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A message from Maria Powell, Managing Director, Lorient Group Limited

Just before Christmas, you’ll have most likely heard the exciting news that the Lorient Group was acquired by ASSA ABLOY. While this heralds a new dawn for our amazing teams and opens up huge opportunities for us & our customers right around the world – it also inevitably brings with it change. 

For most of the Lorient Group – it is still very much business as usual – but in the UK there’s going to be one important change. After 23 years with the company, I will be retiring at the end of January! The role of Managing Director will be taken over by our very capable, well-liked and respected Kerry Hicks – currently Sales Director. Kerry’s career with Lorient started in 2003 and he has built up a strong reputation for delivering excellent customer service, leading, guiding and motivating teams of people and has made a significant contribution at Board level for many years. I’m sure you will join me in wishing Kerry well for this appointment – I believe he’ll be trying to get around and see as many of you as possible in the coming months. I know Kerry will do a great job and, supported by our existing senior team alongside his new fellow Directors from the ASSA family – will thrive on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Leading Lorient into its next exciting phase.

For my part – I have loved (almost) every minute of owning Lorient with my fellow shareholders; Tom Kingdon and Jason Williams and am immensely proud of what we’ve achieved both in the UK and throughout our international group. We have some of the best people in the market and I will miss them all a great deal. Unashamedly I believe that we have the best Marketing team in the industry, which I know will continue to work with professionalism and integrity, to reinforce our values and to position Lorient as a premium brand.

During my tenure, I have also been very proud to have worked with some very passionate and talented individuals outside of Lorient, from across many businesses in our sector – many of whom have become lifelong friends. What they have in common is that they all strive to raise standards and promote best practice. Mostly this is done via hard-working Trade Associations such as the BWF and of course the GAI where I was honoured to have served as President from 2015-2017. I am also very proud to have worked as part of the team which established FDIS – which has gone on to become a successful and highly relevant service provider to our industry.

So, for me, a little more time to breathe lies ahead. The bucket list is already primed. But I won’t be able to detach myself from the fortunes of Lorient altogether. I know I will watch with pride as Lorient continues to thrive and prosper as part of the ASSA ABLOY group and under the leadership of Kerry. Years from now I will undoubtedly be able to sit back and say “Wow – we really did build a good thing!” As Lorient celebrates 40 years in business this summer, I will raise a glass to its past successes, great people and exceptionally bright future. I retire, bursting with pride.

I wish all those I have worked with, laughed with, cried with, gone into battle with and even fallen out with - all the very best!

Signing off …