Somerset Chamber appoints new CEO

image003The Somerset Chamber of Commerce has appointed its new CEO following the departure of Rupert Cox at the end of December. Neil Murphy, who brings a wealth of management and operations experience, will officially begin his new role at the Chamber on 2nd February.

Murphy is experienced in leading and growing businesses in a variety of market sectors, from large corporates to SMEs. He most recently held the position of Managing Director for G4S Cash Solutions in Dubai, a company where he worked for 10 years before returning to the UK to look for a new challenge.

Speaking about his appointment, Murphy said, “I am delighted to be joining the Somerset Chamber at such an exciting time in the county’s development and I would like to thank the team here for extending such a warm welcome to me.

“I have long admired the good work the Chamber has done, and under Rupert Cox’s excellent stewardship we have established ourselves as one of the fastest growing Chambers in the country. I am keen to build on that success and whilst Rupert will be a difficult act to follow, I hope to bring the experience I have gained in industry over the past 35 years to help to move us from good to great.

“2015 will be a challenging year, and one filled with opportunity as the country moves out of recession and into what we all hope will be a strong period of growth. With interest rates likely to remain low in the medium term, it can be argued there has never been a better time to invest in business, and Somerset in particular has some unique opportunities which will stimulate growth.

“I plan on spending my opening weeks meeting as many members as possible to understand the issues that they consider business critical, and with the guidance of the Board we will prioritise the initiatives that will address these.”

Graham Knight, Chair of the Somerset Chamber, added, “I congratulate Neil on his appointment as our new CEO. Neil was an outstanding candidate throughout the assessment process and offered a unique blend of experience working with SMEs and running businesses, whilst also having recent large corporate experience. In my view both are essential for the role, reflecting our varied membership and also critical contracts working with the Hinkley Supply Chain and Into Somerset.

“Neil brings an enthusiasm, vitality and a clear wish to develop not just the Chamber and our own activities, but also to make a real impact on the growth of the county.”

The Somerset Chamber of Commerce is one of only five accredited Chambers in the South West and 52 in the whole of the UK. It works closely with the British Chambers of Commerce to make sure Somerset businesses stay well connected at both a local and national level, and that the voices of the Somerset business community are heard at all levels of government.