The chairman of the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), Stephen Hughes, has stepped down from the CMJ board of directors after a tenure that spanned 12 years.

Following his resignation, Neil & Barker owner, Michael Aldridge has taken over as CMJ chairman with immediate effect.

Commenting on his decision to step down, Hughes says: “The plan for me to step down has been on the horizon for some time. A new strong board of directors is now in place with a remit to develop a new strategy for CMJ and with this in mind, it seemed like an opportune time for me to step down and allow a new chairman to drive forward new strategies for the Group. Stepping down now allows the new chairman to take control of the business with sufficient time to prepare for the next CMJ AGM in August.”


“I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 12 years and I will retain the many friendships I have within CMJ and still remain a very active member, while now looking forward to spending more time concentrating on my own business,” adds Hughes.

Hughes has been a CMJ board director since 2003 and has served as chairman of the board since 2005 and is also the owner of Stephen Hughes Fine Diamonds in Swansea, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016.

“After so many years of loyal service, the board would like to thank Stephen for his dedication as CMJ’s longest serving chairman,” comments CMJ chief executive officer, Willie Hamilton. “Stephen has worked tirelessly to make CMJ what it is today. He has been the CMJ’s senior statesman for well over a decade and CMJ would not be what it is today without his leadership, drive and vision for developing the business.”

The other current CMJ board directors are as follows: Jason Allum of Allum & Sidaway, Michele Whittam of Hemstocks, WR Bullen and Fourth Avenue Jewellery Lounge, Phil Ainsworth of Ainsworths Jewellers, John Henn of TA Henn, Helen Molloy of Forum Jewellers, Peter Wong of Wongs Jewellers and non-executive finance director Julie Langford.

The new chairman will be presented to the CMJ membership at the Group’s AGM which will take place on Monday, August 7 at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole.