MacDonald named as next Master Cutler

Master Cutler-elect: Neil MacDonald and wife Julie.        PICTURE Barry Richardson.
Master Cutler-elect: Neil MacDonald and wife Julie. PICTURE Barry Richardson.
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Neil MacDonald, the Sheffield businessman who played a key part in the global growth of city forgings specialist Firth Rixson, is to be the next Master Cutler.

At 56, Mr MacDonald will become one the youngest Master Cutlers in recent years when he takes over from current Master, Pam Liversidge, in October.

Mr MacDonald is a Sheffield University graduate, a qualified chartered accountant and currently group financial director at Rotherham’s most profitable company, AES Engineering.

He joined forgings company Woodhouse & Rixson from accountants KPMG in 1987 and, with chief executive David Hall, spearheaded its growth through a series of deals, which began when the company joined forces with JFB – formerly the steel giants Johnson & Firth Brown.

He left the company in 2007, remaining chairman of its pensions fund, and has taken on a number of roles as a non-executive director.

Mr MacDonald is currently vice chairman of Sheffield Theatres and a member of the boards of Sheffield Children’s Hospital, the Cathedral Archer Project and the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust. He is also a member of Sheffield University’s Finance Committee and about to join the board of St Luke’s Hospice.

Mr MacDonald’s wife, Dr Julie MacDonald, whom he met when he was studying at Sheffield University, is a historian and former Cutlers’ Company archivist, in addition to being County Commissioner for the Girl Guides.

Following his election, Mr MacDonald said: “It is a huge honour to be elected Master Cutler and I take on this role at a very positive time in the ompany’s history.”