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Richard Wright takes financial stake and chief executive role at fast growth Acre Resources

Richard Wright takes financial stake and chief executive role at fast growth Acre Resources

Green economic growth drives jobs surge in sustainability, renewable energy and related sectors

Richard Wright has been appointed chief executive of Acre Resources, a London-based international recruitment firm specialising in the fast growing sustainability sector. Wright, a non-executive director of Acre since October 2011, will work closely with fellow director and co-founder Andrew Cartland to accelerate growth in the firm, which currently has 23 employees. Wright’s arrival reunites him with Acre’s chairman and ex-colleague Ian Nash, former group finance director of both Michael Page International plc and Robert Walters plc. Both Wright and Nash have taken equity stakes in Acre.

Acre Resources significantly outperformed the recruitment sector over the past 12 months, with net annual fee income currently growing at 40 percent – some five times the average? for this sector as a whole. The UK’s green economy is growing at 4% per annum, despite a shrinking economy overall, according to official government figures.

Acre Resources has established a leading position in the sustainability jobs market over the last five years, helped by an increasing number of FTSE 350 organisations placing sustainability central to strategy. According to Acre’s analysis, in 2005 only five FTSE100 firms had a dedicated sustainability executive at main board level or one position below. Today, that figure is over 20, a four-fold increase.

Alongside his recruitment interests, Andrew Cartland is an established internet entrepreneur. He co-founded Media Ltd in 2006, which became the UK's most popular broadband comparison site and was acquired by uSwitch in June 2011. Wright built his reputation for growing recruitment businesses at finance recruiter MWA, which grew from &pound1m to &pound50m-plus revenue under his leadership. He sold MWA to Randstad, the world’s second largest staffing organisation. For the past 18 months Wright has been working with Barclays Ventures leading the successful restructuring of the executive search and interim business Archer Mathieson.

Commenting on Richard Wright’s appointment, Ian Nash said: “Richard’s background is very complementary to Andrew’s. I’ve known him for a long time and we’re very pleased to have someone of Richard’s calibre on board. Acre operates in a very dynamic sector and is on a fast growth trajectory. Richard’s previous experience at MWA will help ensure we manage that growth most effectively, while maintaining the service quality that’s been a hallmark of the business to date.”

Andrew Cartland adds: “We now have two & lsquo;heavy-hitting’ recruitment professionals playing key roles in Acre. The fact that they have also taken equity stakes speaks volumes about their belief not just in Acre Resources as a business, but also the growth possibilities of the specialist sector we operate in.”

The growth in sustainability reflects a fundamental shift in the way organisations operate. The role of chief sustainability officer places this function at executive board level, driving sustainability, corporate responsibility, energy management, environment and health & safety strategies into the core of businesses. Although precise figures are impossible to calculate, there are multiple studies predicting continuing high job growth in sustainability and related sectors one recent analysis by the European Commission believes up to 20m new & lsquo;green’ jobs could be created globally by 2020.

*Average sector growth in 2011 was 8.4%, according to: Recruitment Industry Benchmarking


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