Manchester’s Hallé Concerts Society has appointed a new finance director to take over from long-serving Val Hawkin.
Val’s successor is Ruth Harkin, who has more than 20 years’ experience of senior finance posts in the charity and public sectors.
Most recently, Ruth was director of finance and support services at St Ann’s Hospice.
Val is continuing to work part-time with the orchestra to oversee the delivery of the Hallé St Peter’s project in Ancoats, Manchester. The scheme will see a former church transformed into a rehearsal, performance and educational facility.
The search and selection process for the Hallé’s new FD was undertaken by Manchester-based MDM Resourcing.
MDM director Daniel Mesrie said: “Ruth’s qualities make her the ideal person for this pivotal role. She is very strong technically, has an excellent track record in the not-for-profit sector, and has superb leadership and people skills.
“It was a pleasure working with the Hallé’s senior leaders throughout the process to ensure we were able to select the right person.”
Hallé chief executive John Summers said: “Val has been our finance director for 16 years and has seen the orchestra through some turbulent times as well as outstanding international success. She has been a key part of the Hallé’s progress, and we are sad to see her move on.
“In Ruth we have found a fantastic replacement. The role of finance director is central to our continued success, and we are confident Ruth will be a huge asset to the Hallé.”
Ruth said: “I’m really excited to take up this role and join the brilliant team that supports the Hallé orchestra. It’s is an iconic institution in Manchester and it doesn’t stand still, which makes it a great organisation to work for. I’m really looking forward to working with the trustees and senior management team to ensure a successful and sustainable future.”
The Hallé employs over 80 full-time musicians from 14 countries, as well as administrative staff and freelance musicians, soloists and conductors.
It has an annual turnover of £9m and a board comprising eminent north west figures including David McKeith, formerly north west senior partner of accountancy giant PwC, as chairman, and Brandon Leigh, group FD of PZ Cussons, as deputy chairman.