Braemar has appointed a former Clarksons merger and acquisition (M&A) employment expert to help spearhead its ambition of doubling operating profit by 2024.

John Beckwith will join the leadership team as group director of human resources.

The London-listed shipbroker said Beckwith will be a “key enabler” of the growth strategy.

The executive is currently head of human resources at brokerage ED&F Man Capital Markets.

He also spent nearly seven years at broking rival Clarksons as HR boss, working on the 2015 merger with Norwegian broker RS Platou.

Tris Simmonds, Braemar’s chief operating officer, said that following the divestment of non-core assets in recent months, the business structure has been optimised.

“We’re well positioned for expansion and consolidated growth,” he added. “To expand in line with those ambitions will require us to make shrewd recruitment decisions.

“John’s specialisms in M&A and restructuring, and his ability to effectively navigate high-change environments, will be critical to our ability to capitalise on the expansion opportunities that we have in progress.”

Beckwith has worked in HR for more than 30 years.

He will also enhance Braemar’s ability to grow organically, the firm said.

The new recruit has been involved in multiple mergers, demergers and acquisitions throughout his career, including an initial public offering process.

“While Beckwith’s M&A experience is significant, his experience at several broking businesses is equally notable. Beckwith is well versed in financial services regulation and corporate governance,” Braemar said.

He has also hired and developed many commercial office teams and is described as an “influential component” in Braemar’s expansion plans across the globe.

Beckwith said he is excited to be joining.

John Beckwith. Photo: Braemar

“Investment in people across our global office network will be key for us to grow and achieve our ambitions as a business,” he said.

“There are major opportunities available to us if we can successfully resource the right places, and we will be executing strategically and opportunistically as we expand organically and through M&A.”

Chief executive James Gundy told TradeWinds in June that the group is looking at various options to expand.

Any potential acquisition deals were being kept close to his chest, but he said they will relate to bolting on broking, finance and securities services around the world.