Michael Allchin hosts final AGM presentation ahead of retirement.

The Birmingham Assay Offices has begun the final preparations for its changeover of leadership, with current chief executive Michael Allchin addressing Guardians and Wardens at the organisation’s interim AGM on Friday March 21.

Allchin, who announced his plans to retire last year, is winding down his activities ahead of April 4 – his last official day as chief executive and Assay Master of Birmingham Assay Office.


His role is to be succeeded by Stella Layton, who has been shadowing Allchin in recent months ahead of the changeover.

Following the interim AGM, Allchin was presented with retirement gifts by BAO chairman Kate Hartigan, including a silver and amethyst-set biscuit barrel and a three-day pass to Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone in July.

Allchin has held the role of chief executive and Assay Master for 14 years having joined the BAO in 1998. The Assay Office described his retirement as "the end of an era for the jewellery industry".

He is the 12th Assay Master of the Birmingham Assay Office in its 240-year history. Layton, the former director of Cooksons, was announced as his successor in October last year. She has almost 30 years’ 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.

The BAO is planning further drinks to toast Allchin’s time at the Assay Office this Friday. Members of the trade are welcome to join BAO staff at Jam House on St Paul’s Square in Birmingham.

Previous articleTiffany & Co. full-year European sales rise 9%
Next articleBOOK CLUB: 21st Century Jewellery Designers