Farewell to three industry grandees

Three recruitment industry leaders have died this autumn after long and high-profile careers in the sector.

They are: Aidan Anglin (above), Tony Berry (below) and John Rowley (below).

IT recruitment leader Aidan Anglin died suddenly at the age of 57 on 6 September. At the time of his death, Anglin was the chairman of Specialist Talent Group, non-executive chairman of Digitech Resourcing and CEO of IT specialist DP Connect. Previously, Anglin was a corporate director and chair of the finance committee at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), managing director at Adecco Technical Staffing and MD also at MSB International.

He is survived by his wife Clare and children Ava and Tom. Donations to the British Heart Foundation were requested in lieu of flowers.

Tony Berry (above), 81, was chairman of the eponymously-named Berry Recruitment Group (BRG). He passed away in October after a long illness.

After qualifying as a management accountant with Guinness he joined Bovril then took a position at an office cleaning company where he remained through the 1970s.

In 1981 he bought a controlling stake in recruiter Blue Arrow in St Albans, Hertfordshire. He grew this company quickly and acquired a number of other businesses including Manpower and Brook Street.

Berry was once voted ‘Best Dressed Man in the City’, and his generosity and largesse were legendary.

As well as working in his recruitment business, Berry was a long-time director of Tottenham Hotspur and was club chairman in 1991-92. He had been born in Edmonton, North London, and not only supported Spurs but played for their youth team before being told by the manager Bill Nicholson that he wouldn’t make the grade.

He captained Edmonton Cricket Club for years and also served as its president, and it was on a cricket tour to Bournemouth where he met his wife Marion.

They had children Spencer and Jemma, both of whom work in the family business along with Jemma’s husband Chris Chown, who is MD.

Spencer Berry said: “So many people attended the funeral to pay their respects – there was standing room only. We heard so many wonderful stories about him from all sorts of people. He will be sadly missed by everyone at BRG and by his many friends and colleagues.”

Among those to pay tribute was Claude Littner, businessman and star of TV’s The Apprentice: “Every so often, not too often, you meet someone special. Tony Berry was special... Friends for 30 years, wish it could have been longer.”

Executive and entrepreneur John Rowley (below) died on 17 September at the age of 78 in Nottingham.

His son David said Rowley was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease several years ago, which intensified near the start of the first Covid-19 UK lockdown in March 2020.

Remembering the first day of his recruitment career on 5 April 1969, John Rowley’s subsequent career spanned a number of C-suite roles at recruiters including the Corporate Services Group (CSG), which merged with Carlisle Group to become part of the Impellam Group, the Netherlands-based recruitment conglomerate Vedior, Select, Parkhouse Recruitment, the SOS Group and Premier Recruitment.

He hailed the rise of niche recruitment and had been looking to expand CSG into emerging markets abroad during his three-year tenure at the Luton-based headquarters. As Recruiter wrote in a 2007 cover profile of Rowley: “During Rowley’s watch, Vedior opened offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore. The Select/Vedior model of specialising in niche recruitment businesses is set to be repeated at CSG where Rowley has been revitalising and redefining individual speciality brands within the group’s existing portfolio since he took up his position.”

He also served as an individual director on the REC board.

David Rowley, now sales director with Select Recruitment Specialists, said his father was “a huge influence” on his own career. “I learned everything I know from him, watching him, listening to him,” he told Recruiter.

Until he became ill, John spent time on the golf course and enjoying his Bentley cars.

He is survived by his wife Ann, children David and Joanne, and grandchildren Elisha, Jack and Teddy.

Image credit | DP-Connect

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