After reading economics and accountancy at Sheffield University Neil spent the first 10 years of his working life at KPMG in Sheffield and London. In 1987 Neil joined Woodhouse and Rixson before it merged with Johnson Firth Brown to create Firth Rixson plc, the international aerospace business. Neil was Group FD from 1994 with a wide responsibility including mergers and acquisitions in the US and Europe, the most significant being the takeover of Aurora, Firth’s major competitor in 1999. Firth Rixson was a listed company until 2003 when Neil led the public to private transaction which saw the Company being acquired by US Private Equity House, Carlyle. The Group continued to grow and be acquisitive, becoming the world’s leading supplier of seamless rolled rings to the aeroengine market. Neil “retired” after leading a successful exit for Carlyle in 2006. After “retirement”, Neil was part time FD at AES Engineering for 5 years until 2012. He was Master Cutler in 2012/13. He now has a portfolio of private, public and third sector NED and Trustee roles. He also chairs two small start up companies.