Sanjeev Gupta’s metals, industrials and energy group, the GFG Alliance, has made a key international executive appointment to strengthen its manufacturing activities worldwide.

GFG has recruited Neil Barrell (pictured), a senior partner in Grant Thornton, as its global head of integration and performance with a remit to optimise GFG’s growing network of manufacturing operations.

Neil, who takes up his new role on 1st July, has many years’ senior management experience – including nine years at CEO level – leading businesses in steel, aluminium and the automotive sector. During that time, he has spearheaded a number of business acquisitions and turnarounds, distinguishing himself in strategic, operational and commercial roles.

As well as leading Grant Thornton’s operational consulting practise, Neil was Grant Thornton’s head of UK manufacturing and industrials sector and the firm’s global automotive leader.

He joined Grant Thornton initially to create an automotive supply chain group, but his responsibilities expanded quickly to cover several sectors. He became a trusted advisor to high-profile businesses and institutions including Fortune 500, FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, UK Government, financial institutions, private equity clients and large privately-owned entrepreneurial businesses, including the GFG Alliance.

Neil has led complex strategic reviews, acquisitions, turnarounds, integrations, and operational optimisation projects across the globe, predominately in his focus sectors of metals and automotive.

Commenting on his appointment he said: “This is an exciting opportunity to get the very best performance from the many quality manufacturing assets in my focus sectors that GFG has acquired over recent years. GFG has a clear vision for growth, innovation and sustainability, and I’m looking forward to being part of driving efficiency across the group.”

Sanjeev Gupta said: “Neil’s track record speaks for itself. As GFG enters a strategically important period, during which we will be integrating our global manufacturing activities and expanding the footprint of our key business pillars, his talent, experience and in-depth knowledge of many of our assets, will be invaluable in giving us a critical competitive edge.”