Neil Barrell has been appointed group chief operating officer (COO) for the global industrial group GFG Alliance.

Neil takes up his new role on 1 January 2020 after joining the GFG Alliance as global head of integration and performance earlier this year.

Neil’s initial focus will be on bringing GFG Alliance’s Liberty Steel businesses across the globe into one consolidated Liberty Steel Group, which was launched by Sanjeev Gupta at the World Steel Dynamics conference in October. As part of this consolidation, GFG is committed to enhancing governance across its worldwide organisation, and to move towards broader financial transparency.

Neil also has responsibility for business transformation and integration, operational improvement, asset performance, business intervention and restructuring across the wider GFG Alliance.

“The creation of a global COO role allows a sharper focus across the group on operational improvements and formalises the work Neil and his team are already leading on integration and performance,” executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said.

Neil Barrell said he was delighted to be taking on a new role. “Working towards the consolidation of Liberty Steel Group and ensuring we are making strides to reach our 2030 target of being carbon neutral will be among my initial priorities as I take up the role.”

At 49 years old, Neil has enjoyed many years’ senior management experience – including nine years at senior management level – leading businesses in steel, aluminium and the automotive sector. He joined GFG Alliance in June from international accounting and consultancy firm Grant Thornton, where he was a senior partner as head of UK manufacturing and industrials, and the firm’s global automotive leader.

At Grant Thornton, Neil led strategic reviews, acquisitions and optimisations for a variety of Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, UK Government and private equity clients.