay Office since 2007 and is a liveryman of the Goldsmiths’ Company.

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Birmingham Assay Office chairman Kate Hartigan said “We are delighted to have found someone of such high calibre, with the appropriate experience and proven strategic skills to take the Birmingham Assay Office through its next stage of development.

"Stella joins The Assay Office at a significant time when, in addition to its statutory duty of hallmarking, the Office is driving growth through diversification and our plans for a move to a new purpose built facility in the Jewellery Quarter are well under way. As only the 13th Assay Master in 240 years of history Stella has the opportunity to really make her mark and we look forward to welcoming her in 2014.”

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